The Ghost in the Vending Machine

The shareholders' dream of no artists at all
Exquisitely accurate, colorful Rorschach, Twilight Lady and Nite Owl cosplayers posing in at at Comic-Con 2009
Watchmen cosplay at Comic-Con 2009 (Image: Ewen Roberts (ewen and donabel) CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The future of entertainment, according to a “nomading” software engineer on Twitter last week, is the ability to demand a film made so perfectly to order that no one has seen it before and no one will see it again; a computer-generated response to the momentary demands of an audience of one. 

“I think we are very near a time when we rarely watch a movie in common,” he wrote. “Instead we will create a prompt for the type of movie we want to see.” It was a concise description of an idea that has utterly possessed the AI cheerleaders of Silicon Valley, who for months have been loudly envisioning the coming end of any need for painters, or writers, or musicians, or filmmakers, and who believed they saw the future at an OpenAI tech demo last week, where the company’s new program, Sora, generated some better-than-average videos on command. (I’m still not going to call them “realistic,” sorry. Played too many video games.)

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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