The Dark Side of AI #3: AI on the Silver Screen, Big Brother at the Olympics, and a Billion-Dollar Bubble Warning
We recently filled you in on how AI is being harnessed to boost productivity at BMW and even whip up episodes of South Park. But now, AI’s making headlines for some not-so-great reasons. Could it take over for Hollywood screenwriters? Might it power mass surveillance in France for the upcoming 2024 Olympics? Is the AI bubble about to burst? We'll dive into all that and more in this new installment of The Dark Side of AI.
As a fan of the 7th art, you probably already heard that Hollywood screenwriters hit the picket lines back in May. While it's not exactly a new headline, what's truly groundbreaking is that for the first time in 63 years, SAG-AFTRA, the union for actors and media professionals, officially joined the strike this past July!
Fran Drescher, the actress known for "The Nanny" and current head of the union, attributes this move to growing concerns about how AI is being used. Specifically, she's worried about "synthetic artists", AI creations that could easily take the place of actors in movies and TV shows, using images of the real actors.
Another sticking point in the negotiations is the addition of a clause in contracts that would allow Hollywood to use digital replicas as they please, with all the risks that entails. This issue was recently spotlighted in an episode of "Black Mirror", titled "Joan is Awful" in season 6.
So, is the film industry in jeopardy? It's looking more and more likely, as negotiations continue to sour, leading to mounting delays for numerous films and even pushing back this year's Emmy Awards. But the stakes are sky-high for a major segment of one of the globe's most profitable industries.
Back in early June, the French government greenlit the remote activation of phone cameras and microphones, and now they're looking to up the ante on surveillance. How? With AI, of course!
In the land of liberty, equality, and fraternity, France has finally announced its plans to harness AI to bolster security for citizens and visitors alike during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This new layer of protection will involve real-time monitoring of Paris's bustling streets to spot anything out of the ordinary, like suspicious behavior, abandoned bags, or unexpected crowd movements. With this advanced system, only eight people will be needed to monitor an impressive 2,500 cameras!
Though the authorities assert that this measure will only be temporary, lasting through the duration of the Games, there are widespread concerns that it may become an enduring aspect of daily existence.
Some even worry that it could pave the way for facial recognition technology, a prospect that is currently not on the table. Noémie Levain of the digital rights organization "La Quadrature du Net" highlights that this wouldn't mark the first instance where provisional security protocols from the Olympics have transitioned into a standard practice…
While high-profile figures often point fingers at Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a massive bubble on the brink of bursting, Emad Mostaque has his sights set on a different target: AI. The CEO of Stability AI, the brains behind Stable Diffusion, believes that although AI presents a trillion-dollar investment opportunity, it could also be shaping up to be "the biggest bubble of all time".
This bubble could spell trouble for companies that don't handle it right. Take Google, for instance, which saw a staggering $100 billion wiped off its market value in a single day due to a mishap with Google Bard AI.
Could this mark the onset of the decline for AI, as Emad is suggesting? Only time will tell, but one fact is undeniable: the scandal involving the CEO, who is accused of coercing co-founder Cyrus Hodes into parting with 15% of his shares at the mere price of $100 (despite an informal valuation of $150 million), is far from over.
This news may not be uplifting, but it's less dire than the headlines from last week. For those seeking a more hopeful perspective, we encourage you to read our newest chapter of The Bright Side, where we delve into the ways AI is improving our daily experiences. Don't miss out on our continuous coverage by following us on Twitter and Discord, where we'll keep you informed about our latest news and declarations.
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