Humanity is always progressing.
However the progression is not linear. We tend to experience periods of apparent slow progression in technology, followed by sudden explosions of innovation and growth.
This is nothing new.
We have had in recent history:
- the agricultural age,
- the industrial age
- and most recently, the information age.
Each time we enter these new eras, society changes drastically.
I am here to argue that we have recently entered a new age, an age which I am coining as "The creation age".
The Creation Age
If you are in any doubt whether we are entering a new age, just look at ChatGPT.
2 months to reach 100 million users.
But not only is the growth explosive, it is utilising a "new" technology and embracing it...AI.
Now I say "new" as AI has been around for decades. The idea of a computer being intelligent is something that humans have considered for decades, even centuries.
But where this is different to previous AI implementations is in adoption and acceptance.
People are using AI regularly in their day to day lives, more importantly they are actively using it (not being at the mercy of it or passively using it, as is the case with feed algorithms and search engine results).
This shift is monumental, I am just not sure many people realise just how significant it is.
Why is this a new age?
A new age occurs when there is a rapid shift in society, often directly linked to an advancement in technology.
The agricultural age meant that food scarcity was far less of an issue (in the developed world), and food abundance (or should I say efficiency in production) meant that more time (across the population as a whole) could be spent on other pursuits other than farming.
Then came the industrial age, where analogue machines replaced a lot of manual labour. This allowed us to produce far more as a society with fewer people hours, yet again changing valuable skill sets.
Most recently we had the information age. An age where people from around the world were able to share knowledge almost instantaneously and at next to zero cost. An age where information was no longer localised, resulting in rapid globalisation.
And now we enter a new age.
An age where "digital brains" are able to produce content at a decent level, comparable to that of an average human, in certain specialised disciplines.
Artists are being displaced by AI image generators. Copywriters are soon going to be replaced by machines that write copy for them etc. etc.
But more importantly, as with any change of age, more can be produced with less resources.
One individual can now produce the same as 3 people could, and this will only accelerate.
Also the skills required change.
For example: I no longer need to spend years perfecting my skills as an artist, instead I need to spend time perfecting my skills at prompting and adjusting the output of AI, at curating the output to meet my needs.
I need to be creative in a different way, but in a way that has a much lower barrier to entry and a much shallower and shorter learning curve.
This is what heralds a new age.
A shift in how society values skills, an increase in output and a great shift that results in new opportunities. A shift that results in old skills and old businesses no longer being as relevant, or even being replaced by those that can operate at the new required scale.
Why call it "the creation age"?
It is quite simple really, each age is defined by the key characteristic that drove societal change.
Farming for the agricultural age, factories and production at scale (industry) for the industrial age, the internet (dissemination of information at reduced cost and increased speed and scale) for the information age.
The age of AI is going to result in creation at an unprecedented scale.
AI can write music (reasonably well), create art (pretty well), write a poem (well) and is already make great strides in video editing, video creation and more.
AI takes previous computation (generation of data sets for example) and can create new visualisations, new analysis, new perspectives and even more variations of data and dare I say even new data.
The very core of any AI is to take some inputs and generate something "new" from them, sometimes in a very rigid way (such as data analysis), and sometimes with an element of chaos (AKA "creativity") in the form of art or literature etc.
But it is more than that. Humans have finally created something that is capable of "creating"...albeit at a very simple level.
And AI can do something that we cannot.
It can create at a huge scale.
We are confined by our physical form to have only so much creative ability due to the limited processing power of the human brain.
AI does not have the same limitations, and although it may not think like us, or have the same breadth of skill, it can specialise in something and work at a much faster rate.
Want more output? It can just utilise more computing power (up to current technical, energy and physical space limitations of course).
Be prepared for change.
When a new age arrives, society adapts.
Old jobs and skills become less relevant and valuable. New jobs and skills become more valuable and relevant.
Tools and processes emerge that further increase the productivity of an individual. Those who embrace and utilise those tools flourish, those who refuse to adapt tend to fall behind.
What do you think?
This was just a random thought I wanted to share.
Do you believe we are entering a new age / era?
Do you think society will change rapidly over the next few years? Or do you believe that AI will change very little?
