Quiksilver and Billabong have a new owner (again!)
One of the surf industry's worst-kept secrets has finally seen the light of day: Boardriders has been acquired by Authentic Brands Group (ABG).
To many surfers, both names may not mean anything. But, the backstory is long and complicated. Fortunately, we've been covering it in detail since 2008.
Let's start with Boardriders.
Boardriders is the rebranded corporate name for Quiksilver (a process that was undertaken in 2017).
Quiksilver, plus Roxy and DC shoes (which it purchased in 2004) were acquired by Oaktree Capital in 2016.
Oaktree Capital specialises in distressed or troubled companies. In 2021, Oaktree "changed the name of its flagship Distressed Opportunities strategy to Global Opportunities". In a press release, they said "We believe this new name better reflects the evolution of our approach as well as the market-wide changes that have reshaped the business of buying assets for less than they’re worth".
Oaktree's acquisition of Quiksilver followed a lengthy period of business instability and a plummeting share price that can be traced back to its ill-fated 2005 purchase of Rossignol, a situation that was exacerbated by the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, and resulted in US Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015.
Stu Nettle covered Quiksilver's declining fortunes in 2008: Ripples From Wall Street: Quiksilver's bumpy ride.
And, Phil Jarratt covered the Chapter 11 saga in 2015: The Quik is dead! Long live the Bong!
It's also worth a reminder that Kelly Slater quit Quiksilver the year before Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in 2014.
Back in 2008 - at the height of the competitive corpo-surf environment - Billabong was worth $5 billion as its shares traded for $14 each.
But, in the wake of a failed global retail expansion, Billabong suffered a series of profit downgrades and a collapse of its share price.
Stu Nettle covered Billabong's low point in 2013 (Billabong reduced to a ripple), when its former North American head Paul Naude made an offer of 60c per share (valuing the company at $287m). The bid failed, and just a few months later Naude went on to start Vissla.
In 2016, Billabong agreed to pay $45 million to settle a shareholder class action relating to its 2011 share price collapse.
Billabong's share price then fell to a record low of $0.50 in Deptember 2017.
In 2018, Boardriders aquired Billabong and all of its brands that itself had aquired over previous decades: VonZipper (2001), Palmers (2004), Honolua Surf Co (2004), Kustom (2004), Element (2008), KirraSurf (2008), Beckers (2010), Surf Dive 'n Ski (2010), and RVCA (2013).
That didn't include all of the aquisitions that had been divested over previous years to raise capital when the balance sheet went south. Nixon (2005), Xcel (2007), TigerLilly (2007), DaKine (2008), Two Seasons (2008), Sector 9 (2008), Quiet Flight (2008), Plan B Skateboards (2008), SurfStitch (2009), Swell.com (2009), Jetty Surf (2010), Rush (2010) and West 49 (2010) were all a part of the Billabong stable at one point.
And finally, a quick look at Authentic Brands Group.
ABG was founded by Jamie Salter, who co-founded snowboard company Ride in 1992, which then went public in 1994 on the NASDAQ.
Salter left Ride in 1996, and founded ABG in 2010, partnering with other companies to license and merchandise their products. Its portfolio includes "media, entertainment, sport, luxe, fashion, beauty and wellness, home, active and outdoor" industries.
One of ABG's first acquisitions was the rights to the likeness of Marilyn Monroe. Since then ABG has added other celebrity estates such as Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley, as well as a wide range of brands such as Sports Illustrated, Greg Norman, Sportcraft, Reebok, Prince Sports, Nautica, Jimmy'z, Airwalk and Vision Street Wear.
Prior to the acquisition of Boardriders, ABG had one surf brand on its roster - Volcom - which it aquired in 2019.
Here's the full brand list for Authentic Brands Group.
So, what does today's developments mean for Quiksilver and Billabong? I'll leave the last word to Arne Arens, Boardriders CEO.
“We are proud of our deep connection to the global action sports community, industry-leading brands and world-class teams. Under Authentic’s ownership, Boardriders will be uniquely positioned to expand the reach of our iconic brands to millions of consumers, capture market share in our core categories and grow white spaces, including premium athleisure, training and lifestyle.”
