This week we’re AI-generating hot people, analyzing fan edits, syncing up with sounds, reminiscing on creativity, and using new gestures.
Meet Sal. A beautifully chiseled, perfectly proportionate person. Sal is representative of the hotter-than-average people produced even without prompting physical attributes in AI-generated images. Although it may feel intuitive since the nature of AI is unrealistic, Caroline Nyce has multiple theories on why this is the case. One, AI image generators learn how togenerate novel pictures by ingesting databases containing many edited photos of hot people like celebrities. Second, they generate more attractive faces due to how they analyze the images that go into them (e.g., the idea that averageness is more attractive in general than non-averageness). Third, society has a “hot by design” bias built into the tools or gets inserted after the fact by regular users. So, while “hotness” is all relative, this will become a cause for concern if we ever start believing Sal, with his cutting-edge jawline, is the average.
We all have our favorite TV shows and films, and we’ve all tried convincing our friends to watch them, too. That’s the idea behind fan edits: where scenes from movies and TV shows are remixed by fansand set to music. Fan edits have been around as long as 1975, but with the emergence of TikTok, niche content spreads widely outside of its original context. Edits champion fans’ favorite films, shows, and celebrities but can also be a fun way for viewers to craft their own theoriesabout a show’s storylines, highlight romantic chemistrybetween two same-sex characters, or even mashup multiple films together. Fan edits can be just as effective if not more than branded ones and often carry over into a show’s official marketing. If you’re ever in the mood towatch more, we recommend Pulp Empire (yes, it’s a mashup of Pulp Fiction and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back).
When evaluating sonic branding, it’s easy to imagine how one brand’s 20-year-old sound could eventually get annoying, but McDonald’s (ba da ba ba ba I’m Lovin’ It) has found a way to avoid that. To pinpoint how, Alyssa Meyers takes us back to 2003 when McDonald’s asked 14 agencies to pitch ideas for a global campaign centered around music. After a serendipitous 3 a.m. recording session when they happened upon the jingle, the German music production company Mona Davis won. As for its longevity, it helped to move away from the “you” and “we” language in prior jingles to first-person. Also, the sheer repetition, and in recent instances, changing the sound to stay relevant to pop culture trends, makes the jingle a sonic feat. McDonald’s ability to integrate its core sonic branding pillar with pop cultural moments signals that sometimes it takes both longevity and experimentalism to stay sonically relevant.
Britannica defines creativity as “the ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form.” But really, creativity is a subjective idea, so how does it evolve with age? To understand whether or not it has a direct progression or recession with age, Its Nice That chatted with painter Anne Rothenstein (74 y.o.), publisher Milah Libin (30 y.o), and illustrator Yuko Shimizu (58 y.o.) to get their thoughts on the idea. From ego, emotion, collaboration, fear, newness, and societal pressure, this interview touches on many beautiful topics inherent to being a creator with a modern and introspective twist.
Apple released their new Apple Watch Series 9and Ultra 2 last month, but their new IOS updatethat launched on Wednesday lets you interact with the screen without even touching it (yes, you heard that right). The feature, Double Tap, allows users to scroll through widgets, pause or end timers, skip music tracks, and answer phone calls — all by making a pinching motion. However, it’s not yet meant for navigating. Victoria Song equates Assistive Touch to the mouse connected to a computer, whereas Double Tap is like the double-click portion of a mouse. All in all, although it still needs refining, it’s an incredibly cool innovation, but potentially bad news for people who tend to talk with their hands.