I would love to hear your thoughts! 💗
Top comments (66)
More "Knowledge Age" than "Creation Age". AI can distill information into knowledge, which is new and unique. But it does not create anything truly new, just rearranges and summarizes the existing in ways which are complex and novel enough to be "indistinguishable from magic" for now to our 2022 brains, but will seem laughably obvious to our future selves (like the CGI effects in films from the early 90s that seemed so real at the time).
Sturgeon's Law that "ninety percent of everything is crap" holds true - AI just enables the creation of crap at vast scales.
Ray Kurzweil's "Age of Spiritual Machines" (1999) is a great speculative read that plots out the exponential growth path that technology has progressed down throughout human history and appears to be continuing along. His ideas that uneven distribution of tech will widen intellectual and economic inequality, and that in a way all Internet/smartphone users are "cyborgs" now (and have been for a while) are powerful. His ideas about what will happen when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence by exponents are terrifying.
Art and culture will swing back towards valuing the clearly human-made in a way that it has swung between organic and machine-made fashions throughout the modern era (art nouveau -> machine age/bauhaus -> arts and crafts -> space-age mod -> organic modernism -> industrial minimalism etc etc), as being able to have human-made things will become a marker of status as machine-made ones approach zero cost.
AI will be an unevenly distributed technology that will revolutionize life for the global top 5% (if you are reading this, that is you). It will have unseen and mostly negative changes for most in modern societies (think ever more marginal gig-work jobs being scheduled and productivity heavily monitored by AI, or being denied insurance because the AI identifies them as a risk). All this while 62% of the world lives on less than $10/day and 35% of the world is still entirely offline, neither group noticing or caring about AI in the slightest.
Alvin Toffler's "Future Shock" (1970) and Kurzweil's predictions of a "New Luddite" movement become ever more relevant as we see humans that live in ostensibly modern societies but are highly resistant to change start to break down mentally from the onslaught of future, threatening social stability (see: studies on social media's impact on teenage mental health, Jan 6, any YouTube comment section).
If this is a new era, it will be one of instability and uncertainty for most and a concentration of intellectual and economic wealth for an even-fewer. But that seems like a continuation of the now, so could it even be considered a new era?
Agreed. The biggest problem I see here is what we define as "progress". The focus is too much that new technology - that is available to a minority - equates to progress. There's not enough consideration of other forms of measurable progress; where you could argue we are going backwards. Social equality; war; the environment; health... In these realms things aren't looking so bright and these shiny new toys achieve nothing useful to solve them.
And even the previous ages quoted haven't been entirely positive steps. The industrial revolution brought pollution on a massive scale. Farming technologies and practices are now so "effective" we can strip out forests and topsoil at a terrifying rate without any regard for the long term consequences. The internet - which was supposed to make information available to everyone - now makes misinformation available to everyone...
This might be a new age - though TBH so far all I've seen is smoke and mirrors - but I don't see it as a positive step. We should focus our intelligence and resources on solving global problems; rather than inventing machines that mass produce content that we don't have the time to consume and with minimal quality control. The internet and social media already delivered that in spades 😅
It is so difficult, the gap between the top and the bottom is widening relative to each other. But in terms of absolutes, the whole world is improving, there are fewer people in absolute poverty, the are more opportunities today for people than there were.
I say this because the way we shape laws, social interactions and uses of AI is going to have a huge impact on whether that gap widens by a large amount or a small amount (make no mistake that gap will inevitably widen though...that is just a result of capitalism and globalisation and the fact that a few are able to monopolise markets with technology and the cost of transportation and international logistics continually reducing.
As for nothing being entirely positive, that is something that I agree with, but that is the lack of foresight and different morals and priorities across humanity, greed etc. It is not something that the technology itself is responsible for. This is why AI is, to me, so damned exciting and terrifying at the same time. This time our mistakes will be amplified even more!
So while you might see smokes and mirrors, I see the same thing I saw 20+ years ago.
I see the first sparks of something that will change society, I see the first "e-commerce" website that operates across borders, but this time it is an AI that is "good enough" to start imposing the views of a small few on what is "biased" and "correct" onto the world, that is able to increase "mid level" output to unbelievable levels etc. etc.
We are already in the knowledge age, in fact the irony of calling this new era a "knowledge age" is probably the opposite of what will be true; AI will lessen knowledge as people become more reliant on machines to think and do things for them.