Well it was only time for the titanic to sink once again. History will show that surf brands should not be on the stock market and driven by the shareholder. Its all good to make a profit but seriously who the heck is going to pay $90 for a pair of boardshorts when I can go to a DFO and buy last seasons for 60% off minimum.
totally agree. RC top line boardies currently retail for $250. what a joke
Or when you can go to a Thai market and 3 pairs of genuine imitation boardies from 'billabang Autsria' (printed on the tag) for the price of 1 real pair back home....
That photo is spinning me out. WTF is that? The head, the weird hands and feet, looks like fingers for toes, the weird looking board, is that a rashie wrapped around the fins? Are those even fins? The weird shaped right arm, the skinny shadow, the camel toe? Only the legs look normal. Is it some kind of mash up? I know it's April Fools Day, am I missing something?
Welcome to 2023! How was it under your rock?
Please Google DALL-E 2.
OK, makes more sense now, and fuck 2023, it's still 1978 in my head and I'm still the young, fit, good looking rooster I was back then scoring pumping Winki to myself on weekdays!
Don’t worry Adam I’ve no idea what that shit is either?
Just had to googled it.
There is so much about 2023 that I outright reject.
Fuck Dale and her dick.
Time to get back under the rock?
"If somebody builds a too-powerful AI, under present conditions, I expect that every single member of the human species and all biological life on Earth dies shortly thereafter."
That's one chilling quote from the Time article you posted Fairweather.
Time to get the baseball bats out and smash the shit out of those stupid looking robots, and the guys building them!
For shits and giggles, here's the first attempt.
I assume the trolley wheel midway up the stringer is to assist in transportation from the car to the erm, edge of the carpark.
Stu's gonna take issue with those fins too.
DALL-E is a bit 2022, Midjourney is where it is at for consumer generative art, otherwise specifically trained Stable Diffusion models run locally on a beefy PC is probably where the best is coming from at the moment.
Just don't count the fingers...
Hi Ben, what did you type into get that output?
Exactly what's in the caption: "a surfer with a plain surfboard on an empty beach".
Why did you use that pic? For a laugh? Budget cuts? Why not show a pic of all their team riders (entire wsl tour?)
The news came through at 7:30 on Sat morning and with no-one else around, I had a limited window to get something up. I've been curious on the tech for a while and gave it a whirl. Honestly can't think of any other image that might have been used (group teamrider image? From where?).
Haha Ben yeah it was tongue in cheek because of all the brands they hold- like a pic of Italo and Griff could’ve been used ironically because even though they have different stickers, they both ride for the same head company… a bit provocative I guess but so was the one you used haha! The tech is interesting though, I had a play on the Wonder AI app one day and got some crazy images. AI needs to work on their surf images though!
Yeah there's a long way to go. Check this (note: Firefly is Adobe's new AI image machine).
Wow Midjourney V5 looks bang on!
All the surf companies combined in one, pretty mucked up !
had to put the beer down cause i was like wow this stuff kicking my butt
I know! Its an extraterrestrial lizard human. Aren't they behind the evils of Wall St consumerism , Depressions, World Wars etc? now it all makes sense.
That DALL.E 2 image is fuckkenn terrifying!
i fully concur. WTAF?? if this is how the AI becomes self aware, anyone who says where were the signs, now we know...............
Then .....do not watch this Dali movie if you've had a Quick-Bong.... Wong
Crikey...Dali loves a Gatorade sax
DALLE 2 a reference to Salvador Dali the crazy surrealist artist?
Sad to see Quick and the Bong turned into Target, K Mart type mainstream entities, to be bought and sold over and over.
Dali had Very Good Marketing for the 1930's... people are still reflect on his paintings today
Free Virtual Tour of his Art
After - Antoni Gaudí 1900
Pre - Mambo
Hieronymus Bosch may have started this art style in the 1400's
If they produce the same quality for half the price I’ll be fine with that. It’s a long time since they resembled any type of grass roots company.
Surfing culture is outdated.
New brand statements for the new world:
"Only an influencer knows the feeling"
"Justin Beiber would go"
"If you can't get in touch with your emotions and show your vulnerable side don't f##king come"
"Filepe might not go"
"The next thing to being inside or outside depending on your orientation"
"Justin Beiber would go"
Gold. You made my day, thanks.
Hey Adam, I didn’t get to the pop till 86 and would rather stay under my rock awaiting the next swell than confuse Knowledge of dall2 or r2d2 or a stinky number 2 for wisdom or manners any decade. Happy surfing
Swellnet should make a few tee’s! I’d wear them.
