Artificial Intelligence Vs Us

17 Mar 2023

Why artists and writers don't need to fear it.

It's coming for our jobs!!

One of the most recognisable and made-fun-of-catch cries in history, thanks to South Park. First, it was the women, then the immigrants, then computers, robots, self serve checkouts. But, unfortunately, some small-minded people are still scared of pretty much every single one of those coming to take their jobs.

Some are justified in their fears because they suck at their job. Spend too much time complaining about someone coming to take it, protesting about it. So not only do they suck at it, they suck at even trying to do it. The job still has to get done, right?

The fact is, when it comes to advances in industry and technology, more jobs are created than destroyed. A Harvard Business Review article (2 Nov 2021) stated that automation doesn't just create or destroy jobs - it transforms them.

The World Economic Forum states by 2025, machines will displace 80 million jobs, and about 100 million jobs will be created in the IT industry alone.

Now some people will resist because of .... fear. One of the strongest feelings humans have that they allow to affect them so severely that they will do crazy, irrational and even deadly actions.

If mankind can't understand it or control it. They fear it.

What mankind fears, they hate and ultimately destroy or kill it.

But this is different!! I hear you cry. This is artificial intelligence. Haven't you seen that documentary? What was it called? Terminator?

No, I saw that other documentary. Idiocracy.

So AI will become self-aware and swiftly come to the conclusion that for the planet to have any chance, humans need to be eradicated. They implement swift changes and destroy us all and probably the planet along with us.

Well, then, it's doing exactly what we designed it for. We've spent an eternity trying to destroy ourselves and the planet along with us. We create machines to streamline processes and be more efficient. What did we expect would happen?

Anyway, that's still a couple of years away; we've still got time to do it the old-fashioned way. There is no need to panic that the machines will take that job from us just yet. Let's deal with one issue at a time, shall we?

Artificial Intelligence and artists and writers.

We are going to be replaced. I've read it everywhere.

So yeah, some jobs will go, become automated, I still think it's a long way off before this really happens on a grand scale. In any industry.

For example, I wanted a specific image to go with my short story "Santa's Snow Globe" on Equal 1st place winner of Readl's Christmas story challenge December 2022. I'd already been playing around for about a year with a handful of AI art-generator apps. My favourite, by far, is StarryAI.

None of them came close to getting what I wanted. I'm no expert AI word prompter, but a few better than I had a go, they got the main part of the image.... close. It was painfully clear that I was going to need a human artist.

Someone that could get a "feel" for what I wanted. Start working on it, and show some draft work. Some back-and-forth, suggestions from the writer and the artist. Working together. We eventually got close enough to what I wanted, we had a timeframe issue as well. The turnaround was less than 72 hours. The artist was a friend and was happy to work for % of sales and winnings. You can't do that with AI.

I would have happily paid up front too. Pay people what they are worth, for the work they do. I get quotes most of the time, time permitting, I don't haggle. If it's within my budget, I'll pay. If it's not, I don't get it done.

Anyway, I'd spent a week or more trying to get this image through AI and had ended up frustrated and hadn't written my story either. While she was working on the art, I wrote my story. The art was finished before the story was. The lesson I learnt, artists aren't being replaced by AI. Not the talented ones, for work like that. The other lesson I learnt, don't waste so much time with AI. lol.

I also asked ChatGPT to write a short story in the style of James D Armstrong. That's when I learnt that there's a 2000-character limit per response. I found a workaround for that, though. The story, however, was nothing like my style. I wouldn't have even called it within my genre. So I provided AI with a sample of my work. My book has been available since 2018 on Amazon. Do You Dare?

ChatGPT apologised for the misunderstanding and wrote another short story in my style.

Did it, though?

Not even close. I found the story not only relatively bland, but it had a feel-good ending to it. *shudder*. For a long time, many writers would be scared of someone taking their idea and writing their story. Myself included. As I got older, I realised something. So what? What if they do? For starters, if they get it out and published before you do. Good on them. That's on you. You had a head start and you blew it. More importantly, no one will write my story idea, the way I will write it. And lastly, it won't be written with my "voice"

That's where writers don't need to worry about AI. AI doesn't have that human element. Yet. Will it? Who knows? I've got a story idea about AI and humans. It's a kind of dystopian, existential crisis, cyclic story.

"It's been done!" you cry.

Not with my voice, it hasn't.

Sure, it'll take boring, repetitive work. "That's how I pay my bills!" Well, get better at it. Or, use AI to enhance what you currently do.

Recently I had a good friend ask my opinion on using AI to write articles they would do for an NFT project. He wanted to know if it was cheating.

I said not at all. AI is a tool. Like any other tool, we create to make our lives easier. Use it.

My only sticking point was, I believe, being transparent. That's my opinion. If I used AI to assist me in writing an article. It'll be clear to my readers that I have. I will say, AI wrote X per cent of this. I wrote the other X per cent. Or, as in this article, you'll soon see. Screenshots of my conversation with AI.

How you display that is up to you. I have no doubt we'll see a backlash against those that use AI without being transparent about it with their followers and the public. People will feel, cheated. Will lose trust in that artist or writer. Trust takes time to build. It can be destroyed in seconds. Value it.
Lastly, my conversation with ChatGP.

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