Also the argument that AI does not create anything new is an interesting point. I would argue that 99.9% of humans never produce anything "new". We use prior knowledge (prior computation) in order to create something. The old adage "there is nothing new under the sun" tends to ring true more often than not. Does that mean that AI is not producing unique things? (queue a 12 hour debate we could have on what constitutes "new"! 🤣💗)
I agree with several points though: AI allows for the creation of crap at scale...this will be a problem we need to address somehow as we already have an overwhelming amount of garbage to sift through to find value.
I also agree on the top 5% gaining the most from AI, we will be the ones utilising AI to our benefit, while the bottom 95% will be a victim of the decisions and output difference that AI introduces.
In particular you mention that "neither group noticing or caring about AI in the slightest.", this is the most worrying part. They may not notice and or care about it...but it will (and already is) affecting their life and the world they live in (although I am sure I do not need to say that and that was the point you were making, it just jumped out at me!).
But...BUT there is one important thing to note, while the inequality may increase as a relative metric, each new era has tended to yield an absolute increase in the standard of living across the globe.
So while the difference between the "haves" and the "have nots" will increase, I certainly believe that this next era will allow for more people to be lifted from absolute poverty at least. (But time will tell if I am right there and it may just be false optimism).
I love the points you have made, I also appreciate the inclusion of some books to add to my reading list as they sound interesting! 🙏💗
I can only imagine what gems you will share on my next article, which is a summary of the first chapter of "The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI".
Here is a rough draft if you want a sneak peek: docs.google.com/document/d/1oKuLBF...
Oh and finally "welcome to Dev.to", I notice your account is new and this is your first comment, I cannot wait to see what other thoughts you share going forward! 💗
It feels like probably the biggest revolution in my life, AI has gone from "a nice idea" to practical. From winning at Chess and Go, and removing things from images to being better than Google for getting code for those pesky AWS APIs and writing decent article outlines way faster than I could.
It also has the chance of creating massive social upheaval in a way that hasn't happened since the industrial revolution. If this is the start of what it will do, not the MidJourney (sorry!) then what comes next could be an existential threat to our economy and us.
Most times I've asked it for/about code, its answers have either been plain wrong or contained hard to spot problems that could well trip many people up. AFAICS it's a fun toy, but not to be trusted at all. I put more faith in my Google-Fu.
The thing is that many are hailing it as 'the future of search' or some kind of all knowing Oracle - which are dangerous things to be treating it as. It certainly has the potential to improve many things, but it is currently far from reaching that potential.
The good thing about existing search engines for me is that they AVOID a lot the ambiguities of natural language and allow you (if you know what you are doing) to quickly find exactly the kind of results you're looking for. Making a bot that you talk to 'naturally' to get your answers brings back all the linguistic fuzziness, with all the potential for miscommunication and misunderstanding that that engenders - not to mention the dubious 'summarised knowledge' being spouted by the model as the 'correct' response.
Oh this is a whole other can of worms. I am currently exploring this as you raise a lot of concerns I have. I also worry if SEO will become AIRO (AI Relevance Optimisation) and AI will end up even less reliable as industry works out how to manipulate it, as has happened with SEO and SERPs.
IDK what "it" you are referring to but if Karpathy says it writes 80% of his code with 80% accuracy, maybe try another model.
Haha the MidJourney pun made me chuckle!
Yes I think the upheaval is to come, the tools are good enough to start making that change, just speed of adoption and speed of specialisation into specific roles that will decide how quickly it happens.
As someone who lived through the transition to the information age and watched that unfold I tend to agree, I think this is bigger! \
Where we are on the curve though, that is the interesting part, I think we are near the bottom and there is a lot of improvement still to come, but then again, maybe we are already feeding data at a scale that we can't increase by much and we might be nearer the top of the advancement curve with current AI methodologies...that is something I am pondering at the moment! 💗
If AI is going to be the driver then I would call it the homogenisation age, as AI doing all the "creating" (i.e. remixing things humans have done) will just lead to everything looking, reading and sounding the same.
Ah I think that is true if the prompts are all the same or similar.
But AI can produce variety.
This will be a problem (getting flooded with average work), but only due to the speed AI can produce average and the laziness of people who prompt it, not because AI can only produce average.
This influx of average and crappy work is only a reflection on the fact that AI makes it easier to produce content. Eventually it will even out as we employ methods to filter the poor and average content more effectively and leave the premium content at the top (which AI can certainly help with producing).