My local boardriders club T’s, my cherished surfcore 2001 bush fire appeal T and ATS merch are mainstays in my wardrobe these days.
People are always going to fly the flag for core, grass roots community minded groups and organisations.
It looks like Mikey February on a very cold day in the photo !
I reckon that Dall e2 rock is a fair size, cause there’s a few of us under it!
I have serious concerns about the fin placement/alignment.
If AI can't get this basic principle right, how can we ever trust it to produce a PhD thesis on my behalf whilst I'm skiving off down the coast?
Ha! They better hurry up and pull their socks up.
Reminds me of when Homer put the bird in charge.
I was thinking the other day about when surfing or the culture around surfing in so many ways kind of started to suck and how we got to this???
I started surfing in 87 so i only have that perspective from that point onwards, but i think that might be the era where things started going down hill or at least by 1990
-When some surf shops started turning into clothing shops even turning up in malls without boards for sale
-When brands like Billabong & Quicksilver became kind of cool to people outside of surfing and then quite literally sold out. (and i hate that word)
-When surfing became a little more mainstream, odd comp on TV like Manly Coke Classic, focus from Media on Bells etc, World champs like Tom Carrol on 60 minutes, World wide of sports airing surfing.
Im a big fan of Kelly and his surfing, but i think in hindsight, he fast tracked a lot of this shit, it went from Sarges scrap book guys hung over surfing heats, to Kellys professional approach and then of course him and bay watch.
It's just kind of lucky that professional surfing will never be marketable to the masses and thank god wave pool surfing is so boring to watch and thank god that of the hundreds of people that attend surf school lessons daily most generally see it as a one day experience and dont continue surfing.
Thing is though, every generation reckons it was better back in their time (when they were youthful), and that the following decades ruined the sport.
Surfing culture has undergone the same transformation as every other sport/recreation/pursuit. I could copy your words above and replace them with similar people from another sport, or even music ("everything went downhill after [insert music festival you went to in your early twenties]”).
When The Bronzed Aussies formed back in the days the tour was just getting established there was a feeling expressed by the Pros at the time that the sport deserved the recognition and money that other sports like golf and tennis were getting. Being a surfer back in those days you felt like a bit of an outlier. The mainstream hadn't cottoned on to how good it was and there was still a draft dodger/dole bludger image associated with surfing and surfers that had it's benefits because few waves were crowded out but the pros didn't make any money and many resorted to,shall we say, unorthodox means to fund their lifestyles and travels. It took a long time before the pros started making real money and even today many still don't. Kanga and PT's vision of pro surfers selling cars and insurance in advertising was only partially realized once the mainstream advertisers found out you don't need to pay Kelly or Mick to appear in your ads, just hire some model and stick a board under their arm and job done. Surfing and surfing culture has changed a lot since I fell in love with it as a boy, not all the changes have been positive, but the good thing is that it still feels the same as it did back then once you are up and riding, that will never change, and fuck the boards we ride today are so much better.
So...we... can... come.. out ...of the caves.... now the war is over?
@ adam12 Bronzed Aussies yeah okay this is perhaps the roots of it all.
Spending 50p to get a fax from Big G's three times a week. Having to be at the TV at the right time the BBC showed the pressure maps. Driving 20miles to the coast a day too early. Only managing 50mins in the winter because of a, cold. b, wetsuits so stiff turning your arms was exhausting. Glassed in fins. 6'4 x 17 1/2 x 2 (in the Bristol channel hahahaha). Waiting weeks for the comp wraps in the monthly mag to see what your fav surfer was up to.
35years later I'm surfing better than ever on boards that work. I rarely make a bum call on a surf. I can pack four boards in one bag. I can surf all day in boardies (admittedly that took a move to Qld). Robbie Page, in the flesh, is spruiking me his (great smelling) wax and asking if I want a coffee
and a Swellnet sub is still cheaper that that useless friggin fax
mugofsunshine Yeah fair point and I like the optimistic outlook so much postive change too.
I was saying to as mate a while back imagine as grommets, if we were told from someone in the future, that we could get surf forecast online, check the surf with surf cams, could read about surfing online for free with daily new articles and follow the pros even watch comps live for free and have endless amount surf footage all for free.
Totally different to trying to get a handle on weather forecast and synoptic charts, and waiting weeks fir a new surf mag to come out, or somehow getting your hands on a surf video..
This is a great post mos.
