New Yorker cartoonist John Cuneo highlights the dangers of AI

A drawing by veteran artist John Cuneo, about the existential threat that AI poses to artists and illustrators, has been selected for this year’s prestigious American Illustration Annual.

“The irony is not lost on me,” said John in a Facebook post, reflecting on American Illustration’s shorthand title.

The cartoon was chosen from some 8000 entries by a judging team led by Mark Heflin.

John Cuneo has contributed drawings, cartoons, and covers to The New Yorker since 1994. His books include Not Waving but Drawing: Dark Thoughts, Lightly Rendered and Coping Skills, a collection of his personal and sketchbook work.

John Cuneo is online at

American Illustration is online at

Categories: Art and Illustration, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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1 reply

  1. Can AI think up the joke that goes with the cartoon, though?

    From “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert A Heinlein (1966).

    Mike is an AI

    Mike mulled this. He was weirdest mixture of unsophisticated baby and wise old man. No instincts (well, don’t think he could have had), no inborn traits, no human rearing, no experience in human sense—and more stored data than a platoon of geniuses.
    “Jokes?” he asked.
    “Let’s hear one.”
    “Why is a laser beam like a goldfish?”
    Mike knew about lasers but where would he have seen goldfish? Oh, he had undoubtedly seen flicks of them and, were I foolish enough to ask, could spew forth thousands of words. “I give up.”
    His lights rippled. “Because neither one can whistle.”
    I groaned. “Walked into that. Anyhow, you could probably rig a laser beam to whistle.”
    He answered quickly, “Yes. In response to an action program. Then it’s not funny?”

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