A guest post by Kathryn Vercillo
I have two perspectives.
The first as an individual that enjoys art and nature: I don't enjoy AI-generated paintings or sculptures. I am very sensitive to anything that is not real BUT, do not become annoyed by Picasso, Modigliani, or Rodin art. I am also sensitive to colors, and color combinations, and find disgusting the color choices of all AI-generated art that I have seen so far. I look forward to more human art.
The second is as a writer and tool creator, I want to assist myself and other writers through Machine Learning (ML). Is ML going to replace me as a writer? No, but it is going to assist me like a good apprentice.
I have been already through one AI wave, the second one in the late 80s. The way that I am wandering through this third AI wave is to test the "AIs", create my own ML, run my own experiments, and be a sounding board to both artists and technologists that I talk to.
From my own experiments, we do not have to worry and I will be glad to chat to people that are anxious about this third AI wave.
Did you know that there are more AI images online now after a year than photographs taken since the invention of the camera?
This tech is in its infancy and improving by the day. If you decrease your time paying attention to this, you are just sticking your head in the sand. If you use this tech before is regulated, you are helping to train it. AI companies not only want to steal our data, they need people to interact with it to improve it. After it is regulated and people are compensated fairly, then the comparison to Warhol is an equal one. And make no mistake, it needs to be regulated. If you are disappointed by social media companies, having created the digital town square, telling elected governments to change their laws or they will shut the town square down like in Canada where they no longer can get news on Facebook or information about wildfires because the Canadian government simply wants them to pay for news media, well that's a small taste of the power that will be wielded by corporations with unregulated AI.
Take back your art and career should be the first thing you recommend, it has useful tips. Because the question isn't whether creativity will always exist. It's whether artists will be able to compete in the market place against AI. And without regulations around our data, that most likely is a no. It might be a hobby, but hobbies don't pay bills, pay for goods or services or pay taxes. And that's good for no one in society.
Snarky answer: crytpo was going to kill money once too.
Sincere answer: new technologies are always disruptive and scary and create new problems and unintended consequences. And yet, we resilient little humans keep slogging along.
Good conversation! I can say for sure that working with other writers here has made me feel really good about the human connection aspect, and playing around and becoming familiar with the tools has utterly demystified them (well, not quite demystified.... they still seem like magic sometimes). We're living though incredibly interesting and important times.
Yes, ai anxiety does have a negative effect on me. It interferes with my writing. The worst thing: my day job is in web3 industry and now it’s plagued with ai hype. I have to deal with everyday ai-related hustle and hype of founders of the company I work in.
But! There is something positive in here: ai anxiety pushed me to go on with a project which was brewing in my mind for some time. It’s strongly anti-ai and it’s about my favorite thing: writing.
Thank you for this post! Even though I’m confronted with aggressive ai shill daily, I’ll try to switch this noise off using techniques from this post.
PS: the ultimate emotion >> I won’t let ai hype ruin what brings me the genuine joy.
This was a very good post. I do like the connection to the historic anxieties of artists over the years (photography is definitly a close parallel with painting) but I wish Kathryn had defended this statement better.
"Of course, it’s not the same; the scale and speed of the technology today is different and therefore the impact is different."
I can't find any evidence to support it yet I hear it so often on so many topics. It's like we almost got to the point where we can look at historic analogies and then quickly step back and justify why this time is different. Yet this is ironically one of the most consistent arguments in the Art world against technology throughout time.
So it's always new and different (literally the definition of emerging tech) and yet when it's past, hindsight is 20/20 and we see that the world moved on. I'm just curious what makes this time so uniquely unique unlike any other time?