The old days sound like the well and truly sucked hahaha.
Surfing is great these days, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned, now if we can just do something about the crowds…
scarcity = value
@ thermalben yeah maybe this is part of it, but its hard to see how anyone coming into surfing will in time say surfing being ruined.
Don't worry, there's plenty of scope left. Ruination is in the eye of the beholder.. and only requires something to change.
Waves were definitely less crowded in the past
But.. wasn't everything less crowded in the past?
C'mon Ben - it was bloody good in the 90's. The long hair, the music, still empty surf... Did I mention the long hair? haha...
Long hair is overrated anyway. Gets in your eyes, tangled in your wetty zip, and eventually falls out.
You have three choices after 30
You go grey .
You go bald or you go both.
No one gets a choice.
I have number 1 .
Also, these days you don't have to sit through 2 hours of the Wide World of Sports for the 5 minute surf clip....
Good mate of mine (hey Scotty!) used to have his VCR loaded with a fresh cassette, and both Record and Pause permanently depressed ready for action, so that he could tape any slither of surfing that appeared in the nightly news or WWOS. Most of which was 2ft onshore Manly slop at the Coke Classic.
For others reading, I'm not Scotty, but you bring back classic memories Ben.
VCR with the old corded remote.. have to sit on the floor.. record/pause, ready to pounce...this is the last ad... go! fark.. volleyball. Rewind, cue, record/pause... 10 minutes later - Lisa Curry..."Coming up after the break (insert surf music)".
Do it again and again, taking turns.
Pretty sure WWOS went from 1-5pm on a satdy arvo and the surfing would come on at 4.55pm.
We never took the chance though, in case it came on earlier. Watched the tape a thousand times.
We got more value from their characters than the surfing in the end. Marty Thomas complaining about the sewerage was one of the best. Up there with Poto getting asked a really detailed question and answering with his totally unrelated, rehearsed line.. "I think I can be in the final of the coca cola classic"!
Haha I used to do the same... Best footage I had was the Occy Curren final highlights from Bells ..... Think the song was 'Taking care of business and working overtime.' Stuck in memory for some reason...
I have a Beta tape at home in a box from most of the WWOS segments between 1985-1988. All of that Occy V Curren stuff from 1986 (Walking on a Thin Line by Huey Lewis & The News was the backing track), Nicky Wood's win at Bells, the Coke Classic at Manly which Merrick Davis won, and the S.A.N.D. event at Duranbah (Midnight Oil's Hercules was the backing track). I spent hours glued to the TV with cord remote in hand at the ready.
I agree with you that previous generations will always say theirs was better than the current one.
Not always though as I think the surfing culture is doing much better now than in the 90's [I grew up surfing in the early 80's] Much more variety of ideas about what surfing is and means to people these days.
I will however challenge anyone to a duel on the fact that the waves are far, far more crowded, year after year.
I grew up surfing a well known island off Brisbane, and 30 years ago we were surfing uncrowded waves day after day. One particular session at the point break was unloading perfect 20 second barrels, wave after wave with 5-6 people out. Although that day was special for the wave quality, that crowd level was stock-standard.
Last time I visited the island for a cyclone swell [couple of years ago] there was a circus of well over 200 people ALA superbank-style.
Those are the types of figures that are irrefutable proof that things have changed for the worse, regarding crowds
Everything was fine up until about one and half minutes ago
I hated the bronzed Aussies, those track suits may have started the slide down hill.
fashion inspiration from "The World's Greatest Funk" Tour in 4/17/81
The DALLE 2 Image is a pyscology propoganda excercise to begin the process with surfers that
TRANSGENDER IS NORMAL. (nothing to do with AI as DALLE2 is).
That is why the body, face, hands, feet ARE GENDER NEUTRAL.
DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SATANIC NEW WORLD ORDER.
Transgenders are BioLogical Mutants.
Or are they saying AI TEchnology will REPLACE PEOPLEs JOBS in Surfing ?????.....................MAKING YOU GET USED TO IT.
So no need for a photogropher or a Model Anymore ???????????????
Quite the logical response.
Good data in; good results.
Random data in; random results.
" Even if everything that particles do is preordained, the choices that we make can be completely open because the low-level laws governing particles are not the same as the high-level laws governing human consciousness."
