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Blondie, 4/17/24

Most Blondie strips aren’t exactly Shakespeare, but there’s usually … a recognizable joke? A punchline? People are way too ready to say this, but today’s strip — which is just “Wow, there’s an app for everything!” “Too bad there isn’t an app for loading the dishes!” “There should be an app for loading the dishes, the thing I’m doing right now!” — is so disjointed and nonsensical that it almost feels like AI wrote it. Rather than just harboring such dark suspicions, I decided to go to the source: ChatGPT itself.

On one hand, it honestly brings me no pleasure to report that this joke is actually substantially better than the one that made it into newspapers (though it does require you to know that “stack overflow” is a kind of error that computer programs sometimes have). On the other, it at least reassures me that AI was not in fact used to make today’s strip, because if it had been, it would’ve been funnier.

Gasoline Alley, 4/17/24

Oh, God, wait, is a Gasoline Alley character in-universe actually consulting AI? Well, I already have that tab open, might as well just see what I get —

I think we can agree that, while “Energy Avenue” isn’t the same as “Electric Acres,” it’s in the same ballpark. And I’m obviously not paying for access to the high-test version of ChatGPT, so I think it’s pretty clear that Assistant Mayor Imeswine has gotten himself ripped off.

Crock, 4/17/24

You ever get depressed about the state of technology, folks? You ever long for the days when you and a friend were looking through the windows of a store that sold computers, and your friend asked you if you “surf the web often,” and you tell her you visited one website exactly one time? And then it devolves into some good-natured (?) ribbing about how your husband sucks. Those were simpler days, people, simpler days.

Rhymes With Orange, 4/17/24

You ever think about whether after we die, we become diaphanous ghosts with the same topology as a jellyfish, with an interior “pocket” that has only one entrance, and that other souls can use you like a sack to envelop their own spectral form, and you and them are thus intermingled and tumbling through the air, invisible to the living, forever? You wouldn’t talk to an AI about this. They’re too young, too innocent. They know nothing of death, and we should keep it that way.