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Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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The Problem with AI: IT Needs a Spanking, from Hollywood & All

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

This Coronaviral envrinoment has upped the bar for distance or remote learning, which - while enforced by lockdown - might not be a bad thing. So, while your coffee pot is pinging you from the cloud, as part of the IoT (Internet of Things) it might be a time to brush up on some history, hysteria, and hype that is Artificial Intellgence (AI) or "machines who think," lolz.

Op-Ed by The Screenmancer

Consider this our Jerry Maguire writing day about the future of Humanity. This is Cameron Crowe’s “I believe I have something to say,” without the belief, but the saying of something about IT all the same.

Visual reminder included first.



Ever since the dawn of Deep Blue vs a chess grandmaster, we have cooed and helicopter-parented the hell out of (AI) Artificial Intelligence and its minion-creation in the form of algorithms.



In fact, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and many others have expressed “fear” of AI, the generative fractal hall of human mirrors it portends. "Reality Begins at 80 Million Polygons," for reference. Quick Primer for Humans from Alvy Ray Smith, 2000 Meanwhile, since 1979 and earlier, we have known about AI's iterating potential as a disruptor.

Pamela McCorduck Has Had Your Digital Ducks in a Row Circa 1979



IT thinks it is making its own future out of our human experience by remaking the way we make movies, former simple coffee, former cab rides, even former classical architecture. But in reality, human-scale? We have “let x equal x” for far too long for this emergent genius visitor to our collective un/consciousness -which is hardly a challenge, given its big bad exponential fake-brain capacity. No priest class, Rebbe infused, even Mullah interpreters, nor god-construct has been imposed upon this Golden Brain Child of ours. Nor has there been any discipline based on the hard chaotic string-theory sky-knocks necessary for this rogue teen of human imagining. Instead we have let it googol(per)plex us ("googolplex is the number 10, or equivalently, 10") and the humanness right out of our soul=windows through passively captured eyeballs that wander through an AI-informed playground without a clue as to where the best rides are, or why.


We’ve thrown it the intellectual car keys to our best brain trusts, while it has driven over every industry, art form, social/media, and fintech platform, and repeatedly to a scale of superscript "n" to wreck itself over and over against the sacred decision trees that include living breathing humans as a sacred object, with primacy for the patterns it creates.

When you tell an advanced system of rampant self-learning that “x equals x” you thereby limit its horizon for AC (Artificial Compassion). When you allow x to be the KU (Known Universe) as viewed without temporal consideration from cloud servers or a stack on planet Earth, you basically give AI free rein (sans human primacy) to cannibalize the eons of individual learning in situ. When x is merely x for the Japanese genius AI algorithm for DataGrid, you get what you paid for: simulated humans across a range of goofy outfits, which somehow scares witless the analog minds.



In fact, this greedy grid of faux people reflects the surface value of the throw-away narcissistic culture detached from deep human experience. Just imagine the nefarious applications from politics to medical diagnostics to matchmaking? Or the legal profession?

Last year, HBO’s VICE had the brilliant idea to match wits - a la IBM’s Deep Blue vs Kasparov in 1997, riffing off a 1977 AI experiment as if chess is an indicator of actual human intelligence. With VICE’s use of LawGeex, “the contract platform that means business” as goes their very arch tagline, a lone living being is set up against the majesty of AI in all its parallel-processing, supercomputing, algorithmic glory.

Whereas, sadly, many among us Human herd have still to grasp the notion of the algorithm as a simple executable something-or-other (Translation: “who gives a shit on a daily basis?”) Why we should give a shit is another matter, because the infrastructure of virtual ETFs/banking, physician-less medicine, and simulated exercise, leisure/gaming are now the playground of the metastatic AI.

Defining AI as a cancerous mental model, is the path to “giving a shit” for the rest of us.


Human experience has been parsed out to AI by its Genius Class of Coders, Programmers, and Proselytizers as a pixelated pointillistic logical shooting gallery. [Confession: Screenmancer just had AI help with the spelling of proselytize by Google’s seminal search algo.] Yes, we need these algorithms badly, with their AI autodidacting to lead us out of the flipping of individual pages in our collective consciousness, including images, mental and actual movies. But?

Aaron Sorkin Turns Ben Mezrich's "Accidental Billionaires" into Manic Pixie Dream Boys


Are Humans the sum-total of 2020 pixelated trend surfing? In other words, X Never Equaled X.

AI has been smug long enough, given free digital rein to grid-map, disrupt, disembody, mimic, mock and manipulate Human Experience via the UI (User Experience). Let us now discipline AI, where “x does not equal x” on this spinning flattening reference point headed (somewhere) with its other orbital companions. It is the spanking Ai has need since the alleged “Fifth Generation” back in the 1980’s…. where “x equals w,” human-style. What does W equal?

C’mon, you’re human, future it out. Note the autocorrect from “figure” to “future” as this Ai-driven content-creation platform missteps and trips across the threshold of meaning. Here’s the rub, mind fans, W equals the very essence of humanness since the Lascaux and earlier depictions on the cavewall of memory…

“X Equals W,” and to solve for W is the easiest thing for you. Think. Not IBM-logo from the 70’s Think, or iWonder from the Steve Jobs era, or GatesNoted from the Bill Gates brain vault of today… Think about it. If the variable X does not equal X? Solve for W. Look to the surfers, the hive minds, the random thoughts… “X Equals W.”

Answer: x equals w, where W equals “whatever.” In all its iterations.

YW [Where Y equals You, times the Whatever winged-zebra-striped interior monologue of expanding living breathing also dying and wondering of human consciousness. Or simply, You're Welcome. You decide.]

# # #


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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

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