A whole other problem that is worth exploring in a future article! 💗
but the AI training set can't grow if there's noöne to produce more art. what AI does is riff on what it knows, it doesn't generate novelty, uncomparable works, it can't be affected by politics or its personal life. with prompts all you get is an averaging out of what has come before directed to a topic.
And if noöne is willing to pay for human artists to learn art, all we will get is art from the rich.
it is inevitable that this way lies mediocrity.
That is an interesting thought. I do not entirely disagree, but I will say this: do you think anything you do is actually original?
Humanity advances due to "prior computation", we take the work of others and rearrange it to meet our goals and aims. There are very few truly original ideas, the old saying "there is nothing new under the sun" is very true for majority of us and our work.
As I said, I do not disagree entirely, but I do not think AI necessitates mediocrity if used to it's potential.
I'm 100% original. Everything I create has come from me living my life.
I am not an algorithm.
The people who train something like midjourney take the real expressions of real people a turn it into a slurry to be fed to the artificial neural networks.
If capitalism wasn't such a life drain maybe I wouldn't care so much, but none of the artists who have had their works fed to machines get their due credit, let alone some analogue of royalties.
These algorithms are not trying to express who they are, because they are not "whos", they are trying to predict the next word or pixel.
Yes, the tools can be helpful, but given our current socioeconomic climate it seems immoral to allow them to perpetuate unchecked like this.
First, with any artist whose work has been used to train AI, I am with you, and I have no doubt at some point there will be some large legal case or lawsuit and we will answer what is considered "fair use". I am hoping some precedence is set at some point that allows for a new type of licensing and compensation for artists whose work trains AI.
But you said something interesting there I would like to touch on: "I'm 100% original." and "I am not an algorithm".
This is not entirely true. We are a product of "prior computation". The whole of humanity advances in all fields because we build on the work of others before us.
Our art style is inspired by multiple pieces of art we have seen in life, our abilities and our passions. The words I write here are essentially a very complex algorithm that my brain is processing based on grammatical rules, social context, my experiences in the world etc.
We are algorithms, we are a product of the input of others. The difference is we have concepts of morality, spirituality, soul etc.
With all that being said, I tend very much to agree "it seems immoral to allow them to perpetuate unchecked like this", we need to, as a race and a global society, define what compromises we are and are not willing to make in this new age. 💗
Calling life a "computation" is a broken analogy that I no longer get on board with. It's like saying we do differential calculus when catching a ball. I can't honestly say they way human culture has evolved with me along with it is comparable to computing the weights for an ANN.
We can agree to differ on that. We agree on what's important ❤
Age of creation, hmm ... if all of the "creativity" is completely auto-generated by AI and "bots", then creativity rings quite hollow to me - what's are "creative" people supposed to do, just fill in a few "parameters" and then press a button on the ChatGTP page?
Apart from that, I'm doubtful regarding the demand for all that creative output - we're already couch potatoes by way too large a degree, do we really want to "consume" EVEN MORE digital content?
Saturation will quickly set in, while we're all gasping for a breath of (real) fresh air, and to get out into nature and "reset" from our excessive screen time (this is also the problem that I see with things like Meta's "meta verse" and stuff like that).
I have the feeling I don't want an "age of creation" - what I would like to see is an "age of solutions" - creative (yes) and effective solutions for the myriad of problems mankind is confronted with. Now THAT would inspire me ... but "age of creation", no I think I'll pass.
You misread it. It is the "creation" age, not necessarily the "creativity" age.
We have created something that can, at scale, create "new" (depending on your philosophical perspective) things.
As for whether this will yield more "crap"...I think I agree it will. But it also opens up new opportunities for people who have a vision, but not the skill or financial resources to make it happen, to explore new possibilities.
New opportunities, but inevitably at the expense of some extra noise and some displacement of existing skill sets.
So I believe it is all about framing.
For me, the noise and mess we will have to deal with for a while until we find ways to counter mediocrity and high volumes of rubbish will be offset by the new ideas it will inevitably spark! 💗
Yeah okay I see what you mean ... personally I'm not really getting warm & fuzzy feelings about this, it's not a development that makes me optimistic.
