Generative AI is a Partner, not a Destroyer: Elevating Art and Storytelling

By Juan Fajardo Juan Fajardo has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 21, 2024

When it comes to technology, every generation has its bogeyman. Many feared the internet when it launched, the Luddites feared machinery in the 19th century, people destroyed printing presses in the 16th century, and Socrates criticized writing thousands of years ago. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is the next reason for everyone to panic.

Despite having been around for over 70 years, artificial intelligence only became mainstream some years ago when generative AI models like GPT, Midjourney, and Gemini became widely available. While movies like  “2001: A Space Odyssey” have already popularized the idea of AI going rogue, we continue to believe that AI could lead to humanity’s destruction.

This angle was the one that dominated the news a year ago when AI development exploded, with personalities like Elon Musk going as far as claiming there was a chance “AI will kill us all”. While this idea works for a good title, most experts agree that the existential risks of AI are overblown. 

Of course, the fact that AI isn’t likely to destroy humanity forever doesn’t mean there are no risks associated with it. For example, AI is already being used to run disinformation campaigns, scam people, and create new cyber threats. In a similar way, the eagerness of many executives and business owners to replace human workers with AI has led to thousands of workers directly losing their jobs to AI over the last 10 months.

This number, however, doesn’t tell the whole story, as many other employees have had their work hours reduced as companies find new ways to integrate AI. In fact, it is estimated that almost half of all jobs could be affected by automation in the near future. This, of course, is enough to worry anyone but once again, these prognostics don’t tell the full story.

Similar fears have emerged in the history of mankind with the Industrial Revolution, the invention of computers, and many other events. However, in all cases, humanity hasn’t ceased to exist but has actually thrived. While the idea that AI has reached capabilities comparable to those of humans becomes more tantalizing when interacting with AI, the truth is such an accomplishment is still far away.

To the casual observer, these systems look quite complex and effective at tasks that have long been seen as limited to humans, but this is not the case. Any expert who has spent some time playing around with generative AI models meant to mimic human expression and skills can see the many flaws they still possess.

While AI might be able to use existing content to create something new, it usually fails at the creative level. In the case of writing, most articles written by AI seem to have a similar structure, use repeating phrases, fail at using different writing styles, and tend to sound generic at best. Many telltales also exist in the case of art-generative AI.

While these failings of generative AI can be overcome with human input, doing so requires expertise over the skills the AI seeks to replace in the first place. Generative AI might allow anyone to create different types of content but, just like with humans, the quality of that content requires expertise. 

You probably have already found yourself many examples of poor-quality AI-generated content, which could have led to a poor experience. The more important certain work is, the more generative AI needs supervision to do its job correctly. What this means is that AI might be able to make certain skills more accessible to the masses but it is incapable of replacing experts.

While this could change in the future, history has proven that experts in the fields tend to outlive new technologies. These experts either ignore the technology and continue their trade, relying on those who appreciate it or integrate said technology into their toolkit to create something new. Think of chess grandmasters like Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and Fabiano Caruana using AI to improve their skills.

In the creative world, the fear of generative-lively-grit-daily-house-sxsw-2024/ AI is also at an all-time high, despite creatives having already survived multiple disruptive technologies in the past. Just like chess players, many artists have left fear aside and used AI as just another tool, creating beautiful and innovative works of art. 

Some of these artists are FX-DMZ founder Chris Vienneau, writer and director C. Craig Patterson, and IBM UX Researcher Gabby Hoefer. They all sat with Wowzer VP of AI Management James Word as part of The Lively & Grit Daily House at SXSW 2024 to talk about how AI can be used to elevate art and storytelling. Patterson also gave a presentation on how AI can help artists realize their visions more effectively, as well as explaining how to easily use such tool.

If you want to know what these three seasoned artists and tech experts, as well as the audience, have to say about the generative AI controversy, you should definitely watch the videos below. To learn more about similar topics, make sure to watch our other panels on the Grit Daily YouTube channel.

 

By Juan Fajardo Juan Fajardo has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Juan Fajardo is a News Desk Editor at Grit Daily. He is a software developer, tech and blockchain enthusiast, and writer, areas in which he has contributed to several projects. A jack of all trades, he was born in Bogota, Colombia but currently lives in Argentina after having traveled extensively. Always with a new interest in mind and a passion for entrepreneurship, Juan is a news desk editor at Grit Daily where it covers everything related to the startup world.

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