Il meno tech degli eroi dei fumetti, Dylan Dog, incontra l’intelligenza artificiale thumbnail

The least tech of comic book heroes, Dylan Dog, meets artificial intelligence

The investigator of the nightmare, Dylan Dog, owes a large part of his success to the fact that he (like the other main characters of the legendary book) is portrayed in an excellent way.

Handsome, cultured, self-deprecating, cowardly but extremely loyal and incorruptible, Dylan proudly eschews any concession to exteriority (he always dresses in one way). And he ignores, or almost ignores, technology: only a few months ago he came into possession of a smartphone which he uses not without clumsiness.

So think about what friction could arise from the exposure of our Dylan Dog to generative artificial intelligence, the most modern there is. And therefore how far away from our démodé hero.

You can think it but also read it, because The first of three self-contained books that Sergio Bonelli Editore dedicates to artificial intelligence, which has come to upset Dylan Dog’s life, has just been released.


Dylan Dog and artificial intelligence: the three whites

The first of Dylan Dog’s three books on generative artificial intelligence is The Other Side of the Mirror, number 446 of the series, on newsstands from Tuesday 31 October. We already know that Thursday 30 November will be the turn of Hazel the dead. And we also know the title of the last part of the AI ​​trilogy, due out at the end of December: Anatomy of the Soul.

While we’re at it, let’s remember that two years ago another triptych was released… reckless by Dylan Dog, dedicated to three famous songs by Vasco Rossi.

The other side of the mirror

We will tell you the little bit of plot that allows us to introduce you to the first of the three issues of Dylan Dog on generative artificial intelligence, without revealing too much.

Dylan receives a strange anonymous invitation to the villa of tycoon Jeffery Scott. Growing suspicious, he manages to introduce his trusty Groucho in the guise of a waiter. Upon his arrival, Dylan will experience a horrifying story, at the culmination of which he will discover that it was only a “narrative exercise” produced by Alix, the generative artificial intelligence that in a certain sense governs the villa. And which through a series of spheres floating in the air generates “photorealistic images that are completely indistinguishable from reality”, as the owner of the house explains to Dylan Dog.

Together with Dylan, some eccentric figures occupy the villa, in theory gathered specifically to test the innovative AI system. But, as you will discover as you continue reading, they are almost all intimately (and murkyly) linked to each other.

The past of some characters will resurface, full of unspeakable secrets. No one will be able to distinguish the real from the virtual anymore, and in the end Dylan will know who invited him to the villa. Whose “powers” will go far beyond the mere ability to produce extremely realistic images.

DYLAN DOG 446 025 page 0001

Dylan Dog in purezza

The other side of the mirror was designed by Davide Furnò, Nicola Mari and Marco Nizzoli. The cover is by Gianluca and Raul Cestaro, while the story and screenplay are by Barbara Baraldi.

In the first of Dylan Dog’s three books dedicated to artificial intelligence there is everything that a passionate reader of the adventures of the nightmare investigator expects to find.

Dylan, for a change, has a love affair, and Groucho doesn’t spare his paradoxical jokes. There is no shortage of cultured quotes (the group of bourgeois trapped in an interior recalls The Exterminating Angel by Luis Buñuel).

There are splatter scenes, moments of suspense, characters who reveal themselves to be of the opposite nature to the one they presented themselves with. As well as anxieties and obsessions that never subside, which will overflow to the point of overwhelming good and bad.

Dylan Dog and artificial intelligence

But beyond all the pleasantly predictable features for faithful readers of the book, there is the incursion – brand new for the Dylan Dog series – of artificial intelligence. Of which an honest and non-apocalyptic picture is offered.

In the sense that its dangers are certainly illustrated, but only as consequences of its distorted or unaware use by human beings.

Then there is an ambiguity that is decidedly functional to the story. Artificial intelligence in this album by Dylan Dog is intertwined with the supernatural, showing itself as something that can overcome the boundaries of what falls within human competences and pertinences.

And it almost seems to imply a warning, more concrete and timely than ever: it is up to us to use AI in an ethical way, to obtain the maximum benefits from it. The alternative is to use it as a tool to increase our superhuman ambitions, risking being overwhelmed by it.

In short: in reality we would need a romantic hero like Dylan Dog, also to teach us to live wisely with new technologies.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.