As mentioned earlier this week, my story, Iago v2.0 is now up at Nature.
I have wanted to write something like this ever since Facebook was found to be conducting emotional contagion experiments on users. However, the moment passed, and Facebook was able to paper over or dismiss any worries about their disturbing and unethical behavior. It wasn’t until I saw video of Washington University’s experiments with algorithms that were able to create believable, synchronized video from audio clips that the idea for this story come to me.
The political ramifications of said technology were apparent, but I wanted to delve deeper into what could be plausible. I mean, we currently allow plenty of tech companies to offer us “free” services that are nothing but platforms for more advertising penetration.
That’s where I got the idea that most telecom companies, if given their druthers, would just have an AI build new episodes of old shows from old material. One of the largest entertainment companies in the history of the world may have ways to resurrect characters even if the actor portraying them has died. Add to the formula, the rise of “embedded content,” the future of entertainment may be a never ending stream of content that never has to take any commercial breaks because the advertisements are already part of the show.
Maybe I’m just being alarmist. I mean, it’s just entertainment.