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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.
Today: Michael Hearst discusses his new Mean Marcus album, “Say Hello To The Party”
“Say Hello To The Party” is the debut album by Mean Marcus, fronted by composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Hearst.
The album is available on Bandcamp as well as here and here on Michael’s website, michaelhearst.com.
Hearst’s previous albums include “Songs For Fearful Flyers” as well as “Songs For Ice Cream Trucks.”
Other projects by Hearst include a four-part series: Unusual Creatures, Extraordinary People, Curious Constructions, and Unconventional Vehicles.
Hearst is also a founding member of the band One Ring Zero, who have released nine albums.
. . . speaking of AI-generated text . . .
• Microsoft Publishes Garbled AI Article Calling Tragically Deceased NBA Player “Useless” (Futurism, Sep 14, 2023): After former NBA player Brandon Hunter died recently, “Microsoft’s MSN news portal published a garbled, seemingly AI-generated article that derided Hunter as ‘useless’ in its headline.”
“‘Brandon Hunter useless at 42,’ read the article, which was quickly called out on social media. The rest of the brief report is even more incomprehensible, informing readers that Hunter ‘handed away’ after achieving ‘vital success as a ahead [sic] for the Bobcats’ and ‘performed in 67 video games.’”
A Microsoft executive claimed that “the article was not published by an unsupervised AI . . . [instead,] the content was generated through a combination of algorithmic techniques with human review.” Ooo-kay. Futurism writes that “back in 2020, MSN fired the team of human journalists responsible for vetting content published on its platform.”
“Race Track [the original publisher of the piece above] shows that it has been using MSN to publish an uninterrupted stream of incoherent gobbledygook. One particularly ridiculous article profiles a ‘Corridor of Fame’ football player called ‘Pleasure Taylor,’ which appears to be a mangled reference to NFL Hall of Famer Joy Taylor [sic].’” (Actually it’s TV personality Joy Taylor’s brother Jason Taylor who is the hall of famer.)
• Behind the AI boom, an army of overseas workers in ‘digital sweatshops’ (Washington Post, Aug 28, 2023). The article focuses on the Philippines:
In dingy internet cafes, jampacked office spaces or at home, they annotate the masses of data that American companies need to train their artificial intelligence models. The workers differentiate pedestrians from palm trees in videos used to develop the algorithms for automated driving; they label images so AI can generate representations of politicians and celebrities; they edit chunks of text to ensure language models like ChatGPT don’t churn out gibberish.
More than 2 million people in the Philippines perform this type of “crowdwork,” according to informal government estimates, as part of AI’s vast underbelly.
|Artist||Track||Images||Approx. start time|
|Michael Hearst discusses his new Mean Marcus album, "Say Hello To The Party"|
|Tomaš Dvořák||Game Boy Tune|
|Interview with Michael Hearst||0:04:51 (MP3 | Pop-up)|
|Mark's comments||0:36:30 (MP3 | Pop-up)|
|Songs for Fearful Flyers||Alprazolam||0:55:21 (MP3 | Pop-up)|