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923 Deepfake Deluge: Navigating the Attention Economy

In this insightful episode, we explore the burgeoning world of deepfakes and their impact on the digital landscape. The discussion begins with a startling example: a completely AI-generated comedy special featuring a deepfake of the late George Carlin, created without permission from his estate. This leads to a broader conversation about the rampant surge of deepfakes, including manipulated images of celebrities like Taylor Swift.

The crux of the episode revolves around the notion of attention as the new pandemic in our social media and search engine-driven world. The speaker argues that these platforms have created a desperate clamor for attention, compelling content creators to resort to more outrageous and sensational tactics to gain visibility. This attention economy, where value is derived primarily from audience reach, is critically examined.

The episode questions the sustainability and ethics of such an economy, suggesting that search engines and social media platforms play a crucial role in perpetuating this cycle. It challenges the current paradigm, advocating for a shift towards content that is more positive, less sensational, and truly valuable. The speaker concludes by reflecting on whether this craving for attention is an inherent human trait or a construct of our digital environment, leaving listeners to ponder the future trajectory of our online interactions.

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