AI: The Future or the End?

AI Might Replace Human Art, Writing


Jack Polishook

With the rapid development of AI software like chatbot ChatGPT and image generator Midjourney comes both praise for its humanlike generation of information and backlash for its limited capabilities and its potential to replace human creativity. The capabilities of these programs are growing at a rate where it’s becoming worrisome.

Jack Polishook, Reporter

AI always seemed like an invisible threat whose capabilities we only hinted toward in fiction, often featuring in science fiction and horror movies as a commanding system overpowering human thought like HAL 9000 in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” What modern AI has become is far more realistic, but just as grim.

While clearly not the intent of many of the revolutionary and cutting-edge technologies across the AI world, a shockingly negative side effect is its potential effect on the job market, especially when it comes to writing-related tasks. In a study conducted by OpenAI, the developers of ChatGPT, about 19% of U.S. jobs could be affected in a negative way, with these jobs including writers, authors, translators, lyricists, accountants and journalists. 

We are already seeing the advancements AI can bring, but if this technology improves to the point where it becomes unrecognizable from human work, this could potentially eliminate the need to hire people in these professions and beyond. 

We already see people trying to capitalize on the craze and profit off of their effortless work. So-called “AI artists” generate art using AI prorgams like Midjourney, with some sharing it on online communities such as Reddit’s r/aiArt and others using it to win art competitions. Mass monetization of AI art is a possibility in the near future as the technology advances further. In just the last two years, we have seen an insane amount of progress with this technology, so who knows what the next ten years will look like?

You also have the creation of “deepfakes,” where someone’s likeness is manipulated using AI to portray them doing or saying something they never have. While this technology has been around for a very long time, we are seeing more and more realistic AI-generated representations of real people. For example, you have likely seen a few TikTok videos of Trump, Biden and Obama arguing about which Call of Duty game is the best or how sick their Minecraft village is. While this tech can be used in very humorous and even creative ways, it could lead to voice actors becoming obsolete and aid in spreading disinformation.

There does, however, seem to be a somewhat clear way to deal with some of the issues regarding monetization of AI content and plagiarism, and that is to watermark the content. If AI art was clearly labeled for people to see, it could prevent a potentially large amount of misinformation on the internet, of which AI already showed a capability to spread on a wide scale with AI-generated photos of Donald Trump’s arrest going viral on social media.  

Art itself will become obsolete if AI manages to create an endless stream of content indistinguishable from that of humans. When the need for creativity is removed from us, it’s hard to distinguish between man and machine, which I think is a very bad sign of what’s to come.