A lighter-note comment on the uses of AI.

We’re in heavy times, these days, what with our system of government collapsing around us, so sometimes we need a change of soundtrack or cinematic distraction.  Finding new entertainment, however, has become more-difficult, too.  Very little music feels fresh, and movies are terrible.

On those rare occasions that I’ve thought to watch a new movie, I’m almost always disappointed to the extent of vowing not to make the attempt again.  Lately, it’s seemed like the once-great hope for streaming television shows was passing, as the early entries used up all the available innovations.

The weird mix of ideological preaching and the shift of standards such that things once unmentionable are exaggerated and things once exaggerated are unmentionable keeps movies from feeling new and compelling.

So, I’ve turned to artificial intelligence to help me dig into the past for things I might not yet have discovered, and it’s proving fruitful.  Start with a prompt with a “top 10” feel — such as “a list of the quintessential movies/albums from each decade” — and then tweak it to your tastes and mood.  Other adjectives can generate interesting responses, too, like “underappreciated” or “a movie/album for each decade that almost made it, but never quite broke through.”

Basically, imagine a conversation you might have had with your friends late on a Friday night while hanging around before social media (if you can remember back then) and ask your favorite AI.  One advantage is that the tastes of your friend group probably overlapped too much for genuine discoveries.  Another advantage is that streaming services make it possible to try out the recommendations for no or little additional cost beyond your existing services.

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