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Links for the Week of August 22

Stable Diffusion

There was a lot of noise around the open source Stable Diffusion image generation model this week. For kicks, I followed some instructions from the web to install it on my Macbook, but had trouble getting it to work well.

I'm very sympathetic to views like these, that Dall-E (and other image generation tools) unfairly abuse the work of human creators for profit:

Similar concerns are why I don't like github's copilot - it disregards the explicit wishes of the authors of the software it's trained on for corporate profit.

This morning, Simon Willison posited that someone with my sympathies is an AI vegan. I understand where he's coming from, but it feels to me like an attempt to marginalize (an admittedly marginal!) viewpoint. It chooses not to engage with the people saying "it's unethical to do that!" by framing it as a natural idea that there is always that wacky group saying that what we're doing is unethical and we can safely ignore them.

That said, I eat meat! And I do try to both listen to but ignore what vegans say, so the metaphor definitely has power to me.

Maybe I will end up just getting over my ethical concerns and using the human-creator-mashup tools. Some of the work coming out of stable diffusion is neat (although I find it way less groundbreaking than the people who are really excited about it...) and I'm even occasionally jealous of github copilot.




This week we finished "We Own This City", David Simon's dramatization of the GTTF in Baltimore. It was far below the quality of The Wire (what isn't), but it was good. Anything that puts more attention on the dire situation of Baltimore is a good thing.