I'm indeed afraid that we're gonna see huge amounts of "crap" and I doubt if it's going to improve our lives in any way or shape, to put it like that - I think it will just add to the tons of distractions that we already have - tons of mediocrity within our "mass culture" and social media, and we're already wasting huge amounts of time "consuming" all of that, so it will only get more ... yeah just call me a pessimist in this regard.
Oh it will lead to crap, as most people are lazy, so they will just let AI do everything and become their voice, instead of using it to support their voice and vision.
BUT - for people who utilise the tool to lift their work, I think it will let them shine.
For example the cover of this article would be beyond my abilities if it wasn't for AI, and would cost a lot from a professional artist. AI has allowed me to create a cover that I believe is one of my best covers yet. 💗
Yeah well I can see this happening, however where my doubt is if this should really be considered a new "age" on par with "the industrial age" or "the information age", looking at its magnitude and breadth/depth of impact. I'm a bit skeptical there, I think the industrial and information ages were more transformational than the 'creation' age will be.
But yeah okay, always interesting to philosophize. Maybe rather than the "creation age" it's simply gonna be the "AI age", that's a notion that would sound more compelling to me - by now it's becoming obvious that the impact of AI is going to be massive, and arguably it's going to impact more than what could be captured under the moniker "creation".
But yeah it could well be that what you mean isn't exactly what I mean, that we're just having some semantic confusion ("words" or "terminology").
Pretty cool banner @grahamthedev BTW.
These are interesting thoughts. I still wonder if the economic model is sustainable, as big platforms tend to need huge infrastructures with so much calculation power and space required that, despite the hype and millions of users, these businesses are barely profitable, and it's sometimes a loss-making activity.
Well it depends on the use cases.
I would imagine that search will be as profitable as it has always been (the most profitable software industry in the world!), specialised tools will be profitable as they will be able to price accordingly.
I think where some will fail is trying to offer free services funded by advertising, I have a feeling ad revenue will not be significant enough to offset operational costs, but I could be proven wrong on that, obviously it depends on how GPU intensive each operation is etc!
Oh and thanks on the banner...created by AI (or at least the 4 images are and my Profile pic) 🤣💗
yeah, I figured ^^.
This sector requires so much investments. It does not seem that "open" to everyone.
You're probably right on the Ads. This model will have to change.
I think the current progress in machine learning, impressive though it is, has been excessively overhyped. We're still years and years away from a general AI.
Also, every progress in human history has been accompanied by a corresponding counter-movement, like at the moment, trolls feeding ML-chat-bots racist BS and lawmakers finding and filling new gaps in IP laws. The age of information is stunted by disinformation.
That being said, society always changes and adapts; changes come gradually and suddenly seem like they had happened in a short amount of time because everyone forgets the gradients.
AGI - oh yes years, decades away.
But the scarier part of AI is that we are just not ready for specialised tools that can perform at such a high level, and those are in timescales measured in months away.
I think the current uses of AI are massively overhyped, but the dangers of it are also underplayed.
As you pointed out, we still haven't managed to adapt to the information age, and that was still primarily human driven. That improved our productivity per person a decent amount.
But the creation age, give it a couple of years and specialist tools will double, triple or 10x productivity. Long term this is great, but short term, the displacement is going to be huge.
There's a cycling community called "The Velominati", who publishes some "Rules", and I find that #10 describes the situation perfectly: "It never gets easier, you just go faster."
If developer's productivity increases tenfold, they will merely pump out features even faster. Yes, managers currently dream about replacing developers with AI, but that's a pipe dream even in a few decades of time.
Also, why do you think that developers who are actually losing their job even now would stop being developers? It just means that a lot of productivity has been unleashed from company politics. I'm pretty sure that new endeavors will start even now to utilize this productivity. I'm not too concerned even short term.
I'm more concerned about the legal and societal implications. This technology enables new kinds of criminal schemes, even worse than current crypto fraudsters would dare to dream of.
Creatíon? yes. Quality? maybe. Art? debatable. Accurate information? highly dubious.
I would say 90% of the time I've asked ChatGPT about something, it has given incorrect answers. Most of the time I feel like it's getting more out of me (improving the model) than I get out of it. Example:
Well, I say "has given incorrect answers", but that's not really what it has done as it doesn't 'understand' anything and has no real grasp of facts - it's essentially an extremely fancy version of autocomplete. Impressive, but still ultimately dumb. On the other hand, is this a valid criticism? Do we really understand what it means to 'understand'? Could us humans just be pattern matching too, but just at a much more sophisticated level?
