There’s a fresh warning from technology leaders about the impending demise of mankind from AI. But on the other hand folks like Tyler Cowen believe that artificial intelligence will usher in a golden age of civilization. Both sides make good points. I’m not sure what to believe. The stakes are high and there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground in the discussions so far.
All that aside, but also AI-related, I’ve been using the new Photoshop AI generative fill feature. It is absolutely amazing on a technical level. But the implications for photography as we know it are massive. I won’t be using it for everyday processing, and if I do—for some sort of special project—I will label the image as altered by AI. But not everyone will do that. Who knows how it will all work out.
I suppose I could ask an expert, so that’s what I did; I asked ChatGPT. Here’s what it had to say on the subject:
Al-powered retouching has revolutionized the world of photography, offering enhanced efficiency, consistent results, and increased accessibility. However, the implications of using Al in photography retouching go beyond the technical aspects. It is vital for photographers to navigate the ethical considerations and preserve the authenticity of their work. By using Al responsibly and mindfully, photographers can leverage this technology to unlock new creative possibilities while maintaining the integrity of the art form.
Ok, then. Kind of upbeat, even considering the source. Let’s see how that ‘maintaining the integrity of the art form’ thing pans out over time.
Wednesday. Today’s word is cerebral.
The Times looks at how museums are dealing with questions about the origins of some artwork. The MFA even has a curator for provenance.
With all that federal money for transportation infrastructure in the mix, lawmakers decided that it was time to connect the western part of Massachusetts with the eastern part. Currently it’s easier to get to western Mass by train from New York than it is from Boston.
The DeSantis slap at Disney reminds me of Curley trying to slap Moe and instead smacking himself. Why you…
How does Ukraine intelligence continue to beat Russia at their own game? Looks like they’re getting a little help from their friends.
And this website allows you to enter a phrase and have it translated into ten different languages and then back to English. It’s fun for a while. I entered “synergizing backward overflow.”
Heather Kelly provides a short but helpful list of home help desk tasks we should be on top of. (Have you tried turning it off and on again?)
I assume that the OPAT isn’t in the tank for the police. And yet it also isn’t finding lots of misconduct. The reaction from police critics is predictably strained.
Elon Musk and the Twitter board have been negotiating all weekend. We may learn today about a deal.
Apple Pay‘s, tap to pay, could soon work both ways. Tap to pay and tap to receive. Convenient.
And some people are concerned about unhealthy fast food coming to Mattapan Square. I guess if you want something healthy you could walk across the street to Simco‘s.
Friday. Today’s word is simulacrum.
Universal Hub highlights a million dollar listing for a house in Hyde Park. The interior shots are… interesting.
Today’s Globe beef: a story about scientists pushing for more focus on the role of T cells in the fight against Covid. Interesting. But what are T cells? Strangely you won’t find out from reading the article. I found the answer in the comments, of all places.
The Twitter board told Elon Musk to come back when he was serious about financing. He’s back.
British lawmakers may be getting ahead of themselves with a new law that would allow the operators of self-driving cars to watch TV while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, there are no self-driving cars (yet).
And Ron DeSantis says math should be about getting the right answer, not about how you feel. For Florida residents, the math for the Disney dispute will add up to an extra billion dollars in taxes. I wonder how they’ll feel about that.
Thursday. It’s the Queen’s birthday. Also Charles Grodin.
Joann Muller: Batteries are the new oil.
Catherine Carlock and Shirley Leung delve into Michelle Wu’s new pick to lead the BPDA and the mayor’s vision for development. Funny, I didn’t see the word “abolish” come up once in the story.
I agree with Farhad Manjoo. Riding a bike in America should not be this dangerous.
Incomes in Massachusetts are in the top five in the country. Even our poorest towns have higher average income than many states’ medians.
And Avi Loeb is in the interstellar extraterrestrial news again, thanks to a military memo. Don’t look up.
Wednesday, 4/20. The high point of the week.
The Wirecutter reviews… snacks.
I have to admit that I didn’t get the joke when Elon Musk tweeted “Love Me Tender” last week. But reading Matt Levine’s latest on the Musk Twitter takeover, I now get it. There’s so much that I didn’t know about the M&A world. A must read. As Levine points out, there are a lot of obstacles ahead for Musk if he wants to buy Twitter. But John Cassidy wouldn’t bet against him.
Joan Vennochi is scratching her head over Charlie Baker’s tacit endorsement of Tom Hodgson for Sheriff in Bristol County. File under: Politics. Strange bedfellows.
Midnight Train to Georgia is still one of the best songs ever recorded. Danyel Smith, with an homage. Whoo whoo.
And Delta is looking at Starlink for in-flight connectivity. Another Musk company. Every day is 4/20.
Ahh, spring. Sadly, that means it’s shooting season, locally and around the country. (overflow)
I’ve been using email since before Gmail was invite-only and spam is worse now than it’s ever been. It’s a fire hose. Unsubscribing doesn’t work in many cases (I’m talking to you MLB). Something has to give.
Billy Baker surveys the woods. Old folk in New England still get excited when we see a deer or eagle.
Justin Franz goes planespotting with the aviation geeks.
And Better Call Saul, maybe the best TV series ever, is back today with the beginning of the end. You only have a few hours to catch up on Netflix.
Saturday. Today’s album is Daryl Hall’s Before After.
David Hume Kennerly on photography and war.
Last night I ran across this excellent studio performance by a band from Moscow doing a cover of Chicago’s ironic protest song Dialogue (Part I & II). In this case the two singers going back and forth are from Russia and Ukraine. The video is from 2019 but resonates strongly today, especially since one of the two singers, Serge Tiagnyriadno, is now on the ground defending Kyiv.
Gambling is doing well in Massachusetts.
Elon Musk is not going to buy Twitter. Benjamin Powers and Maggie Severns think he’ll regret even trying. Kara Swisher isn’t so sure about that.
And how did the Chick-fil-A cross the road? This is how.
Tuesday. It’s National Grill Cheese Sandwich Day!
Even though this is Squirrel Week, the Times is featuring pigeons. Very disrespectful, don’t you think?
A report this morning on the consumer price index is expected to show inflation at an ‘extraordinarily elevated‘ level. It could be pretty ‘nasty,’ some say. Who could have seen this coming?
How to build your own cathode ray TV set, circa 1933. Sounds easy. Not.
Ethereum is moving closer to the merge. It might even be real this time.
And over at BU, they’re creating “a real love atmosphere.” What would John Silber say about all this?
Monday. The second day of Squirrel Week.
Jet Blue is looking beat up these days. The question is: Is it just chipped paint from the weather or is it a crack in the fuselage?
Finland and Sweden are on track to join NATO as early as this summer. There’s a long border between Russia and Finland. Plenty of room for an Article 5 misunderstanding.
Matt Viser on Kamala and Marty.
The jigsaw puzzle is almost finished but one important piece that was supposed to fit… just doesn’t. In this case, the puzzle is the Universe.
And what’s a good tip for a robot waiter? You tell me.