The first episode of the new season of Black Mirror is titled “Joan Is Awful,” and it was clearly influenced by The Dropout. As creator Charlie Brooker explained this week, he was inspired to make the show after witnessing the avalanche of media coverage of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal.
As imagining how surreal it must have been for real people to see themselves portrayed by Hollywood actors in events that feel like they happened about 10 minutes ago.
An enormous financial scandal used to be followed by the announcement of the inevitable Michael Lewis book about it, but now the gap is days rather than years or months, suggesting that the content machine is catching up to people’s actual lives. While Covid-19 was still wreaking havoc in communities across the United Kingdom, Sky produced a dramatization of the government’s response.
Through Black Mirror’s warped, worst-case-scenario lens, viewers of “Joan Is Awful” see the logical conclusion of this shrinking gap between inspiration and dramatization: personalized content generated by artificial intelligence using deep fakes of famous actors as stand-ins for ordinary people.
After a stressful day at work, Joan (Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy), a mid-level executive at a generic company, returns home to find that her life has been converted into a high-production-value television show starring Salma Hayek as the title character. From there, things go deeper and deeper, with substance at every level.
For quite some time, society has been trending in this direction. Originally, social media algorithms just displayed content that users’ friends were sharing, but now they give more weight to content that users are more likely to interact with.
Unveiling Personalized Realities and Algorithmic Entrancement in the Era of Black Mirror
The popularity of TikTok can be attributed to the fact that its users don’t choose what they see in their feeds; as a result, the app presents users with content that appeals to their “true” rather than “fake” interests. (That’s why I get so many Korean fried chicken recipes in my feed.)
This also explains why the For You tab, which displays tweets from users you may or may not choose to follow, is now Twitter’s default. It’s intended to keep the spectator in a state of entranced dread, the CEO of Streamberry, the Netflix-esque platform behind Joan Is Awful, says at one point in the Black Mirror episode.
You can watch the trailer for Black Mirror Season 6 we have provided below:
One of the benefits of generative AI is that it will enable personalized content, tailored to our individual tastes; your own algorithmically designed hell, so horribly well-targeted that you can’t tear yourself away from it, as seen in “Joan Is Awful” (the episode, not the show in the episode).
The content about the content, though, is of particular interest to me as a content creator (we’re no longer termed editors and writers).
You can also take a look at other posts we have provided you below relating to the latest tv shows that you can also enjoy:
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- Weekend Box Office Collection Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Opened at $60.5 Million
Black Mirror and Succession are like a rotting whale carcass on the ocean floor: they sustain an entire ecosystem, and we’re just one of the species that benefit from it. We monetize a fraction of the search interest in these issues by targeting viewers who are curious about the show’s reception.
Because of this, I’m publishing this piece on Black Mirror despite though we just did an interview with the creator yesterday, and it helps explain the media frenzy surrounding the Succession finale.
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