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A live-action, 1950s version of The Simpsons, imagined by AI. From the same person who did 50s Futurama and Harry Potter by Balenciaga.

Discussion  6 comments


This is the first sort of interesting thing I've seen done by AI, but I wouldn't want to watch any more of this, and it makes me kind of queasy. Not ethically, (though that too), but physically i feel a little seasick watching it.

Pete Ashton Edited

I've been mulling over why I find this stuff not just ugly but ultimately boring and uninteresting, and trying to be a bit constructive and not just shitting on something other people clearly enjoy.

I think it boils down to asking "What if?" but not actually doing anything interesting with that premise. "What if The Simpsons but in the real world" is an arguably interesting starting point but to do nothing I've not seen a thousand times before with it feels redundant.

Contrast this with the emojii paintings Waxy shared recently I've seen this sort of thing done SO many times I almost closed the tab, but they have a certain something, a spark. They're not just technically interesting, they touch me in some deep way, which is not bad for emojii art on Instagram.

(There's a 40% chance I'm going to regret posting this comment.)

Tra H

I think it all boils down to the knowing it comes from AI. My reaction to watching these videos is always just "Yeah, I could see that working as live-action TV show". I'm not really engaging with any of the details or visuals because I know they were just created by AI.

However, if instead of using AI, actual people did the casting, costume design, acting, built all the sets and made the exact same video I'd be blown away. I'd have watched the video more than once to actual appreciate their work instead of getting the gist of everything in the first 15 seconds or so like the AI video.

David Nir

I wanted to reply to Tra H's comment just to say I fully agree. Some years ago, there was a live-action version of the opening couch gag, and it was decent, though I wasn't blown away. (The fact that it was filmed in the UK hurt the verisimilitude a bit. Everyone's a critic.)

But it's the kind of attempt I wanted to see, and would want to see more of in the future. I guess what worries me is the possibility that a lot of people actually would like/enjoy the AI approach (or not even realize/care that it's AI), and that it will start to become pervasive.

Pete Ashton

@Tra. Maybe - the AI stuff is objectionable on so many levels, but then so are emojis. ;) I'm still not convinced it would be interesting as live action, because there's nothing really there.

It's like the old Marvel What If comics - "What Doctor Strange was bitten by a radioactive spider?" is a fun cover, but you've got to build something out of it otherwise it's just a fun cover.

OK, here's an example where I'm totally on the fence - Patrick Willems' Wes Anderson X-Men trailer. I veer between being impressed that they pulled it off to disappointed that they didn't actually do anything with it.

Tra H

@Pete I was actually searching for that Wes Anderson X-Men video, but I couldn't remember what was being parodied, so couldn't find it. I think that's a perfect example of what we're talking about, an AI could make something similar enough, and we've seen them do it, but none of them are engaging in the slightest, there's nothing there to engage with. With the X-men video, there's something behind it that actually drives a response from me.

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