Artist & AI activist, specializing in questionable alternative hyper-realities.
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Hi, my name is Tim. Here are some things about me:
- I don’t believe in “write what you know;” I write to find out…
- I’ve produced over 100 books using AI image and text generation tools & I was recently on CNN (twice actually) to talk about AI art & online Trust & Safety. Also had this piece published by Newsweek, which was further covered by Business Insider & New York Post, and many other sources around the globe.
- I only sell my books on Gumroad, not Amazon. Amazon has too much power over publishing (especially indie), and the increasing hegemony of the big four or five publishers makes the professional publishing industry not worth defending, in my opinion. Power to the small!
- Here’s my artist’s statement which outlines what my work is all about and why, and some thoughts on ‘reality-fluid’ art. (This podcast I made with an AI interviewer is also a good overview of how I think about my art.)
- One of the clearest, most even-handed media pieces about my work from a Columbia Journalism Grad School student.
- Currently very into this idea of the AI-assisted Hypercanvas as an art medium, and also hyperdimensional storytelling using hypercanvases.
- Some further thoughts on AI’s role in art, creativity, and originality, as it seems to be an ongoing topic of interest for people.
- I laid out a case here for why we should be including artists in high level policy discussions about AI.
- I drafted a submission to the US Copyright Office & Canada’s public consultation on generative AI & copyright, in which I describe my work as a creative practitioner using AI, and argue that creators ought to be able to copyright AI-assisted works, and that training on copyrighted data sets is generally fair use. I also think we should develop extremely high quality entirely opt-in data sets that reward all contributors, not just those who contributed data, but those who curate, clean, moderate, etc. Here’s the accompanying press release.
- I wrote a Digital Terms of Service for AI Providers in Canada and sent it out to all the federal political parties. Here’s my press release and more notes about why I did it, and some news coverage on the topic.
- Here is another more general press release about my AI Lore books.
- Also check out: How content moderation informs my artwork & more detailed experiences being a moderator.
- I’m increasingly under the impression that AI-generated “ethics” and many AI-based content moderation systems are potentially bigger “existential” risks to humanity than the ones that get far more press. I’m skeptical we can have “safe” AI systems under for-profit models in that they seem like they will all be fundamentally driven by the profit motive & perpetuate these the inherent inequalities of these systems.
- Most people haven’t dug deep enough to understand that my work actually comes from a place of profound unease about technology and its place in our lives. My personal & professional work has all been about attempting to find that right relationship, and often failing… But there is value in the grand experiment.
- This is as good a place as any for newcomers to start understanding my work (though its a few months old now). You will find tons of rabbit holes to follow from there. You could also just skim the home page for the latest, which is probably better, more developed thinking anyway.
- Some open-ended thoughts about how I use AI, and ethics, and how we might usefully apply hyperreality as an analytical framework to grapple with related problems.
- Here’s a bit more recent piece on why I still use generative AI as an artist, despite knowing there are many problems with the technology.
- I’ve been doing design explorations for a handheld Midjourney controller and more broadly for navigating any high-dimensional latent space. (See also)
- Also have been trying to articulate what a “Generativist” art movement might consist of.
- I got into meditation a few months back and it has really helped me. Here’s what I do.
- I’m not on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube (though I do watch it a lot), Tiktok, or Linkedin. I happily haven’t had a cell phone for well over a decade.
- I still like Reddit (old Reddit, anyway), and that’s saying a lot because I hate social media apart from that. I’m not planning on joining Mastodon.
- I stopped writing elsewhere on the web, because nothing else ever got better than good old-fashioned self-hosted blogging, so now I’m concentrating on that again (and writing short books using AI).
- I still use WordPress for blogging because old habits die hard, even though I recognize it is bloated and weird. Blogging for me let’s me get back to expressing my true voice, instead of competing for likes & shouting at people on social media. (I like Jaron Lanier’s idea of “Go where you are kindest,” so for me that’s blogging.)
- I use Fraidycat RSS reader as my personal home page now and I love it. So much better than getting recommended reams of junk by social media platform feeds.
- I reply to things I find online in my blog posts, like in the “old days,” but don’t have comments (or tracking, or stats) on my blog. I find it is freeing and lets me write again finally in my own authentic voice. (If you want to reply privately to something I wrote, send an email. Or if you want to reply publicly, post on your blog, and send me a link, and I’ll post a reply here. That used to work great 20 years ago, tbh, back before spammers killed pingbacks & trackbacks…)
- To contact me: I still like email. You can reach out via the form at the bottom of this page.
(“Hello” page inspired by Alastair Johnston)
- The Debrief – AI Creators Letter to Congress (Sept. 2023)
- Amnesty International panel on Generative AI (July 2023)
- Anderson Cooper 360 (July 2023)
- Nippon TV (July 2023)
- The Debrief – AI Bill of Rights (July 2023)
- Handelsblatt (June 2023)
- Publishers Weekly (May 2023)
- New York Post (May 2023)
- Business Insider (May 2023)
- Newsweek (May 2023)
- CNN (May 2023)
- India TV (May 2023)
- Futurism (May 2023)
- France 24 (Jan. 2023)
- Decoder (Dec. 2022)
- Reuters (Aug. 2022)
- Vox/Recode (Jan. 2015)
Interviews & podcasts with me:
- Become a Writer Interview (Podcast) – Apr. 2023
- Interview on The Creative Penn (Podcast) – Feb. 2023
- This AI Life Interview (Podcast) – Feb. 2023
- Webworm Interview by David Farrier (archived) – Jul. 2021
- Some Other Sphere Podcast: The Quatria Theory – Dec. 2020
- The Eternal Void, but with Jazz: Mandela Effect (Podcast) – Jul. 2021
- Half-Cut Conspiracies: Simulation Theory (Podcast) – Nov. 2022