The other day I had an idea. It was a goofy thought, the kind I get often. For whatever reason the mash-up of the names "Orlando Bloom" and "Lando Calrissian" popped into my head. So I checked. All that came up for Orlando Calrissian was an IMDB page for a director of adult videos. I had to find two separate pictures and, using the Paint program, transfer Orlando's head onto Calrissian's body, then save it and upload it. It didn't look very good.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156291819921686&set=a.494305051685.262547.501891685&type=3 if you are curious.
Out of all the people in the world, only a porn director and I thought of the same thing. That's troubling enough, but it isn't what I wanted to write about tonight. When I googled the name I didn't find anything else.
Separate story -- I wanted to congratulate my kid on getting accepted to a particular college so I looked for animated gifs of "Congratulations." I found a whole bunch so I swiped one and posted it on her Facebook page. It struck me a couple of days later: somehow, that gif had to come into existence. And there were loads of them, just like there are huge numbers of of stupid mash-up pictures. Some guy had to upload a scene of The Fairly Odd Parents, watch it, isolate a particular 2 second portion, type in a caption and turn it into a gif. These things don't just happen by accident. That holds true for EVERY animated gif, and every silly meme and picture. Someone has to take the time to create it just like someone has to collect, tag and organize these all.
Who is doing this? Whose job is it to make all this stuff? This surely isn't the work of a single person who decided to find a specific scene from an old kids' show and upload it just to take out that snippet. I have done it and it isn't easy (I was obsessed with a song from the Muppet show so I had to find what episode it was on, find that episode, wire the playback device to my computer to catch the video, then record and edit the whole thing). Is it possible that there are computer programs that know what to look for and are scouring all the television that has ever existed to turn content into bite-sized animated gifs, but my sense is that we haven't harnessed artificial intelligence in that way just yet.
The internet is growing at a huge rate. New pages are being created and populated at every second. New videos are being uploaded constantly as more people have events, play music or fall off of skateboards and will never have children. But these aren't the people who are turning my memories into cycling mini-movies or putting funny captions onto crazy pictures with professional quality work. That stuff is appearing by magic, sometimes dark magic.
You have been warned.