As history has shown, it is human nature to invent, from the creation of stone tools to the iphones now used in daily life. Humanity without innovation is a species doomed to extinction, as the world changes and the people do not adapt. Not only this, but emerging technology has always gone hand in hand with the workplace, with every new advancement only existing to aid in the creation of more. But one such innovation may be the doom of this cycle of creating. In the words of Steven Hawking, “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks."
This may seem like the plot of a sci-fi movie, where machines have taken over the earth and rule over human beings. But this threat, seen to be a major topic of discussion by business magnate Elon Musk and many other influential figures, is a very real and current issue. However, its impact on most people isn’t mass unemployment like one may think. It’s the loss of creativity.
When looking for the biggest example of this, the name Chat GPT definitely comes to mind. Developed by OpenAI, it is the first example of AI entering daily life, and unfortunately its effects are not all positive. The biggest negative impacts of Chat GPT lie in students. As it becomes more and more popular, the bot takes away students’ ability to use their knowledge and original ideas in school assignments.
Chat GPT has the ability to compose full essays if given a topic, and while this is technologically impressive, it causes problems when students use it to their benefit. Students lose all academic integrity when using the chat bot to write assignments, and as their dependency on the bot increases, it takes away the skills and original thinking needed to be able to complete that work by themselves. Those are skills that they will need in assessments, and situations later on in life when they don’t have the bot to aid them. That is to say, if someone is on a long plane ride, they find it harder to balance when they first use their legs again.
Another concerning rise of AI usage is in the field of art. AI art generators have sprung up across the internet, with some notable names being DALL-E 2 and MidJourney. While, again, this is a technological revelation we should no doubt keep exploring, it has led to multiple ethical issues concerning the work of actual artists. AI generators don’t create their own artwork, they analyze information from the artworks of other, real artists, essentially just copying the exact styles. While there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the artwork of others, in terms of something with lack of human imperfections, the ethical boundaries are much more complex. On top of that, there is no credit being given to these artists, and the artists in turn are not giving consent for their work to practically be duplicated.
This doesn’t just cause problems for the jobs and revenue of artists taking commissions, as the AI generators can produce the same work for free. The ethical problems also lead to the artist’s individuality and creativity to be taken away. While AI artwork can be produced much more efficiently than human abilities, it lacks nuances that only human beings can capture. While AI art can use data sets of artwork to create an output, it simply cannot convey human feelings, experiences, and more abstract concepts.
Not only this, but AI generators become more and more accurate in replicating the artwork of real artists. This is already causing issues that are being brought up all over social media. Every human artist has their own art style seen in their pieces, which is part of what makes them so valuable. But the more accurate AI artwork becomes, the harder it is for those artists to display ownership over their original artistic ideas.
This isn’t to say that AI will inevitably lead to the end of all creativity. When the right steps are taken, it could be a useful tool while not undermining human originality. What AI needs is an establishment of rules; in the classroom, limits to when and where students can make use of AI tools, and in the legal world, copyright boundaries to make sure every artist can claim rightful ownership over their ideas.
It’s human nature to create, whether it’s a school essay, or a piece of digital artwork. But no matter how much easier it may be to resort to generators and textbots, a person’s work should always be their own. When used right, AI can help unlock parts of one’s creativity they couldn’t have found by themselves. But at the end of the day, the value of the creation is only as much as the effort put into it.
Image credits to AI art generator: https://www.imagine.art/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Competitor_web1_2332&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=20351516764&gclid=CjwKCAjw3dCnBhBCEiwAVvLcu6zBw9pnpC5nMaS3VWyJohpNNAIIoLcGo7cx76bOg5gEUjdkro-NhxoCx_EQAvD_BwE
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