Discover more from AIgitated
I felt the need to post a note
Why the next post is taking so long, some observations, thoughts
Some comments on historical research and sources:
The history of photography, as has been noted by its many historians, is quite well documented. There are issues, however.
One is that some of the most known important primary documents were considered destroyed or lost —and no doubt, many were. Histories were written and declarations were made based on what was available to the historian or what the historian chose to use or exclude. Some of these documents were found decades later. Other sources, never known to have existed, were found anywhere from a few years to over 140 years later.
There are issues of selective cherry-picking of sources, often to plant national flags of honor. There were communication issues. There are translation problems. But most damaging are the attempts to identify and validate individuals and their accomplishments—anecdotally alleged or documented—to satisfy our strange need to establish firsts, as in, who discovered/invented “photography.”
There are many forms of historical fallacy, but the most damaging—especially in this present pursuit— is the one known simply as the historian’s fallacy, as well as the modern scourge of presentism. (Feel free to select and look up defintions of those two terms. For further reading I highly recommend Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought, a classic work by David Hackett Fischer).
There was simultaneous discovery; simultaneous thought; and simultaneous invention. Some occurred in isolation away from centers of learning, commerce, or communication. There was deliberate adherence to scientific methods of procedure and processes. There were moments of serendipity and luck. There were incremental successes and advancements, and appearances of giant leaps forward. There were also dead ends, crushing defeats, and abandonment of further pursuit.
There are also issues created by lexicography about which I will be necessarily brutal when I address them.
Let me be very clear about what I am doing in this suite of core posts. I am not writing a new history. I am not rewriting existing history. As stated in a previous post, I am not attempting to establish who did what first because doing so creates a myriad of problems, cannot be definitively settled, and doesn’t matter. I am surveying a huge number of sources, not to establish absolute, irrefutable truths that can be precisely attributed to specific individuals, times, or places (but I am debunking a few); but developing an argument leading to a legal definition of photography.
Some additional comments and observations based on my reading of recently produced online content:
Many in this new AI culture have and continue to delude themselves into thinking they have a handle on this AI image-generative technology. They are oblivious of the challenges that were imagined and achieved in centuries past by people who spent years deliberating and experimenting to achieve the rudiments of what your iPhone now does in milliseconds, or that what AI generates in a few seconds is based on billions of data points that took millions of people billions of man-hours to produce that were then systematically stolen by scraping to “teach” LLMs how to emulate something it neither knows nor can duplicate.
One of the latest methods self-proclaimed “experts” in this “art” have concocted is to teach others equally clueless (possibly for money), their “secrets” of how to produce “photo-realistic” images by using “photography-based prompts” as a sure-fire method to get spectacular results with the same aesthetics as photography—a subject they know nothing about —bypassing the years of knowledge and practice required to become skilled in the actual endeavor.
I see posts full of images they and AI have created that they think are so realistic and astounding. They obviously haven’t taken a look at them! There are so many problems I can spot instantly: the wrong number and anatomy of fingers; insects with three antennae; perspectives that are just wrong, and the list goes on. Their use of so-called photography-based prompts is laughable because 1) they know next to nothing about photography, 2) AI knows nothing at all, and 3) it shows in the results. These poor deluded souls think all the crap they create is oh-so-wonderful that they think equally ignorant individuals are willing to pay for it! The blind leading the blind. And so many of them should know better.
They stand like gnats on the shoulders of giants who would, rightly, send them to writhe for eternity in an AI-generated virtual hell with a mere flick of their fingers.
I had to edit and re-edit the last four paragraphs for tone and my language many times until the anger and the venom I was writing had been softened to meet my own standards for publication. But I hope you get my meaning and actual visceral state of mind about all this garbage and those who produce it, looking to get clicks, “likes,” and fawning comments, hoping to keep the reader reading long enough until the pitiful payment algorithms kick in so they can earn literally a few pennies. Ai chat apps are particularly good at writing that kind of stuff.
And finally, I have mentioned in a few different places the need to confront those we see calling AI-generated imagery photography. I have been so successful in doing so that I have lost count of how many miscreants have blocked me from their open sites, especially those on Medium. Fools. I just come in from a different IP address and/or device and still monitor what you are doing and saying.
And I am cataloging them.
Oh… this just in!… as I am writing this, I am reading that OpenAI has just canned Sam Altman. Imagine that. All his mea culpas to con the government couldn’t save him from the overlords to whom he prostituted himself. Image that… I am imagining the real truth as to why and what it is the board really wants…it’s not that hard to figure out, actually, but I can’t wait to read all the clickbait commentary being feverishly created at this moment to ‘splain it to us. It should start overflowing my inbox in 10…9….8…
Back to work… Post 2.3 is (still, I know…) in the works. I think you will find it very interesting.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!