Recently, the topic of AI came under the spotlight again thanks to a series of posters by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
Spotted at the Kent Ridge MRT station, the two posters show what appear to be two computer-generated officers.
After a Reddit user posted about them, others criticised the posters for looking creepy and giving ‘uncanny valley’ vibes.
On Monday (4 Dec), Reddit user u/Yejus had the r/Singapore subreddit buzzing after sharing two posters of lifelike SCDF officers.
On both posters are youthful-looking Lieutenant Colonels (LTCs), one male and one female, with the words “Lifesaving. It’s Life Changing” emblazoned across.
The OP shared that they had noticed these posters at several MRT stations and said they could not look past their ‘uncanny valley’ vibes.
Indeed, with their unnaturally smooth skin and lifeless eyes, the two SCDF officers look like computer-generated images.
For context, ‘uncanny valley’ is a phenomenon where a robot or computer-generated character that appears almost lifelike will elicit an unsettling feeling from humans.
In other words, they may look real, but there’s still something off about them.
The OP then wondered why the SCDF did not use photos of actual people or even cartoons instead.
Many Redditors echoed their sentiments, with many adding that these do not even look like good-quality AI-generated images.
One called them ‘cheap AI’, while another pointed out that actual AI-generated images would actually look much better.
Additionally, this commenter hinted at how outdated the posters look, describing the images as AI art with computer-generated imagery (CGI) from the early 2000s.
They also pointed out that despite there being good and free AI art generators, the people in charge likely paid contractors “good money” to come up with these.
One even questioned if the posters were made using ‘The Sims’, a simulation video game.
Jokes aside, many Redditors were also genuinely curious as to why the posters did not utilise photos of actual people or officers.
One posited that the SCDF would need to pay a person to use their photo as well as hire a photographer.
However, another Redditor denied this, saying that the SCDF need not pay their own officers to use their photos.
Furthermore, they have an in-house media team that is paid to work on materials like this, they said.
On the other hand, some speculated that the models were used in place of real people to ward off perverts who ‘stalk’ attractive officers.
One of the replies then cited the case of Singapore Police Force (SPF) officer Ryan Koh.
Many Singaporeans would recognise him as the handsome face on numerous cardboard standees in front of various storefronts nationwide to fight shop theft.
Another user agreed with this assessment, saying this was probably why the SCDF chose to use such “uncanny android looking people” for the new ads.
For better or worse, these SCDF posters have certainly succeeded in grabbing people’s attention.
On that note, we shall leave you with one last gem of a comment:
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Featured image adapted from Reddit.
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