AI: Novel, Personalized, On Demand Media and its Potential Impact [+]


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What do you think? Assuming this is a thing that can and will occur, what impacts do you think it will have on culture, fandom and individuals? And would you employ such a service?

I think it would (will) find a happy medium in the culture. Given the proliferation of forms of easy entertainment available nowadays, however, I suppose it could end up diluting entertainment media to some degree.

I don't think that, movies, TV series, novels, team sports, video gaming, etc, are going to disappear. That's just because part of what makes "culture" culture is the shared experience of such things. Some people will strongly gravitate to bespoke fiction, and others will be repelled by it, and everyone else will float in the middle somewhere. Eventually AI-gen would just settle into its "natural" place, wherever that is... probably be a similar place as fanfic or fantasy football or some other niche?

Also, as independent (open source, free, etc) generators, I doubt such AIs would ever get terribly big simply due to regulation and/or control by the companies that create them. So I can imagine established brands engineering custom AIs to give fans bespoke fiction within that universe. For example, Disney might (try to) sell a subscription to their AI that would churn out Star Wars graphic novels or animated shorts featuring characters (existing or generated) within the Star Wars universe, but who are constrained by the AIs guardrails to operate inoffensively and solely within official canon. On the other hand, I suspect that free/open AI projects would likely remain pretty small scale, rough around the edges, and serving a fragmented niche. Branded or not, though, solely AI-gen media just doesn't strike me as something that would change the entertainment media landscape too significantly, tbh.

As far as how it might impact the volume of new works by human creators, it's not clear to me that AI would change much of anything at all, except maybe in the tools used by those creators. I mean, a fundamental part of being human is that people like to create, so they would continue to do so. Of course, people also need to pay the bills, so imo examining that particular aspect of AI on culture is more difficult in a hypothetical world mostly free of economic concerns.

Would I use such a thing? I doubt it. Most of what I do consume is recommended by others, not what I'm "in the mood for" right now. HOWEVER, my exception: computer games. I would be definitely interested in AI-generation (eg, imagery, plotting, rulings, and maybe audio) in solo CRPGs, especially relatively lightweight turn-based games (eg roguelikes) that I could tune to my my own thematic and mechanical preferences. Some of this sort of thing has already long existed to a degree, but I think AI promises to make those types of games MOAR!! in ways that would likely appeal to me. But that's another pretty niche thing, too.

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Mod Squad
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What I want to talk about here is (again, speculative) a world in which anyone can summon by way of generative AI entertainment media that is a) novel, as in it did not exist before,

So, the limitation is simple, and you already noted it: It may be that it did not exist, but that doesn't make it really "novel". The way generative AI works, all its products are derivative, by definition. You feed in already extant works at one end, and they get put through a blender and come out the other. In general, you'll get works that follow the popular themes, structures, formats, and formulae that you fed into it as examples. No new ideas, no new styles or approaches, and so on.

Now, there's a lot of room in the world for formulaic works - there's big money in formulae in, say Romance novels. So it isn't that bad.

I think this can have a lot of legs in... videogames, actually. If you need something that's basically a first person shooter with a smattering of story to tie together all the shoot-em-up, this is fine. The player doesn't know the details of the maps and plots, so each game is like a new section of DLC for their game.

And... put a set of 3d displays on your face, and this is great for interactive fiction - your own personal holodeck adventure.

And, such a thing will put a bullet in the head of Hallmark Channel holiday rom-coms. :)

I wouldn't overestimate the value of truly creative ideas for the sort of casual entertainment I'm talking about. Derivative works are very popular, and not for no reason. There are thousands of police procedural television episodes, for example, and very few of them surprising or innovative.
There are whole groups of people that don't want much from content, and this has always been true. For books romance and mystery stand out as the two big types with a set simple content fan base. TV shows has soap operas, westerns and cop/fire/hospital shows. Movies have romantic comedies and action hero stories. And then adding cartoons, tabloids and reality content.

Plenty of people fit this fan base. They watch only the 'cop' shows. Read the romance books. And so on. This type of fan is not looking for anything other then bland content. The only "variety" they want, is within the tight limit of the focused content. The killer was the "daughter" not the "son" and such.

Can AI give that content......maybe. Even the worst such content written by a human will have some variety. Even just by pure randomness a human might think of any random thing at any random time and add it to some content. Sure the content will be 99% the same all all the other focused content. Though that 1% might stand out.

And people might notice. AI, when given data and told to write, can only write from that data. It can't randomly add new things all that well. The AI can't add what it does not know. Of course a human can't either, but a human has life experiences plus content experience.

I'd guess at least 50% of the simple content mill zombies will notice the loss of that 1%....

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