Sudden thoughts on A.I.

People who produce written or artistic content are rightfully concerned about AI. Then again it could save some of us artists and creators a lot of work, by giving us the tools of art directors, editors.

I think about the animators in the past whose work was made possible only because it was supported by an army of sketchers, inkers, colorists, etc.

Occurred to me just now:

• It could be that in the future we will write only for the intrinsic joy of writing or making art; that’ll be the only reason to do it since we could do it by AI.

• It could also be that we will continue to buy content from each other even though we could get things free from AI, and we will do this from the intrinsic joy and satisfaction of supporting each other.

• On a personal note, I have long had a pipe dream of making an animated film of my favorite poem, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I say pipe dream because I don’t have any of the skills of animation, or the level of drawing skill needed to execute what I visualize for this poem. Nor particularly wish to invest the enormous amount of energy it would surely take to develop those skills. So I imagine that, if I were able to attract a team of people interested in such a project, my role would either need to be paying the artists directly, or raising funds to pay the artists. In light of AI, though, it did suddenly cross my mind the other day that AI might offer another route to implementing my vision. Quite honestly though, I would much rather do this as a team with fellow humans, not only to support people’s livelihoods but also for the intrinsic joy of working with others to create something worthwhile. Furthermore, as the below-linked article from Anti-Racism Daily points out, there are serious equity issues involved with using AI.

Further exploration:

‘Not for Machines to Harvest’: Data Revolts Break Out Against AI (Sheera Frenkel & Stuart A. Thompson; New York Times “Writers and artists are locking their files to protect their work or are boycotting certain websites that publish A.I.-generated content, while companies like Reddit want to charge for access to their data. At least 10 lawsuits have been filed this year against A.I. companies, accusing them of training their systems on artists’ creative work without consent. … At the heart of the rebellions is a newfound understanding that online information — stories, artwork, news articles, message board posts and photos — may have significant untapped value. … News organizations are also resisting A.I. systems. In an internal memo about the use of generative A.I. in June, The Times said A.I. companies should ‘respect our intellectual property.'”

• “The Invisible Labor Force Powering ChatGPT” (Nia Norris; Anti-Racism Daily). “Speculation on whether artificial intelligence (AI) will replace human labor often leaves out a piece of the puzzle. Tech enthusiasts argue that turning unappealing tasks over to machines will be a boon to human creativity. Skeptics fear that machines are coming to take away human jobs. Many people are unaware that simply making AI ‘intelligent’ requires an invisible labor force working in the growing gig economy. …”