Home Artificial Intelligence Issa Lopez addresses True Detective: Night Country A.I. posters

Issa Lopez addresses True Detective: Night Country A.I. posters

True Detective: Night Country
Photo: Michele K. Short/HBO

Hollywood’s writer and actor guilds just went on a 4-month strike largely in response to the unwelcome use of A.I. on set, but the best defense is to… just use it anyway but badly, apparently. This at least seems to be the philosophy behind True Detective: Night Country creator Issa López’s decision to use an A.I. generated poster in the background of the show’s second episode last night, a choice which generated almost immediate discourse on Twitter/X this morning.

While the left-hand poster may be a real advertisement for K-pop group Ive, at least according to one X user, the right-hand poster is unquestionably generated by a computer. Wonky grammar like “2st LIVE” and the fact that it’s simply advertising a tour for “METAL” are obvious tells, not to mention the fact that at least two of the “singers” don’t even have heads.

According to López, however, these mistakes are very much intentional. “The idea is that it’s so sad up there that some kid with AI made the posters for a loser Metal festival for boomers. It was discussed. Ad nauseam,” she wrote on X in a speedy response to the growing speculation and criticism. In a separate reply, she added: “Exactly! Chat GPT came as.we [sic] were shooting. So, we were— feeling not kind towards AI.”

All of which begs the question: if the show’s creative team was “feeling not kind” toward A.I. when engineering the set, why dip into the topic in the first place? It’s not like the show, which follows two detectives (Jodie Foster and Kali Reis) as they investigate a chilling mystery in a barren Alaskan town, is about anything regarding the pitfalls of artificial intelligence. In fact, the term A.I. isn’t mentioned at all—at least not in the two episodes that have aired thus far. More likely, this is either an odd attempt at a backtrack after being caught using the controversial technology or, as one X user suggested, an attempt at a last-minute cover-up after the show got in trouble with someone’s reps for copyright infringement. Despite López’s explanation, this decision still feels only slightly less mysterious than the one within the show itself.

(Max did not immediately respond to The A.V. Club’s requests for comment on this story.)



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