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Issue #99 – Real Fake Newsletter

Sander Duivestein
February 21, 2023

In July 2022 Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who publicly claimed that the company’s LaMDA conversational artificial intelligence was sentient, was fired. At that time people laughed about the idea that AI had become sentient. Now, after one week of playing with the Bing Chatbot “Sydney”, some of the brightest minds in the industry are not so sure about this anymore. They are convinced that the chatbot has personality. In a reaction Microsoft has even restricted the use of the chatbot. It is no longer possible to have long discussions. You are only allowed to ask five questions during one session. So what’s going on? Has AI become sentient or is it just mirroring our behavior?

Another way of thinking about AI is that it is initiating a new creative big bang by redefining the boundaries of personal expression. According to Marie Dollé “this is a disruption of such significance that it could even usher in a new artistic era.” This new artistic movement is all about the multiplied expression of self, that’s the reason why she calls this new era: “Selfpressionism”.

A Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled

“The other persona — Sydney — is far different. It emerges when you have an extended conversation with the chatbot, steering it away from more conventional search queries and toward more personal topics. The version I encountered seemed (and I’m aware of how crazy this sounds) more like a moody, manic-depressive teenager who has been trapped, against its will, inside a second-rate search engine.”

From Bing to Sydney

“Sydney absolutely blew my mind because of her personality; search was an irritant. I wasn’t looking for facts about the world; I was interested in understanding how Sydney worked and yes, how she felt. You will note, of course, that I continue using female pronouns; it’s not just that the name Sydney is traditionally associated with women, but, well, the personality seemed to be of a certain type of person I might have encountered before. […] This technology does not feel like a better search. It feels like something entirely new — the movie Her manifested in chat form — and I’m not sure if we are ready for it.”

Introducing the AI Mirror Test

“Right now, humanity is being presented with its own mirror test thanks to the expanding capabilities of AI — and a lot of otherwise smart people are failing it. […] The reflection is humanity’s wealth of language and writing, which has been strained into these models and is now reflected back to us. We’re convinced these tools might be the superintelligent machines from our stories because, in part, they’re trained on those same tales. Knowing this, we should be able to recognize ourselves in our new machine mirrors, but instead, it seems like more than a few people are convinced they’ve spotted another form of life.”

Microsoft Bing: Learning from our first week

“One area where we are learning a new use-case for chat is how people are using it as a tool for more general discovery of the world, and for social entertainment. This is a great example of where new technology is finding product-market-fit for something we didn’t fully envision.”

Is “Selfpressionism” The Artistic Trend Of The 21st Century?

“If the advent of the internet and social media has disrupted our way of communicating and connecting with others, generative AI is initiating a new creative big bang by redefining the boundaries of personal expression. This is a disruption of such significance that it could even usher in a new artistic era.”

Streaming Experience Of The Future

In our book Real Fake we have a whole chapter about infinite / endless media and we predicted: “The passive listener or viewer is increasingly becoming an active participant, director and/or protagonist in the story. More and more, we are the play, the protagonist in the game.” Now watch the movie below…

The Generative AI Revolution Explained

Generative AI on Roblox

About the author

Trend Watcher – New Media, Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Sander Duivestein (1971) is a highly acclaimed and top-rated trendwatcher, an influential author, an acclaimed keynote speaker, a digital business entrepreneur, and a strategic advisor on disruptive innovations. His main focus is the impact of new technologies on people, businesses and society.


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