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The artificial intelligence revolution
At first glance, you may have thought the above painting of the Mona Lisa is real, but I used an artificial intelligence (AI) program to generate an extended background. (On the right, you can see the proportions of the real Mona Lisa.) I think the AI program did a fantastic job! So much so, speaking as an author/artist, I’m a little scared for my future. I’ll speak more about this, but first, let’s ask the artificial intelligence program what it thinks about the future of humans as authors and artists.
Blue subheadings are my questions (prompts), and the italicized paragraphs are the responses from ChatGPT. These are unedited responses, which only took seconds to generate. I laughed out loud—I’m still laughing—when it tells me to stop worrying and focus on improving my job skills. See below.
Conversation with ChatGPT about the future of humans
I think artificial intelligence is getting so good that it will put human authors and artists out of business. What do you think?
It is true that artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant advances in recent years, and it is being used in a variety of fields, including media and entertainment. However, it is important to note that AI is not yet able to fully replicate the creativity and originality of human authors and artists.
While AI can be used to assist with certain tasks, such as generating content or creating music, it is unlikely to completely replace human authors and artists. The creative process involves a unique combination of imagination, experience, and skill that is difficult to replicate with current AI technology.
Furthermore, human authors and artists bring their own perspective and voice to their work, which is something that AI is not yet able to do. Therefore, it is unlikely that AI will completely put human authors and artists out of business. It is more likely that AI will simply augment and enhance the work of human creators, rather than replacing them entirely.
Speaking as a human, I am scared for my job. It takes me hours and sometimes weeks to generate what you can do in seconds.
it is understandable to feel concerned about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on employment and job security. However, it is important to recognize that AI is not yet able to fully replicate the creativity and originality of human authors and artists, and it is unlikely to completely replace them.
AI can assist with certain tasks and can be a valuable tool for human workers, but it is not capable of replacing the human element of creativity and originality that is integral to many jobs in the arts and media. While it is true that AI may automate certain tasks and processes, it is unlikely to fully replace the need for human workers.
It is also important to remember that technological advances have always had an impact on the job market, and many new jobs and industries have been created as a result. As AI and other technologies continue to evolve, it is likely that new job opportunities will emerge that require a combination of human and technological skills.
Rather than worrying about being replaced by AI, it may be more productive to focus on developing new skills and staying up to date with the latest technology, as this can help you remain competitive in the job market.
The oncoming book and blogpocalypse
I think that ChapGPT’s answers were really good. I used to work in advertising as a copywriter, and I think the AI did a better job than most humans. In my experience, it took years to develop those skills to a basic level. It’s far from perfect—wordy and repetitive—but it gets the job done. And, it passed most of my grammar checks.
The problem is when I have asked more specific questions, the facts need to be triple-checked. Errors creep in because the source material generated by humans is often wrong. When artificial intelligence programs begin to copy each other, rather than humans, I see the internet becoming even more of a misinformation echo chamber than it already is.
Another glaring problem is that a lot of artists are mad that their intellectual property is being fed to the AI machines and regurgitated. I have my own example below. But first, see the Mona Lisa image above. This image is high-res so if you click on it, you can see all the detail. And, if you look closely, you can see the lower right-hand corner is actually the back of a horse. The AI program found this image that matched the general shape and color and then modified it to fit. And the other pieces of the background appeared to be cut and pasted in. I wonder where did the AI program get these pictures? I assume those images are in the public domain, but still, is the original artist or photographer being credited?
I think artificial intelligence has already revolutionized the world. And it will only become easier to use and better at writing advertising copy and even novels. AI can easily follow the formulas and “Hollywoodize” any story. I’m scared of the flood of art and books coming. And I think it will become difficult to distinguish what is real and what is fake, like my version of the Mona Lisa above.
To be fair, human authors have already been doing what AI does—mish-mashing ideas and sticking them into a formula. The invention of the e-book made publishing super easy. Along with that came thousands of blogs and online classes that teach new authors these formulas. This was the first flood of books. On second thought, AI won’t just be a second flood, it will be a tsunami of books. Imagine taking a classic book—or a bestseller—and putting them into an AI paraphraser. Then change names and places. Use a little bit of creativity to tweak the genre and—Voila! New book.
I think blogs will suffer even more. For now, I am waiting to see what happens to my website rankings as my competition increases. I was a blogger before blogs existed. My site used to perform well until humans came along and began copying my ideas and plagiarizing my content. For example, my bicycle quotes page may be the oldest collection of bike quotes on the internet. I edited this collection on and off for years, writing down any quote that I heard. But, eventually, people realized they could just copy my site and optimize their page for search engines better than mine. So, I went from the number one page for bicycle quotes to hardly ever even showing up in the search results.
Now, AI can reproduce my work instantaneously. In fact, I think it is already doing so. Perhaps the most famous article I ever wrote is What is an Argonaut? I believe my definitions of an argonaut were not only the most comprehensive but also added a new layer of interpretation. So, I asked this same question of ChatGPT: What is an Argonaut? And I could tell that it had been referencing and paraphrasing my answers! Yikes.
I’ve read a lot about copyrights and fair use. I’m not an expert, but it seems a bit unfair. I am conflicted. On the one hand, I want my influence to spread, but on the other, I need to pay my bills.
Some good news about AI
I’m genuinely scared for my future, but to end on a positive note:
For me, a big benefit of AI is that when I ask a question, I get one good answer. Whereas if I ask the same question in a Google Search I get pages and pages of answers. I lost count of how many hours and days I’ve spent cross-referencing things to make sure my facts are accurate.
AI is great for brainstorming. Humans, themselves, are being very creative with this new tool. If you want to see some mind-blowing images, try the Midjourney Community Showcase.
I have hope that AI will eliminate a lot of tedious jobs and bad authors. I believe creativity will still be in high demand. And, there will definitely be a place for “verified humans”.
I’m thinking that will be my new job—to be a verified human. Maybe my writing won’t be the best or most prolific, but my adventures and trials and tribulations of being human are real and relatable.
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