Apr 10Liked by Johan Fourie

I truly appreciate the comparison of the world wide web to the plastics industry. Entertainment for the masses is as ubiquitous as cling wrap on food punnets, and probably as important! Yes, there are a few discerning folks out there that prefer quality info and like their water in glass bottles but 99.99% of consumers don't even think of the content/quality/validity of the information streamed through their devices in exactly the same way they aren't concerned about plastic recycling! Otherwise we would probably have stopped dumping plastics into the sea.

This low level, invasive, algorithm driven AI entertainment, is as sure to stay with us as microplastics are part of our earthly system, with little choice to avoid it.

What would we do without cling wrap? :)

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Apr 8·edited Apr 8Liked by Johan Fourie

I think you've proven that Afrikaans contemporary artists have been using AI for many decades! :-D

Seriously though, even before the advent of current AI technologies, music in particular has been foreced to become more of a consumer article with streaming services. AI is accelerating this. I'm not saying there isn't a place for "elevator music", but it seems like certain enjoyers of music are being ignored. For me, as a trained and educated musician (former) this is hard to swallow.

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To add another thought: Perhaps the huge amount of digital garbage is just what we need to drive people towards paying for quality content: It becomes too hard to filter constantly.

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Agree 100%. One prediction: Instead of only subscribing to big, reliable brand names (Bloomberg, News24), consumers will be more discerning in their tastes - and be more likely to choose a few individual authors they enjoy.

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This is something I worry about too. Eventually it seems that lowest price wins — most people are willing to accept a substandard product if it is cheaper or better yet: free.

With the arts, the connoisseurs can grumble disapprovingly and attempt to maintain their tastes by paying for quality content. We hope that their paying support is enough to maintain a population of competent creators.

The real danger that I see is in news media and education that shape societies’ beliefs and values, where the race to the bottom (free, easy to digest clickbait) plays to the hands of unscrupulous propagandists. This is the way that ruthless regimes can destroy democracies.

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