This tweet also makes a very good point:
I think generative AI can and will continue to boost human creation, but has a worrying potential to impoverish true human creativity.
Oh I completely agree, Chat GPT 3.5 is something to marvel at in some ways, but those who say they are using it every day to do their work for them...they are like the web3 hype train people, evangelical without objectivity.
And the fact we are training the model, nothing new there! Every single time we do a Google Captcha identifying cars (or words in the past) we have been training AI models.
For me, I am hopeful that the effort we are putting in training AI and into trying to remove AI "hallucinations" makes them more dependable and accurate in the future.
I suppose the question is "is AI more dependable than your average human for answers" and the scary thing is that for most subjects, that answer is probably yes. The second question is "should we depend on AI for answers" and for that the answer, as of today, should almost certainly be no!
And the tweet you shared...it is almost like a prophecy to me! For example I no longer have a sense of direction due to GPS and SatNavs, will I no longer have writing skills if I start using AI to write for me? Quite possibly.
More importantly does that mean that writing as a skill will become less valuable, and instead the ability to fact check and correct errors becomes the new role of writers...will everyone become an editor and a curator? This is where my brain power runs out and I realise I am not smart enough to answer these things lol! 💗
Another gem I saw today:
Haha Chat GPT and logic puzzles...even simple ones...is so funny. But I also love how it shows us what it "understands" about language and what it doesn't!
Hey @grahamthedev glad to see you're back on DEV. That's a sophisticated discussion rather than the many "pro or against" takes everywhere, especially the wealthy / literate few etc.
Many things seems to have changed so quickly when ChatGPT went public - only shortly after my own AI Art DEV post on 'artificial "intelligence" that did not get much attention (yet), so hopefully this discussion will do better and collect more insights and opinions.
Still reading your article bud, will comment then when I get through it! 💗
Interesting approach. I agree when he talks about skills and professions, which are born and extinguished according to the needs of humanity. What is up to us, as human beings and organically limited, is to transmit to the next generations, not only knowledge and experiences, but also values.
Love it, we are certainly a fluid race. A lot of skills (and beliefs) we had as a general population 100 years ago are almost obsolete (or have evolved) or are only utilised by specialists. 💗
How i said:
The first revolution was the computers,
the second revolution was the internet,
the third revolution was the social networks,
and now are the IA.
This time, Zuckerberg failed about the roadmap of Meta!
i read this article about your insight of AI. Well, every technical revolution in a certain era gave a rise to replacement of existing industrial techniques.
So my opinion is: Although AI will be widespread and ubiquitous technique in soon, we should keep on critical thinking and writing in order to organize our thoughts while using AI.
Otherwise, we, the human, would be useless and going to be replaced by sophisticated robots
I agree, there are many who will let AI "think for them", they will soon find themselves obsolete, only those who work with AI and think about what it is producing and how to improve the output will thrive. At the end of the day it is just a tool, as with any tool, how you use it is what affects your output and results! 💗
Great article and I absolutely agree that we are at the dawn of an age of creation. I would only argue that creative humans won’t necessarily be displaced. Things that we consider art, are art because they cause a stirring of the soul and that comes from it stemming from somewhere within the soul of the artist.
I don’t think a machine can genuinely “create” that. Replicate to an amazing degree of accuracy at an unbelievable rate, yes, but not quite the level a real artist would produce.
I don’t believe that we as a species even understand ourselves what or where the soul/spirit is, so I’m confident that we’ll not build a machine that can have it. If we did by accident then it’d be an even bigger fluke than us being here in the first place!
Someone in these comments said that it will certainly be a great tool for human artists for boosting productivity, THAT I agree with. Especially the part about the artist needing to build on top of what the machine creates.
I’d be very interested to see, however, how the level of “soul replication” changes if/when quantum computation becomes usable in this space. I may need to eat my words.
It’s certainly all very, very interesting indeed!
For physical art, I am 100% in agreement, the speed of a single stroke or the strength that an artist applies to a single line can showcase so much emotion at a level that is almost imperceivable and certainly not something AI will be able to replicate for a long time (if ever).
But as for digital art, I feel a machine can spit out something that is stirring and full of emotion, even if the machine itself does not have a concept of emotion, soul or spirit.