The day "Surf wear" made an appearance on the fashion catwalk was the day it was mistakenly identified as possibly being "valuable" The bean counters at these corporations failed to also identify on that day that surfers (their main customer base) are 'horrendous tight asses"..lol
tight buns may still be fashionable in swimming gear....
Thrasher syndrome. Lightening Bolt.
Just what it is. Only matters on dry land.
Some pop music doofdoofin roun de carpark sounds like dummmb down; stuttering, one note sub-bass; repeat x 4 x 16. ..... Do'nt me'n-it ain' cool yo
Fark I remember when guys used to surf in King Gees and footy shorts.
The King Gees were a bit of an anchor though.
Ive heard woollen jumpers were the go in a cold winter.... before O'niell or divers wetsuits
if you were courageous....
Captains Courageous Movie 1937 (via Russia ....Capitalism versus Socialism? or Blind privilege versus community morality ?)
Yep I remember that too.
I know a few commercial fishos who wear them in wet conditions and swear by their insulating qualities when soaked.
Captains Courageous 1937. Victor Fleming director.... Fleming used the first waterproof cameras inside of large, heavy, specially made, water tight wooden boxes .....
actors; Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Mickey Rooney, John Carradine....
A lot the early Bells guys wore footy jumpers in winter, Geelong Cats usually, back then they would light a fire on the beach and do short sessions, come in and dry them out a bit. They used to paddle round from Torquay too back then before Joe Sweeney bulldozed the old track from Jan Juc. The track was still used when I started going around to Bells and Winki in the 70's although you would easily get bogged in winter so you'd mostly go the long way round on bitumen.
My first winter wettie was a two piece diving suit with a long beaver tail that you pulled between your legs and clipped on a metal plate on your stomach. It flushed like a m.f. and I still froze but it kept the wind off my skin and my mates who mostly wore just no arm vests were jealous. The metal plate and clip would leave a big red mark after a session. First leggie was a sock tied to your ankle, tied to nylon rope attached through a hole drilled into the fin base, would almost pull your leg off bailing under a set. The first commercial leggies were rubber tube with thin nylon coiled up inside them, still attached to the fin, no plugs yet. They would spring the board back at you like a rocket, and pretty quickly the rubber would break and the nylon string would wrap around the tail and cut through your board to the stringer. In those days most boards had one or more of those cuts if they were used often, bit of a badge of honour.
You would try to fix the broken rubber with electrical tape, which was useless, so you would just use the leggie with broken rubber and prey it didn't cut through the rail until you saved up and bought a new one and repeated the whole useless process. Good times!
Early leg ropes...
I used to get old belts lying around the house, cut them short and tie a length of braided nylon to them and then tie in through the hole in the fin. My old man's belts slowly disappeared. If the thin nylon wrapped around your foot it would create a major bruise. Around a toe and you could lose your toe!
I vaguely remember panic underwater shaking a foot to get it free of the nylon before the shock of the wave pulling the rope tight occurred - I was a real hard sudden jolt.
.. is he/she/gender fluid wearing a nappy??
Movie "Desk Set" 1957 -Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn
Computers vs people
….not sure whether to laugh or roll the eyes on this one- Ben, did you have any clue it would go down this track??
(on topic- go rip curl is all i can contribute!!)
Honestly, it's hard to know which way the comments will veer within any article these days.
Not surprised by the reaction to DALL·E 2 though. Although it's been caught up in a lot of tech discussions in the last few years, it doesn't seem to have penetrated the mainstream in the same way as NFTs, Bitcoin, ChatGPT etc (maybe because there's no financial upside?).
Laugh & try no label... Need essent... or a jumper
On the evening of Wednesday, April 5, 2023 (the start of the night of the full Moon), as evening twilight ends (at 8:34 p.m. EDT), the rising full Moon will be 14 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon.
Three of the five visible planets will be in the sky, with the brightest being Venus (as the evening star) at 24 degrees above the western horizon, Mercury (second brightest) at 6 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon, and Mars (third brightest) at 62 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon.
The bright star appearing nearest to overhead will be Pollux (the brighter of the twin stars in the constellation Gemini) at 77 degrees above the southwestern horizon. Pollux is an orange tinted star about 34 light-years from Earth. It is not quite twice the mass of our Sun but about 9 times the diameter and 33 times the brightness.
Also spread across the southwestern sky will be the constellation Orion and the band of bright stars from the local arm of our home galaxy, including the brightest star in our night sky, Sirius, at 30 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon.
