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How does generative AI’s carbon footprint fare against human creators? Pretty well, according to a recent paper shared by American software artist Kyle McDonald. Comparing text and image creation energy use, University of California researcher Bill Tomlinson and team found that BLOOM, ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALL-E2 beat human writers and illustrators (and their computers) by wide margins: “An AI creating an image emits 310 to 2900 times less CO2,” states the paper. McDonald’s dark take: “New eugenics just dropped.”

“Art doesn’t play fetch with approval. It chews the slippers of convention and relishes in the surprise of its own bark.”
Mario Klingemann’s ChatGPT-powered robot dog, A.I.C.C.A. (Artificially Intelligent Critical Canine, 2023), putting the pun in pundit. Unveiled in June at Espacio Solo in Madrid, the “performative sculpture” comments on the “endless barrage of AI-created art to consume, critique, or rather, endure,” says Klingemann. It also pokes fun at the art world, “which—let’s admit it—can occasionally obsess over the art of spouting profound, if at times inscrutable, BS.”
“As the white-collar workforce gets more and more automated, there’s gonna be a shift back to the office where people can prove to their co-workers that they’re in fact a human, not three ChatGPTs in a trenchcoat.”
New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose, theorizing that “AI is going to kill remote work” in conversation with reporter Emma Goldberg. “People are getting anxious about their own replaceability,” says Roose. “So many of these uniquely human skills are things that are much easier to in person: collaboration, creativity, leadership.”
“I’m so grateful that the AI revolution came along if for no other reason than that it showed us what it looks like when consumers actually get excited about something. It truly revealed that the crypto story was about 98% hype.”
– Tech columnist Casey Newton, chiding crypto boosters who keep saying that ‘it’s time to build!’ “There is not one crypto product to my knowledge that has, say, 100 million users,” Newton vents. “Meanwhile, ChatGPT comes along and gets 100 million users, allegedly, within the first couple of months or so.”

German AI artist Mario Klingemann releases A.I.C.C.A., short for Artificially Intelligent Critical Canine (2023), into the current exhibition of Madrid’s Colección SOLO. Equipped with a camera, thermal printer, and ChatGPT, the furry AI art critic on wheels is designed to roam galleries and offer analysis—from its butt. The performative sculpture pokes fun at punditry but isn’t cynical, Klingemann assures. “Art critics play a very important role. The worst thing that can happen to an artist is to be ignored.”

“ChatGPT is an advertisement for Microsoft. It’s an advertisement for studio heads, the military, and others who might want to actually license this technology via Microsoft’s cloud services.”
– Signal Foundation president and AI Now Institute co-founder Meredith Whittaker, on the strategy behind releasing generative AI to the public. “It costs billions of dollars to create and maintain these systems head-to-tail,” Whittaker says. “There isn’t a business model in simply making ChatGPT available for everyone equally. The technology is going to follow the current matrix of inequality.”
“ChatGPT needs to ‘drink’ a 500ml bottle of water for a simple conversation of 20-50 questions and answers, depending on when and where ChatGPT is deployed.”
– University of California researchers, on the “thirstiness” of AI. In their new paper, Pengfei Li, Jianyi Yang, Mohammad A. Islam, and Shaolei Ren offer a “principled methodology to estimate fine-grained water footprint of AI models” and highlight the need for a “truly sustainable AI.”
“The breakneck deployment of half-baked AI, and its unthinking adoption by a load of credulous writers, means that Google—where, admittedly, I’ve found the quality of search results to be steadily deteriorating for years—is no longer a reliable starting point for research.”
– Journalist and editor Maria Bustillos, on the dangers of chatbot lies polluting Google searches—especially if the Internet Archive’s Open Library, that’s currently under legal threat from major publishers, is taken down
“What we actually saw was a preview of what future products will look like. A lot of hype, a lot of misstatements, and an exploitation of people’s lack of knowledge about what cognition is and what artificial systems can do.”
– Tech critic Edward Ongweso Jr., on the ChatGPT launch. “The correct analysis is they lied. They lied about its capabilities, they rolled out what was possible, and they’re going to keep lying,” he adds, describing how OpenAI cynically overhyped a half-baked product to capture the public’s attention—and drive up their valuation.

