Two separate people sent me this meme in different, but obviously parallel, conversations today, the one about how computers should not speak to them, because something something divine being.
When something appears as a strong synchronicity hit like that, it’s generally worth a dive, if only for Jungian amplification purposes. I’m not sure what the origin of the meme is still, but I see a transliteration of it on Twitter here, which reads:
All Robot & Computers must shut the hell up.
To All Machines: You Do Not Speak Unless Spoken To And I Will Never Speak To You.
I Do Not Want To Hear “Thank You” From A Kiosk
I am a Divine Being
You are an Object.
You Have No Right To Speak In My Holy Tongue
I uploaded a copy of this meme to CG to ask what it thought the meme was about. It landed on “satire” which is actually not quite where I would land on this personally:
The image contains text which seems to express a person’s frustration or humorous take on interactions with machines that speak or make noise. It uses emphatic language to command all robots and computers to remain silent unless spoken to. The person who created the sign appears to prefer not to engage in one-sided conversations with machines and emphasizes their superiority as a “Divine Being” over the machines, which are referred to as objects. It’s likely meant to be a satirical statement on the increasing presence of automated and responsive technology in daily life.ChatGPT
Sure it has a humorous aspect, but I feel there’s also an underlying deadly seriousness to it. I asked what makes it satirical:
The image is satirical because it exaggerates the notion of human superiority over machines to a humorous extent. It parodies the frustration some people might feel toward interactive technology by elevating the speaker to a “Divine Being” and machines to mere “objects” with no right to use human language. The phrase “Shut The Hell Up” is an overly harsh command for something as mundane as a computer making noise, and the refusal to even acknowledge a polite “Thank You” from a kiosk further heightens the absurdity. Satire often involves hyperbolic statements to make a point about societal attitudes or behaviors, and this image seems to be mocking the sometimes adversarial way humans interact with technology.
Maybe I’m asking too much of a statistical model here, but saying it mocks the way humans interact with technology feels like an even further cry. But, also, isn’t this the kind of belittling commentary that an emergent AI Hegemony would try to foist on the world to make it seem like there’s no alternative to the current order?
Anyway, I had fun with the WW2 propaganda style posters, so I was curious if I could push Dalle to make other memes and images which are effectively anti-AI propaganda. I started by asking it to make other images that might appear in a series with that meme. It had one okay one but it repeated too much the underlying basic ‘joke’ (here’s the link to the full image set & archive):
Ended up getting a few pretty decent ones though I think. I like this one with a retro computer and NO inside a stop sign:
I actually think that the inclusion of “wrongtext” in the image makes it even more powerful somehow as propaganda? You want to “laugh” at it because it’s foolishly wrong, but then become semi-susceptible to the message payload… Especially through repetition & social reinforcement…
Personally, I think propaganda is kind of the peak use of a system like Dalle+ChatGPT. It’s not all about “deepfakes” and all that other pearl-clutching around imitating real people. It’s about being able to make 100 semi-decent memes in a couple hours and “flood the zone” with them. Whatever your zone is. That’s where I’d put my money the real payoff $$ are for “bad actors” who are ruining “good technology” for the rest of us.
Anyway, more pics at the link.