Martinez, Irene

May 26, 2021

Prompt 23: How important are material tools in the production or acquisition of knowledge?

Object 1: Cruz campo advertisement (El Independiente, 2021)

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This advertisement was produced in March 2020 by the Ogilvy agency and released in January 2021 to advertise Cruzcampo beers. It uses more than 5000 images and a generally complex composition to resurrect the image, voice and accent of the famous singer Lola Flores 25 years after her death.

This video is particularly interesting to the exhibition because it clearly shows the importance of the material tools used in the production of this commercial. The appearance of this new tool with the latest technology has allowed the creation of a fake video which features the image and sound of a very important figure in Spain, who is deceased. Thus, viewers can be influenced or manipulated into carrying out certain actions or having specific opinions because they believe that is true. In this case, spectators may be conditioned to consume Cruzcampo beer just because Lola Flores is saying so and not because they actually think that it is good. As a consequence of creating these types of videos, it is possible that in the future it will be very difficult to differentiate the truth from fiction, and humans may become suspicious by nature.

This object also enriches this exhibition because it shows the dark side of the use of these new material tools to produce contents. In terms of economic impact, in the future, people working to generate communication will no longer be needing real people, such as actors or models, to create these messages. Instead, they will be able to use synthetic characters, which are much cheaper, faster and allow for more possibilities. Lastly, in terms of the social impact, the use of these new tools in the production of knowledge may be used as a weapon against individuals when creating fake situations to damage someone’s reputation.

Object 2: Pau Garcia-Milá’s video – “Two tricks to train your brain”. (Garcia-Milá, P 2021)

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The second object I have chosen for my exhibition is Pau Garcia-Milá’s video: “Two tricks to train your brain”. Pau Garcia-Milá is a Spanish entrepreneur who is promoting a new format in social media for the production and acquisition of knowledge based on 1-minute-long videos about different topics, such as technology, environmental aspects and life-hacks, among others.

One way in which this object contributes to the exhibition is by showing how this new video format can make a complex subject, such as training the brain to improve its capacity, accessible to a massive audience. Moreover, it achieves this without getting into elaborate matters but focusing on a very practical approach in just 60 seconds. Nowadays, society doesn’t have a lot of time to read extensive articles or watch an entire documentary, so this new type of material tool allows them to fit this knowledge into their daily routine and their necessity/willingness of getting to the main conclusions of the topic in the shortest time.

Beyond the positive effects of this material tool for the production of knowledge, which allows people to obtain certain knowledge that otherwise they would have never gained, the object also enriches the exhibition by showing the dangerous side of this easy-knowledge-consuming format. The information provided in a minute-long video is too superficial, with no time to support the outcomes with evidence. Without proof, the knowledge supplied through this new tool requires trust. As a result, all that massive audience will become vulnerable to those who are able to manipulate and change that knowledge.

Object 3: GPT 3 model (Bates Ramirez, V 2020)

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The final object chosen for this exhibition is a unique short movie called “Solicitors”. Its singularity is due to the fact that its screenplay has been fully created using the latest language- generation AI model, GPT 3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3), developed by Open AI. In order to create the movie ́s screenplay, the deep-learning language model was trained using a dataset of thousands of previously written scripts to produce texts that simulate human writing.

This object shows a clear game-changing communication tool that allows the reproduction of well-known writers’ styles by using, as training dataset, their previously written creative content. Disrupting the way knowledge is produced, will generate a new experience for the audience. We will no longer stop enjoying Woody Allen or Orson Wells’ new scripts, or we will be able to find a script based on Shakespeare’s style on a Netflix series. In fact, this cutting-edge material tool will enable consumers to acquire knowledge that combines 20th century’s writers’ style and 21st century’s topics, such as Covid-19, and new formats, like interactive movies.

Lastly, the object also enriches this exhibition because we can find signals of bias in it with negative effects. In the script produced for the movie, the main topic is about guns, drugs, death, violence and manipulation, when real life is more about love, work, relationships and experiences. This is due to the fact that artificial intelligence creates new contents exclusively trained with datasets of previously written scripts. Consequently, GPT 3 will never be able to create original and updated content. This clearly shows the limitations to the importance of material tools in the production of knowledge because when humans are the ones creating new materials, knowledge expands exponentially, but when AI is responsible for producing material, knowledge is stuck and does not evolve.

References

El Independiente. “Anuncio de Cruzcampo con Lola Flores: “Con mucho acento”. January 2021. Accessed online at:

Garcia-Milá, P. “Dos trucos para entrenar el cerebro, explicados en un minuto”. Twitter. February 2021. Accessed online at:

Bates Ramirez, V. “Open IA’s GPT-3 Wrote This Short Film – Even the Twist at the End”, October 2020. SingularityHub. Accessed online at: https://singularityhub.com/2020/10/23/an-ai-wrote-this-short-film-and-its-sort-of-fascinating/

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