April 23, 2024

We’re not really sure how to categorize the latest craziness out of the state of Washington. Is it government incompetence? The dangers of artificial intelligence? ‘Come to Seattle for hot, sexy singles’?

Maybe we should just go with ‘all of the above.’ (OK, not that last one, that wasn’t nice.)

Yes, just when you thought the state that brought us ‘CHAZ’ back in 2020 couldn’t get any more batpoop insane, a new report from local radio host Jason Rantz shows us that Washington has not yet begun to plumb the depths of its depravity.  

Umm … what? 

When Megan, a 50-year-old mother based in Tumwater, visited the new AI-powered mobile site from Washington’s Lottery on March 30, she thought she was in for some frivolous fun. Test Drive A Win allows users to digitally throw a dart at a dartboard featuring dream vacations you can pay for with the money you win in the lottery …

… Megan landed on a “swim with the sharks” dream vacation option. She was shocked at one of the AI photos Washington’s Lottery spit out. It was softcore porn. 

Megan says she used the in-site option to take a photo of her face to upload. The photo that was created shows a smiling AI version of Megan, but almost completely nude.

In the image, Megan is sitting on a bed, with a bathing suit bottom on, but no top. Her bare breasts are exposed. The background of the image appears to show the bedroom in an aquarium, with fish swimming around her. There is a Washington’s Lottery logo in the bottom right corner.

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What the hell, Washington? Even HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn’t this diabolical. It sounds more like something Bender or Hedonism Bot from Futurama would do. 

Megan complained about what happened on Rantz’s radio show. Rantz then opened an inquiry with the Washington Lottery. Within a few hours, the state commission had shut down the entire website saying, 

‘Prior to launch, we agreed to a comprehensive set of rules to govern image creation, including that people in images be fully clothed. We have not seen the image that the AI provided to this user, but out of an abundance of caution we took the website down.’

Wait … they had to specify in the rules to the website’s creators that ‘fully clothed’ was mandatory? Did they outsource the website to California’s San Fernando Valley or something? 

Even Washington residents were facepalming in embarrassment. 

Florida today is considered one of the best states in America to live (judging by population numbers). Washington? Ehhh … not so much. 

Assuming Washington Lottery was being honest in their statement, it does seem very strange that nudity ‘somehow’ could have crept into the programming by ‘accident’ if they were explicitly told NOT to allow that.

Another good question. What are the odds that the lottery winner ends up being a relative of one of the A.I. engineers? 

That should be the motto for all government agencies and bureaucracies. Just hang it on a plaque in front of their offices. 

Megan may not win the lottery, but somehow, we think she’s going to get a BIG cash payout anyway. 

It’s not like we don’t have about a million movies and TV shows that have warned us. We just thought it was going to be more along the lines of Skynet launching nukes in the Terminator movies than it would be like the A.I.-generated porn bots that infest Twitter.

HAHAHA. OK, we think we have to end on that one. 

But even though we’ve been having some fun here at Washington’s expense (and deservedly so), this story still probably should serve as a little bit of a caution for people who upload a lot of personal images to social media and the internet. 

You really don’t know what can be done with those images … without your permission. Fake photos and videos are nothing new, of course, but with the increasing number of A.I. language learning models and image generators, it can be increasingly difficult to tell a fake from the real thing.

Except for fingers. A.I. just can’t ever seem to master getting human fingers right. 

Or, in Google Gemini’s case … white people.

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