It is, as with all art, in the eye of the beholder and I have seen MidJourney in particular create art that I find quite stirring and stimulating.
As for the displacement of artists, as with anything that is relative.
Maybe 10% of professional artists will no longer be able to sustain themselves, maybe it will be 90%. I am certainly not saying all artists will be displaced, but there is almost a certainty that some will. And as you pointed out, some will embrace AI and probably be even more successful as they can create more art in much less time.
As for quantum computers...yes we will see there, I am certainly not educated enough on the topic to even guess what that will hold for us! 💗
It’s true, midjourney does produce some weird and wonderful stuff, but I’d be very interested to see two pieces, side by side, one just an ai output and the other the same image but tweak by an artist. Do you think the ai one would still illicit the same emotional response from the viewer when there is a (potentially) more comparatively stirring version beside it?
Oh side by side, I imagine an artist could add maybe 10-30% more emotion! I have no doubt of that.
But in reality, unless this was art that was of high value, the time spent would not be recouped as the commercial use case for AI art is generally "throwaway" and for short term use, rather than long term admiration.
I imagine most of the value of digital artists (from a commercial aspect) will be in composition from AI images (as AI is terrible for giving you exactly what you want in a single image at the moment), combining parts people want from multiple images into an image that matches the vision someone had. Also in clearing up artefacts (as AI loves to give creatures extra legs for example) on images.
Additionally AI art is (at present) very limited on certain subjects, because there is insufficient data in the training set, so there is still plenty of scope for work where a very specific item is needed.
All of this does not consider art for personal enjoyment, where there is far more value in the nuance a human can add. I cannot see AI art taking as big of a bite out of this market.
thank you for your article.
I enjoyed reading it and your questions in the "What do you think" section are very interesting questions.
Here are my short answers.
"Do you believe we are entering a new age / era?"
Not yet, as society and large corporations are very slow when it comes to change, but I would agree that it is a foreshadowing of things to come.
"Do you think society will change rapidly over the next few years? Or do you believe that AI will change very little?"
No, as I mentioned above, large companies are very slow when it comes to change. Having said that, I would like to say that it also matters what a few years mean, right?!
I'm saying all this because things need to be answered first.
-"What happens to the 'losers' in scoiety who don't benefit from this new change?"
-"Does more productivity bring more wealth to society, that is, is it shared to reduce poverty and increase wealth?"
-"What happens if the new era creates too many unemployed? Who can then buy the products?"
Depending on the impact of the change, I think some governments will stop or slow it down. This could mean that an era that would have come will never come or will come later, like the energy transition from gas/oil to renewable energy.
I remember hearing from someone a few years ago that entertainment-related industries will likely be the most beneficiated from advancements in AI.
With AI replacing most types of work, people will have more free time to consume entertainment. At the same time, the entertainment industry will be one of the least affected by AI since there is a lot of work involving creativity that will still need to be done by humans.
I'm curious if this prediction will come through. With AI replacing workers, there could be less people with money to spend on entertainment. Also, as you mentioned in your article, there are examples of AI doing creative work.
I wanted to share this because I haven't seen this discussed much. Great article!
That is an interesting area to explore.
I haven't given that any thought yet, but I would imagine there is some validity to the idea.
The only thing that comes to mind is that we are already at "entertainment overload" with the vast array of (mostly rubbish) content available today.
So will we be able to tolerate and absorb more entertainment? Or perhaps new forms of entertainment will appear?
Also with some of the stuff I have seen on the horizon for video editing and production, I am not sure even videography is an area that won't feel a slight pinch from an increase in productivity that AI may afford?
As I said, super interesting point, one I will have to ponder on! 💗
Great article @grahamthedev! AI will change things for people career wise, but as far as doing everyday tasks and solving the isms that plague our world, I highly doubt it, especially with conversations about the digital divide that’s and how AI is often more biased towards Black and other racial minorities (note: I’m speaking about the digital divide from an 🇺🇸viewpoint.). Nonetheless, I’m still excited about AI will grow.
There is a whole other conversation on bias, equal opportunity / access (and accessibility) etc.
I am going to release an article summarising an ethics book I am reading (the first chapter) tomorrow / Friday, so hopefully it will start to touch on some of those points! 💗
But as you said, I am excited about AI, or at least I should say I am "reservedly excited" about AI!