There is a well known shaper based in Ballina who lives in Lennox. He has a sticker on the back window of his van that states; "Surfing Sucks. Don't try it". Best sticker I've ever seen.
That's an oxymoron.......
Might be prudent to hold off on publishing any AI generated images until the lawyers have sorted out the absolute copyright mess it has created.
There are very valid copyright concerns over AI and how it is/was trained. Not least the fact that they did not ask for permission to use a lot of those images. Using Creative commons [images] is one thing but the big AI image generators have used images well beyond that which leaves them open for lawsuits.
Italy just banned chatGPT a couple of days ago (over copyright issues)
Many artists are demanding their artwork/images/works are excluded from AI training, unless they authorize it.
There is also a new standard meta-tag for artists to embed in their artwork that should not be used in any training. NOAI
Losing battle. If it's on the internet, it's free.
@sprout. The copyright laws of most countries state quite differently. It may be free to look at, but making money off the hard work others is illegal. [and morally wrong]
I know that's how it's meant to work, but in reality...
From the horses mouth-
“Can I sell images made with Dall-E2
DALL-E2 is an artificial intelligence program developed by OpenAI that generates images from textual descriptions. As a language model, I don't have the authority to provide legal advice, but I can provide some general information that may be helpful.
The images generated by DALL-E2 are created using an AI program, and as such, there may be some legal issues surrounding the ownership of the images. If you are the owner of the images generated by DALL-E2, then you may be able to sell them. However, if the images were created using someone else's description, you may not be able to sell them without their permission.
Additionally, if the images contain any copyrighted material, such as logos or trademarks, you may need to obtain permission from the owners of those materials before selling the images.
In summary, while it may be possible to sell images generated by DALL-E2, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary legal rights to do so, and that the images do not contain any copyrighted material without permission.”
And from openai help files-
“ Can I sell images I create with DALL·E?
Commercial use of DALL·E
Written by Raf. Updated over a week ago
Subject to the Content Policy and Terms, you own the images you create with DALL·E, including the right to reprint, sell, and merchandise – regardless of whether an image was generated through a free or paid credit.”
And a legal piece from findlaw.com
If that feels like the maker of the paintbrush telling Monet what he gets to do with his painting, that's understandable.
To add insult to injury, OpenAI's terms go further. Just to make it perfectly clear, you expressly assign any rights you might have in your image (whatever those might be) to OpenAI by contract. As the owner of the image, OpenAI can grant other people the right to reproduce, publish, or sell images that you create with DALL-E 2. You could find yourself in the position of walking into a store and seeing it selling your DALL-E 2 masterpiece on cheap T-shirts, and there would be nothing you could do to stop it.”
"If that feels like the maker of the paintbrush telling Monet what he gets to do with his painting, that's understandable."
Interesting angle there - implying that DALL-E 2 is the inert object in the artists hands.....IMHO art is the application of the human condition to the creation of something that allows others to touch the divine (the mystical divine NOT the religious divine just to be clear)...
Not sure there is much artistic depth to writing a 6 word sentence and pressing "Generate".....the magic sits with the ghost in the machine I feel.
I feel that the IT engineers working for years on DALL-E have a little more skin in the game than the pissed uni student at 2am typing in "Angelina Jolie surfing pipeline in a bikini in the style of Monet"
Was that final quote in the story generated by AI as well? It obviously still has a long way to go before it can generate a sentence that makes sense to a human
I think complacency and the "look - how dumb are the machines!" angle are a big mistake. Play around with Chat GPT and you get an unnerving sense of possibility for instantly taking thousands of copywriting jobs as of yesterday (I know people already using it to generate generic content for websites rather than pay a human and for it to take days), Thats not even touching the surface of AI potential. ChatGPT is a glorified word generator machine. There are currently no boundaries or parameters WHAT SO EVER about AI generation and we are building machines that teach themselves how to think. Even the engineers who build the things do not actually understand what is going on inside the black box. Just let that detonate in your brain for a minute. Freaks the hell out of me.
I still think we humans are playing with a fire we dont even understand.
Humans currently use intelligence as some sort of universal ranking system. Dolphins and dogs are smart - so we protect them. Cows a little less so - so we eat them but still treat them with some care. Ants? Flies? Worms? No one blinks or thinks twice about killing them or considers their existence over our desires for a bug-free BBQ.
