Why Did Today Feel like a Black Mirror Episode? by@strfsh
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Why Did Today Feel like a Black Mirror Episode?

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Today my SMART TV force updated my privacy settings. I explore what that means and get sidetracked making AI generated art for the article

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THIS JUST IN - we have a report from a mfer claiming to have experienced a “black-mirror-like” morning. She claims this comes on top of a recent surge in these so-called black-mirror-like experiences and she cannot keep silent any longer! Let’s go to her live now!

Mon 21 Nov 2022 11:00

I was feeling productive and creative (truth be told there may have been some cannabis involved), I sat down on the floor and spread out pieces of A3 paper and colored pens, ready to make a mind map of the GoodDollar infrastructure. I switched on the TV, planning to go to YouTube and play some music - my heart sank. The screen was black with white writing telling me what was going to happen next. The TV will switch off and it will update it’s Privacy Policy and then it will switch on again and I will need to agree to that new Privacy Policy.

As I write this 30 minutes later I can’t quite be certain if there was only one button but to me it certainly felt like I didn’t have a choice. LG, like the others, makes it clear that you can, of course, decline the Privacy Policy but by doing so you must forfeit the right to using a product that you probably spent a lot of money on and use often. Most often that device is our cellphone - a device many of us feel that we cannot do without. This time it was a 70” LG 4K SMART TV.

image

Gloomily I pressed the button that initiated the update. I looked down at the remote in my hand. Would this now be tracked and the data fed into an assortment of AI? This remote has a microphone for those convenient voice searches - what if the new Privacy Policy insists that LG needs to listen through that remote in order to render better services or - worse still - advertisements tailored to your preferences 🤮 What if it was already doing that all along and these updates are because they are required to explain their Privacy Policy in more detail.

A remote like this has electronic hardware that can precisely measure information about it’s position, orientation and movement through space in real time.

Could AI now combine that with data like clicks, scrolls and time spent to create a holistic profile of you across your accounts? Has it been doing that all along?

I stared blankly at the TV with the daunting Privacy Policy legal papers displayed in English and a local language. I looked out the window, is this even real life? The level of surveillance on people these days is astounding. I wonder what kind of power is held in that level of information and who has access to it. Is my only option to stop using these tempting devices that use our interactions to feed various AI to learn how humans behave, move and think. Do I have to sell my soul to the devil to use technology?

a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology

21 Nov 2022 14:58 GMT - "a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology" - deepdreamgenerator.com

21 Nov 2022 14:58 GMT - "a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology" - deepdreamgenerator.com

As I do a final edit I asked an AI to generate a picture for this article. I have never generated an AI image before although I have seen it done but it took me under 10 minutes start to finish: to find a website to use, read the entire Privacy Policy, sign up, think of a prompt and click generate.

I think this first attempt is pretty good. Looking at it I think “yeah, that is what I feel like with all these weird new technologies coming at me from all angles.” I explore it more in the postscript.

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes

My mind grappled to figure out how to handle the situation. Will I accept another Privacy Policy without reading it? Have I been brainwashed to do just about anything for a TV? What if I made a decentralized journalism report on this experience - truth be told I had been looking for just such an opportunity.

I remember reading 1984 by George Orwell in high school (over a decade ago). TVs that were actually cameras and loudspeakers, pumping propaganda and watching everyone. Machines, not musicians, composed the songs of the day. The main character had a medical problem he complained about throughout.

Maybe 2022 is a good time to re-read 1984 - it certainly felt relevant today. But then again, I will probably be too busy reading Privacy Policies and User Agreements.

Signing Off

🌟

PS

image

You can view the image evolution directly on my profile on deepdreamgenerator.com

The first version is still my favorite. There is something about the abject look of desperation and confusion on her face. The hair is messy and chaotic, reminiscent of my pfp. Mysterious almost-but-not-quite hands hold out a device that spews glowy electrickey technology goo. As I first saw it, it resonated with me. Now I think I’ve looked at it too long.

On the next version all I did was add to the prompt and use the first picture as a base.

a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology, there is a big TV and cell phones around her head, she feels hopeless but also she is secretly enjoying getting notifications

21 Nov 2022 15:30 GMT - "a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology, there is a big TV and cell phones around her head, she feels hopeless but also she is secretly enjoying getting notifications" - deepdreamgenerator.com

21 Nov 2022 15:30 GMT - "a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology, there is a big TV and cell phones around her head, she feels hopeless but also she is secretly enjoying getting notifications" - deepdreamgenerator.com

My first impression of this one was that, at least, she doesn’t look so scared anymore, just like I feel better now after writing this article. Maybe she is thinking “OK this sucks but I’m sure I can figure a way out of this situation.”

On deepdreamgenerator.com it seems like you get a limited number of tokens in your account that accumulate over time. It costs tokens to generate a picture and the higher quality settings increase the price. This is probably to limit the exploitation on the tool and encourage users to subscribe. I used the lowest quality for all the images except right at the end I decided to blow the rest of my tokens on one last high-quality version with the same prompt text.

21 Nov 2022 15:43 GMT - "a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology, there is a big TV and cell phones around her head, she feels hopeless but also she is secretly enjoying getting notifications" - deepdreamgenerator.com

21 Nov 2022 15:43 GMT - "a mfer nft selling her soul to the devil called technology, there is a big TV and cell phones around her head, she feels hopeless but also she is secretly enjoying getting notifications" - deepdreamgenerator.com

Look at those red fingertips, 10 out of 10 would recommend the fancy settings 😜

image

xoxo🌟

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