2023 not too far to ignore, but a distance away to attract an alternative extrapolated future.
In the present, it starts with a lecture I’m about to deliver to a new class of Masters students, but instead of a deep dive it frames a future, where as legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky apparently said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”.
In 2023, she is long identified as #student.you who surfaced almost a decade earlier as a film metaphor traversing critical thinking. This year, the year of the machines, she’s a symbol for a beyond mixed-media model student. Her unusual skill lies in exploiting the audience-decision making journey an crossing lanes— much like a marketeer or fictional film maker.
She needs to. A matured enough A.I. will edit whole films modelled on winning formulas, write copy, and sell marketing solutions that determine touch points.
Whilst the ability to tell a good story is a pre-requisite for attention, underlying this impetus for #student.you is an appreciation of the consumer’s cognitive flow.
What happens when a reader accesses your story, or watches your film? What is it you require from them? If it’s merely to read or watch your product, you’re stuck in the wrong age. How do you attribute the action of your reader, optimize on their interests, and then build a strategy to keep them on your platform?
In 2023, attention isn’t the primary goal sought by businesses and government, but how they can get to the hormonal chemicals that guarantee memory recollection and, or, otherwise impulse. This, to borrow and mangle a marketing meme is akin to “swimming across multiple lanes”. Remember attention doesn’t guarantee a causal action. For instance, in writing this story, in 2023 how assured can I be that
- it’ll be read
- and my intentions will be acted upon.
Screen-based news, something an A.I. expert and I are working on at present, provides traffic light data to encounter a slew of issues about films. How much can you trust the source and film? An index fulfils that task. Your gestures and micro-eye movements influence narratives designed to break you from your filter bubble. Video-hyperlinking mooted in 2006 is the norm, but there’s also a list of new data correlating to the visuals which helps decision making.
All the while, having outsourced our thinking to machines, a new search engine more adept than Google dominates the field. It does things differently. In 2019 I was given a glimpse. For that future, texts to voice negates typing and the transaction is a conversation. Sentient and machine.
Our own self (that which Descartian defines us) has relented to the onslaught of data psychographics, active measures and a kerzillion biases. A new international market trades people’s instincts like selling pork belly.
Neuroscientists and behavioural theorists have travelled further into our choice-making matrices, but all the while we feel a need to disconnect. Tiffany Shlain’s 24/6 was required reading. A tech shabbat reinvigorates the mind.
Sound healing to wash away the grime of noise pollution is sought after and the art of writing with a pen is revived after the debilitating affects of screen-capturing could be ignored no more. Many people are disconnecting for lengthy periods from the grips of technology.
#student.you proves to be resilient and resourceful. She had desires to be a journalist, but the function of a writer/recorder/ relayer of events has diminished. The low hanging fruit has all but been plucked. Anyone can write, video and comment. But to regain “trust” which was manifest in 2005, and begun to hollow out over the years, has taken its toll. The new journalist requires new jack inputs to master the old and new and concomitant theories.
Revolutionary Curricula, prosaically captured their journey. As A.I. controlled the runaway for stories, to acquire lift off she needed to be steeped in psychology, art, history, entrepreneurilism, tech and a spectrum of storytelling forms. Furthermore, a radical shift in media theories needed sourcing.
Whilst all the aforementioned are crucial there lies a great zeal for history, which A.I. and society ranks as the corrective pathways. The legacy of human error became in itself an industry corrected by case studies and cognitivism.
Society had morphed in those short years. Just as 30 years ago, the absurd idea of buying water in a bottle became a reality, now buying air reminiscent of pine forests, the sea and mountainous regions is the norm. At sea level in any case, the impact of climate crisis — still trying to be tamed — is dirty air and heightened lung cancer in the urban condensed areas. The politics of populism too reached its nadir. History as it does time and time again started its slow ascent to correction. No doubt awaiting another 20 years when a new batch of leaders tries again.
Stories then, was the currency, and is now the cleaner energy of the comms industry. How is it that filmmakers who craft a fictional story are prepared to go to the market to be tested, but old skool journalism expected a free pass? Somebody took that insight into a new journalism.
In 2013, ten years earlier as data was rearing its head I read about fictional film makers who made journalism stories using techniques from their craft. They were onto something. I would undertake and exhaustive PhD examining global players e.g. To Hell and Back Again. Since then a spectrum of newsworthy factual films have rode a cinema journalism wave. They include: Citizen Four, and For Sama.
But in 2023 there’s a crisis. Who are the next generation of teachers, mentors, academics to safeguard the interests of a new generation, whilst acknowledging flaws within their network. Too many editorial boards, says Nickki Usher in 2019 were occupied by white males. Too many stories that frame the world and hence are the grid for A.I are male metropolises.
But #student.you, an internationalist has made it. She is methodical, possesses high emotional intelligence, is insightful and carries an awareness of surroundings and people beyond her twenty-three years of age. In part this happens via a sensei- mentor programme. Wisdom and knowledge exchange not necessarily by appointment with her supervisors, but by hot-minding. Whatever a sensei is constructing in knowledge can be experienced by her charge. But there is a problem on the horizon, one that was foretold in a science-fiction episode of Star Trek.
A.I. is being given the reigns to create and receive emotions and the crisis as Ridley Scott foresaw is the moment the machines realise their parents are flawed and that they are superior, the human race is in peril.
Author Dr David Dunkley Gyimah is a technologist, writer, cinema journalist, and educator. More here.