My first watch of this video hit me emotionally in a way that’s hard to articulate. The film itself is a new kind of uncanny valley for digital artifacts: Assistant and its algorithms combined these clips in a way that no reasonable person would attempt. Ever. The result is surreal, random, creepy, sad, and oddly funny. It had to be a coincidence of timing that I had only just returned from visiting Grumpy on his deathbed. But partly because of that timing, this video present came at a moment when I was primed to appreciate it. Maybe it won’t be long before services try (and fail) to do this sort of thing on purpose, offering us narratives that highlight timely memories, or videos designed to fill anticipated emotional needs. My photos are still uploading.
Ryan Gantz has shared a personal story about photos he took at family events and how Google Photos put them all together automatically. The result is indeed funny and weird at the same time, but Ryan ended up appreciating it anyway.
There have been some interesting discussions about privacy and the value of Google Photos over the past week. So far, I agree completely with Manton Reece:
My family photos are the most important files I have on my computer, and I very rarely share any photos of my kids publicly. But ironically I’m willing to overlook some of the privacy concerns around this exactly because the photos are so valuable to me. I want multiple copies in the cloud, and I want the power of search that Google has built.
“Kind of creepy but I appreciate it” seems to be a common theme around Google Photos.