Maybe some stupendously almost God like intelligence will look at humans and say..."pfff....theyre stupid - get the mortien." Not out of Terminator like evil intent - but simply the way we dont even consider the intelligence of insects as relevant to the world.
Just one school of thought!
My comment was a joke (maybe not a great one), check the relevant quote haha
How can we humans be so arrogant as to even contemplate creating artificial intelligence when we’ve not even the combined intelligence to see beyond our own greed long enough to stop eating our future.
Bit of a minefield - as from my understanding of something like ChatGPT - it is not trawling others text or work and cutting and pasting - it is generating from scratch. An IT mate sent me an article on it and it is actually something more akin to probability generation - what words come next based on probability - then some randomness thrown in and some clever algorithms on top to make it sound more human. I assume the image generation is actually that - generation - not copying unless you refer to "in the style of Monet". Thats why it has a flavour to it - that freaky, not quite human but human enough to recognise stiff - that ends up looking like a fever dream,
I had a crack at something a little etherial - "paint me" - and it came up with 4 female figures straight from a horror movie.
But the overlords are not here yet - you can still tie the things up in knots as per the following response to the question "What is the gender of the next female president of the USA":
As an AI language model, I do not have the ability to predict future events with certainty. The gender of the next female president of the USA will depend on a variety of factors, including the outcome of future elections and the choices of the American people.
We might scoff at its mistakes - but it makes me nervous when there are AI programs out there being programmed in the future to potentially make autonomous decisions on engaging in military attacks from unmanned drones.
Just smile and wave your fever dream twin fin and 24 fingers so the robots know you're one of them....
Give me 1985 again....the smell of Survival wax and surfing the Pass on a rainy day with only a scattering of guys....
In the following article, 'AI don't surf', chatGPT replies to concerns over poor surfing images when it's asked to "Write an article in a relaxed tone that explains using DALL-E to create surf images, attempting to generate images of surf traction and waxing a surfboard but not satisfied with the results."
I’d be more impressed if a vacuum cleaner drew the picture. That picture is terrible. If anything it shows the artificial intelligence is not as good as people think. I mean with all the imagery available on the web and this is the best crap it can come up with - some beach mutant and a surfboard with a brick for fins. .
maybe shit house atm but this is the flat line before the exponential up tick. Scary to think about the nanosecond feedback that can evaluate almost infinitely more possibilities than a human in the same timeframe.. new chips are coming too that will leave the current processing times for dead.
fwiw DALL-E created some images for me. Here's the best of:
"Create your own billion dollar surf brand!"
Spared no expense on this one for ya ;)
modern forecasting indeed... now i understand why, on occasion, 2-3 m groundswell would start rolling through the heads and under my maricat, in the middle of summer.
Thanks for the article. Never paid attention to all the buying and selling of brands that was apparently happening in late 90’s and early 2000’s.
I did just pay $55 for three retro quiksilver board shorts on sale though.
So, the deal is done (presser this AM: "Authentic Brands Group Signs Definitive Agreement to Purchase Boardriders").
A few clues as to what they have in store for the individual surf brands, too: Authentic are looking to "convert the Boardriders business into a licensed business model."
And: "Authentic sees significant opportunities to accelerate the worldwide expansion of the portfolio’s branded shop-in-shops, retail stores, e-commerce and wholesale distribution as well as to establish a Boardriders online marketplace."
Clothing & Sports Brands are clearly a lucrative business worth billions.
Many corporate Brands chooses to outsource production to Chinese businesses; some then outsource to distant forced labour camps (i.e.sweatshop) factories.
These same Brand businesses & retailers wont accept any responsibility for their lucrative business decisions, wanting the Govt's to fix these immoral social issues, where they clearly generate huge profits.
Many of these companies are sitting under a Blackrock
Business Ethical Investment Assessment
Global Warming was predicted by Oil Company scientists in the 1970s'.
Response... Denial, support media & presidential campaigns
Global warming trends confirmed later by other scientists around the world.....
Response... Denial .... (until marketable...as Govt subsidised big windfarms, big batteries, big solar, etc )
Where are the communities that financially benefit from Big Brand Corporations profiting from cheap fossil fuels, land clearing, labour camps, etc.?
.......Tax Havens (Map below)
Climate Change Project: $1M Fijian village relocation program... ... support was from Gov't & the local people.
ABC Video: Fijian villages in paradise being swallowed by the sea