The world is rapidly getting inundated with automated content: We’re seeing faceless YouTube videos grow, TV channels are deploying AI anchors. Some services that can ingest hours of someones audio, in order to generate new speech with their voice and intonation. Others allow you to get your entire body mapped to create a lifelike digital replica. The world of deepfakes is here.
The problem here is predictability and lack of personality. What often makes us interested in other humans is not the predictable part of their behavior, but what surprises us about them: what will they say, ask, or do. Some amount of predictability is important for comfort, but really what hooks us is the unpredictable.
The voices may no longer be robotic, the facial movements might now be in sync with the audio, but I’d like to believe that there are some things in a human being that are human, and inspire intrigue and trust at the same time.
So in a world of people playing it safe with AI generated content, with mass generation of how to videos made from scraping Reddit and Wikipedia, I think there’s going to be comfort in personalities, because they are both predictable and unpredictable, in predictable and unpredictable ways.
There is, of course, talk of Artificial General Intelligence that can replicate this human behavior. I’d like to believe that it can’t, for example, replace me. I suppose you’d like to believe that too.