Welcome to the unreal world of synthetic media

Where belief is suspended and provenance is unknown.

Synthetic media is media created or modified by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Far from a new topic here but one that has moved forward with major technology advances and tooling.

In a world where it is difficult to distinguish between real and artificially generated content, our ability to believe and trust is challenged.


When our primary methods of encoding and verifying information are no longer reliable, it can be difficult to determine provenance and the accuracy of the information we encounter. This raises important questions about the impact of synthetic media on society and the potential risks and consequences of this technology.

Synthetic media  is set to impact the way we create and consume media, making it more efficient and accessible. It can be used for entertainment, education, and communication, it more likely be used for advertising, disinformation and information warfare.

The lack of control over the content that is created and the potential for it to be used for nefarious purposes, such as creating deep fakes for the purpose of deception or sabotage is cannon. It raises questions about authenticity and provenance, as it can be difficult to distinguish between real and artificially generated content.

The societal implications of synthetic media are significant and complex.  It will depend on how it is used and regulated. It is important to consider ways to mitigate the risks of synthetic media while maximizing the benefits. Regulation is unlikely and weaponization is more than likely. Action to follow.

Metrics for long term success

I spent a long time setting up engagement as the key performance indicator in social media. Advocating for the importance of engagement, publishing papers and creating tools to make the case.  It as wrong to prioritize engagement above all else.

Net positive impact matters more in the long run. While engagement may have been a useful metric in the past, it is not the most important factor in achieving long-term success.  News media companies and social media products should focus away from engagement and towards the real-world impact of their offerings and product.

Specifically news and media sectors, social products and networks. The goal should be to create impact rather than just generating clicks or short term viewership.

By prioritizing  impact and working towards long-term success to a more meaningful difference is the right path.  In the end companies and products will need to operate short term in active users + engagement metrics but at the same time orient towards impact.

Closing out the year…

Sunday Jan 1 2023 is Public Domain Day.  Works from 1927 fall into public domain.   Metropolis,  The Unknown (Chaney), The Jazz Singer.

Awful AI is a curated list to track current scary usages of AI

Tim Cook and Japanese PM Kishida Discussed User Privacy and Digital ‘My Number’ IDs.
Top million most popular websites published by Google Cached Chrome Top Million Websites

Long reads

Why Would AI “Aim” To Defeat Humanity?
​​The Alt-Right Manipulated My Comic. Then A.I. Claimed It
Canary tokens  


Some crypto Transaction Details are jaw dropping.
This view of hacker news 
PEN testing will be in the news soon thanks to FlipperZero the zero is for zero-day 🙂
GPT takes the bar exam and passes in Evidence and Torts  A good thread on Stable Diffusion’s progress this last year.

2022 was the year of the prompt for me.  I have moved to terminal as my main interface or with parity with web view and prompts and changing them together has become my main way to retrieve information. 

@JudyWoodruff⁩ ends her time at the ⁦@NewsHour⁩ anchor – thank you.

A return to value

The internet has gone through several stages of development, each marked by significant events and challenges.

Web 1.0, the publishing era, was characterized by utility and storefronts. However, this era was also marked by the dot com crash at the turn of the century, which led to a period of economic turmoil.

Web 2.0, the social web, saw the rise of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. This period was marked by the proliferation of bots and the weaponization of ad tech, leading to the spread of misinformation and the manipulation of public opinion.

Web 3, the unstable crypto web, saw the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) FTX, and other failures. This period was characterized by a lack of true utility and convenience, as well as the erosion of privacy.

Web 3.0, the generated web, is focused on AI-powered features and applications. However, the use of AI raises concerns about data privacy and the potential for biased or unfair decision-making.

As society becomes increasingly aware of the harms caused by each technology era, we should re-consider the risks and societal and environmental impact of each phase. This includes evaluating the safety, privacy, and utility of future technologies and considering the potential harms and their impact on society and individual privacy.

More importantly it is understanding what the true values are in the context of the harms, to carefully consider the potential consequences of new technologies and ensure that they are developed and used responsibly in order to promote the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.


Watch this…


“Elon Musk, interviewed by Sarah Lacy, “A Fireside Chat with Elon Musk,” Santa Monica, CA, July 12, 2012,


Not only was the car uninsured, but Peter Thiel was not wearing a seat belt. “It was a miracle neither of us were hurt,” says Thiel.

See Dowd, “Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself.”

Excerpt From : The Alignment Problem – Brian Christian

Artists + AI

Cindy Sherman training an AI and using it to generate work.

Comments from peers in both approval and speaking

about experimenting themselves.