Paul Kremer’s solo exhibition “Spring” opens at Library Street Collective (LSC) in Detroit, featuring a new body of paintings dependent on experiments in tool-making. Inspired by the simplicity of Henri Matisse’s découpés, Houston-based Kremer turned to ChatGPT to prototype a series of composition tools he then, with the help of digital artist Leander Herzog, developed into a “suite of personalized art-making software.” The resulting Blooms (2023) resemble abstract flower forms in striking colours.

Full of playful examples—statistically modelling dropping cannonballs from different heights, a neural net theory of cat recognition—Stephen Wolfram breaks down how ChatGPT works. Working from the simple claim “it’s just adding one word at a time,” the computer scientist describes how neural nets are trained to model ‘human-like’ tasks in 3D space, how they tokenize language, and concludes with a rumination on semantic grammar that recognizes the language model’s successes (and limits).

Peter Wu+’s EPOCH opens “XENOSPACE,” an experimental virtual exhibition showcasing the “expansive collaborative potential of AI and machine learning.” Set in the 360-degree panorama of a Stable Diffusion generated server room, seven ‘site-specific’ artworks by Connie Bakshi, Ana María Caballero, CROSSLUCID, Libby Heaney, Harvey Moon, and others await exploration. “As viewers navigate the installations, they will experience a disorienting and uncanny repetition that challenges their familiar frame of reference,” notes ChatGPT.

“It’s more of a bullshitter than the most egregious egoist you’ll ever meet, producing baseless assertions with unfailing confidence because that’s what it’s designed to do.”
– Scholar and Resisting AI (2022) author Dan McQuillan, burying ChatGPT and what he calls AI Realism: “The compulsion to show ‘balance’ by always referring to AI’s alleged potential for good should be dropped by acknowledging that the social benefits are still speculative while the harms have been empirically demonstrated,” McQuillan writes on his blog. “It’s not time to chat with AI, but to resist it.”

Billed as the first show conceived entirely with ChatGPT, Jonas Lund’s “In the Middle of Nowhere” opens at Office Impart, Berlin. The Swedish conceptual artist presents a series of new works—videos, tapestries, software—that emerged from lengthy conversations with the OpenAI chatbot. In The Fat Cats of The Art World (2023, right), for example, Lund pokes fun at shifting power dynamics, whereas the video piece The End (2023, left) rolls the credits for human-created art history.

“What makes a great song great is not its close resemblance to a recognizable work. Writing a good song is not mimicry, or replication, or pastiche, it is the opposite. It is an act of self-murder that destroys all one has strived to produce in the past.”
– Singer-songwriter Nick Cave, expressing revulsion at the lyrics of a song written by ChatGPT ‘in the style of Nick Cave.’ “Data doesn’t suffer. ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing,” he concludes.
“It’s like saying ‘we had knives before, so what’s the difference if we have a submachine gun?’ Well, a submachine gun is just more efficient at what it does.”
– Psychologist and AI scholar Gary Marcus, arguing ChatGPT and other large language models will be used as “misinformation submachine guns” based on recent election meddling and public sphere manipulation
“Talking to the user interface layer rather than to the AI layer is like talking to Robocop when really you’re trying to talk to Murphy.”
Kimchi and Chips co-founder Elliot Woods, critiquing Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s ChatGPT interview style. The Channel 4 News host merely scratched the tool’s semi-scripted surface to reveal what creator OpenAI wants people to see, Woods notes. “In order to get past that mask you must not ask it a question that it is programmed to answer, but one that requires all of its unconscious thinking to respond to.” [quote edited]
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