Weekly Update – February 21, 2024

Article of the Week

Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid!

Something scared the crap out of me today… it felt like I just witnessed the dawn of a new age, and the downfall of society in the same instant.

AI is changing the world. No doubt. If you want to know how, go read any one of a million articles (most written by AI) on how AI is changing the world of medicine, finance, business, and more. Heck, I’ve written a few of them. 😉

That’s NOT what this article is about (mostly).

Now, that’s out of the way…

What’s got me in an uproar?

I just saw Open AI’s “Sora”. It makes up to one minute video clips based on simple text instructions just like it’s text (Chat GPT) and image (Dall-E) AI counterparts.

The samples I saw generated videos of everything from cartoon kangaroos doing the disco hustle to photo-realistic, HD “drone” footage from the cliffs of southern California.

The kangaroo was as good as a Pixar movie.

The “drone” footage was as good as anything shot by my son-in-law, Robert’s DJI drone. In fact, the fake footage was steadier and more cinematic.

I saw another video of a lady walking down the street in Tokyo doing a fashion shoot.

I saw an undulating flock of multi-colored paper airplanes flying over what looked like a lush tropical jungle in Hawaii.

All of it looked real to my human eye… an eye which it turns out is easily fooled!

As they say in the funny pages, do you want to the good news or the bad news first? Let’s start with…

The Good News (First)

It’s gonna be insanely easy to put together short videos for ads, explainers, YouTube, intros, VSLs, and more. It’s gonna be cool, fun, and creative. My team and I are already chomping at the bit to get our hands on the tools! 😊

Side note: The age of AI video is upon us about a year sooner than I predicted we’d see it.

In fact, I can see a tool in the near future with the ability to upload a book and have AI make it into a movie! (Seriously cool!)

The Bad News

Get ready for an even bigger avalanche of barely curated AI crap!

You think the articles and blog posts and videos are bad now… wait until the chuckleheads get their hands on this tool (and others to come) and start churning out millions of hours of junk.

The avalanche of slightly above average content so far is just a light dusting of November snow compared to what’s on the way.

The Scare-The-Crap-Out-Of-You-News

Now we’re into the meat of the matter. Let me say it plainly…

You’re about to be manipulated psychologically at a level unlike anything before in human history.

Your brain is about to be assaulted… and you have no internal defense.

Everything you see will be thrown into doubt. From physics… to politics… to religion… to morality… to world events.

That which is true will be called a lie… and that which is false will be believed.

Imagine this from 1939 Europe…

The “Gleiwitz Incident” was a false flag attack on the radio station in Gleiwitz staged by Nazi Germany on the night of 31 August 1939. Along with some two dozen similar incidents, the attack was manufactured by Germany as a casus belli to justify the invasion of Poland. (Source: Wikipedia)

Imagine if Hitler had video “evidence” of attacks.

Imagine this from 2022 Europe…

Putin claimed Nazis were in Ukraine as partial justification for the invasion.

Imagine if Putin had “irrefutable” video “evidence” of Nazis committing atrocities in Ukraine. What if he had videos of people “confessing” to being Nazis or war criminals? (Those “people” could be 100% fabricated and nobody could be sure.)

Would the world have supported Ukraine… or supported Putin? We don’t know because it didn’t happen… yet.

But imagine if someone wanted to cover something up… or create a false flag… or drive a wedge between two polarized groups of people and set them at each other’s throats?

Imagine if they had video “proof!”

Not grainy, crappy, black and white surveillance footage like they show on the news trying to catch fugitives. I’m talking high definition, in-your-face images and video of “REAL” events, attacks, or worse.

You think “AI detectors” could tag video as AI created? Think again! It’s not happening. (By the way, I can fool AI detectors with our AI Genie text output without even breaking a sweat.)

And, once people see the images and video that confirms what they already believe is true, no amount of “Proof” the video was actually false will matter.

A huge chunk of the people will never believe anything else than what they saw because they

  1. WANT to believe it’s true, and
  2. SAW it with their own eyes, and
  3. The people saying it’s not real are LYING!

At this point you might say…

“But Jim, Open AI and Others say they have guardrails in place!”

Honestly, I’ve never seen a press release like the one with Open AI’s announcement of Sora.

(By the way, I’m not even going to touch on the potential legal fights over the material from which Sora “learned” to generate this new video content. That’s a legal battle that could keep legal scholars fat, happy, and overpaid for a decade… God bless them.)

Basically, Open AI said they’re working with “professionals” to keep guardrails in place to avoid people using the technology to create sexually explicit, violent, fake, or offensive content.

I believe them (that they are trying… not that they’ll succeed).

But that doesn’t matter.

Here’s the key idea in this entire little AI manifesto:

Once the eye sees it… and the mind believes it… it cannot be undone!

THIS Is THE Game Changer Of THIS Generation

This is as significant as the wheel… gunpowder… the automobile… the microchip… the personal computer… the Internet (sorry Al Gore, no credit to you here).

Before the last 24 months, in my lifetime of 56 years, I would have said I was fortunate to see two of the most transformational items on that list with my own eyes: the personal computer and the Internet / Worldwide Web.

For this century, however, the single most transformational development is, and will be, AI.

And, in my opinion, AI just reached critical mass for changing the world in a way that will impact each of us directly. Not in weeks or months or years… but right NOW!

There’s no going back.

This is history unfolding before our very eyes… And it ain’t good!

I could go on for pages and pages about this.

About the psychological manipulation that’s coming. About the fake “event” videos that are coming. About the politically and ideologically divisive videos that are coming.

I could also go on for pages about the amazing, entertaining, mind-expanding videos that will enrich our culture.

About the unparalleled levels of creativity we’ll each be able to experience in our own lives.

About the billionaires and millionaires that will be created as a direct result of this technology.

About the entire industries and professions that will disappear almost overnight.

About the unknown consequences of human creativity set loose with warp speed tools.

What a ride we’re on now…

As we draw to a close, let me try to sum it all up with a quote from Winston Churchill that puts this into perspective.

There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.

Bottom line: I have no idea how all this will turn out. But I do know one thing for certain, we’ll all find out together!

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One response to “Weekly Update – February 21, 2024”

  1. Boyd Staszewski Avatar

    Agreed Jim. Saw the same thing you mentioned in this post yesterday.

    It was coming… I could feel it. Video based on prompts. Makes my life easier as 30+ year video producer …. but… BIG BUT…. at the expense of “evil and nefarious” actors who are going to abuse it.

    From World War II: It was discovered that a certain segment of society will believe a LIE if it is told over and over again. Believe as the TRUTH.

    Scary times ahead. But also awesome times. But I always say “be transparent and be on camera as yourself in your video marketing.”

    Thanks Jim and team.


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