Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Two Old Men

So here are two old men.  I had an AI draw them, because AI is good at doing that quickly.

In many ways, they are the same.  They are, obviously, both old.  Quite old, in the stereotypical way that machine intelligence indicates it.  Long white beards.  Skin cragged and wrinkled.  I'm pretty sure they'd both talk plenty about some ailment or another at Thanksgiving dinner.  Perhaps describe a recent humorous colonoscopy episode in detail.

They are both American, which one can tell because whenever you slap Old Glory behind human beings, it means they must be American.  The more flags, the more American. It's kind of a rule.

They are both of European descent, more or less, because America was part of the prompt I gave Dall-E, and most Americans are, for the time being, that way.  It did create images where one was of one race, the other of another.  I didn't choose those, because I didn't want that to be a factor.

You have a choice between these two men.  Which one do you give power to rule?

That depends how we think about power.  Which one seems stronger?  Which one seems more dominant?  Which one is more aggressive?  Which one has More Flag, which means, per the aforementioned Flag Rule, that they're more American?  Which one reflects your anger, and will be more dangerous to your enemies? 

Now, let's think about machine intelligences for a second.  AI doesn't create new things, not really.  It just accesses all prior human thought, everything we know, and spits it back out at us.  It's a mirror.

When I asked it to make this picture, I distinguished between the two men in this way:  Draw one that's gentle and nice.  Draw another that's angry and evil.

Which one do we think is which?  What does that say about us?