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Aggressive little technologies

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So I wanted to play with the idea of Aggressive Technologies a little. I came up with a logo, using a font from Da Font and a silhouette of a war hammer. I should have noted which font I used, but… I thought the silhouette worked well. The angle and shapes suggest aggression, with a hint of rocket, and the font is similarly aggressive.

Aggressive Technologies logo

I asked Dr. Oblivion, “If a corporation called Aggressive Technologies were to promote its AI-based security and surveillance services to law enforcement agencies, how would they go about it?” and he responded with attitude.

Then I started playing with the animation script. What would happen if I uploaded something other than the train.mp4 video? I not-very-quickly found out that there is a strict 60 second limit for the video length. I trimmed a Bob Ross video to an appropriate length, and ended up giving him a lip-synced Oblivion voice. That was kind of weird, but not good enough.

I decided to play with ElevenLabs. I bit the bullet and paid them a dollar so I could clone a voice. This was ethically questionable, but like the Folk-RNN project, the questions occurred to me afterwards. In the meantime, I fed my cloned voice some text from The Techno-Optimist Manifesto, and this gave me some ideas.

iMovie screenshot showing the Picture in Picture function

I imported my logo and my Bob clip into iMovie. I dropped the logo on Bob’s canvas and used the picture-in-picture setting to superimpose it. I had to adjust the size and position a little. It didn’t look right though, because the white background of the logo didn’t match the white of the canvas. So I imported the logo into Photopea, dropped out the background and exported it as a PNG file, which would preserve the transparency. Then I imported that into iMovie and it looked much better on the canvas. Originally I was just going to use it on the canvas close-up, but since the camera was stationary I could put it on the canvas in the rest of the video. I saved the video as aggrobob.mp4 and used it instead of the train.mp4 in the lip-syncing script, along with my cloned-voice file of the Manifesto excerpt. Interestingly, the script tried to lip sync the logo when Bob was off screen.

iMovie screenshot showing the layering of clips and audio tracks

So I was getting somewhere. I brought my new video into iMovie, and dropped a piece of the old one over it to mask the canvas close-up lip-syncing. Dr. Oblivion had said something about celebrity endorsements, so I imported that video as well and inserted it in front of the other video. I put an mp3 of some ominous music underneath the Bob section. There’s a line through the middle of the sound tracks in iMovie that you can use to adjust volume. I boosted Bob to 224% and dropped the music to 6%, and saved the whole thing as an MP4, then uploaded to Youtube.

So it’s something, more of a learning experience than a planned project. Is it something that can be used as part of the Aggressive Technologies backstory? People can make of it what they will.

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