1984 Today!
1984 Today!
Episode 105: Tim Boucher on the Fever Dream of the AI Mind

Episode 105: Tim Boucher on the Fever Dream of the AI Mind

The author of the AI Lore books discusses creating dystopian fiction about AI using AI, inventing conspiracy theories, his time as a social media moderator, and building furniture to stay sane

Can AI imagine itself?

Is an organic life possible in a machine world?

Do you want a computer chip in your brain?

Tim Boucher is the author of the AI Lore books, over 100 illustrated volumes of conspiracy-tinged dystopian fiction set in a future where AI has taken control of the planet. Before that he was a content moderator at a major social media platform, an experience that “left him with symptoms of mild PTSD” that took him nearly three years to recover from. For Tim, telling stories about a speculative dark future dominated by AI has in part been therapeutic, a way of exploring and exorcising the feelings that arose in him as a consequence of seeing what humans are capable of.

Our conversation was very rich in questions for me, about how we see and inhabit the world, and how machines and algorithms have insinuated themselves between us and what we might call reality.


“Our society embraces progress, not the sentiments of the past.”

The above quote comes from one of Tim’s books, The Banned Prompt. Was the line written by him, or AI? Is it more concerning as an idea, or less apt as a description, if a large language model generated it?

As we discuss in this episode, I found reading his work very interesting, and I would love to know what you all think. To that end, Tim has very kindly offered 50 free copies of two of his books, The Banned Prompt and Anxietopia, to the first listeners to click through. You can use the buttons below to get your free copy now (if you’re early enough), and Tim also shared a couple of the AI-generated images from the books to give some added flavour.

Get a free copy of The Banned Prompt

Get a free copy of Anxietopia

Tim publishes through Lost Books and sells his books directly here. He doesn’t maintain a social media presence, for reasons made clear in our conversation; he prefers to spend his time gardening and building furniture.

We, on the other hand, have accounts on X and Instagram, in case you want to come visit.

Please let me know what you think of the episode, I’d love to hear from you.

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