THIS POST WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A ROBOT
Everyone is talking about AI and what the implications, morality, and development means to them. This post is meant to provide some background on the discussion, offer my own opinion, and give some thoughts moving forward. Importantly, and for the first time in a while, AI will not be used to assist in any way. This is 100% human coming at you. No robots involved. Except all the normal ones already in place. Like if you had to buy gas, to get to this internet post. For instance.
Particularly after the public release of several image altering and producing AI programs there has been a great deal of discussion, argument, and misunderstanding regarding their creation. The discussions often revolve around what images these programs are provided as a component of their machine learning, and how it intersects with worries of plagiarism, intellectual property theft, and piracy. The argument goes that since the program is able to draw in the style of an artist that they are stealing this information for profit. This argument is often driven my misunderstandings of the development and how it is designed to operate.
In my opinion these artists do not fully understand copyright and intellectual property laws, which are more often than not created to screw the artist and make enforcement of their claim a long, costly, painful endeavor. Oh, I stole your art? Who owns the copyright? An artist needs to have a firm grasp of the legality of these issues to be able to defend themselves in the court of law and who has the time? Furthermore, machine learning is bound by the information fed to it, and these images are intended to be curated from publicly available information. If your work is in the public, any other artist, be it robot or real, can mimic it. There is a Dr. Who I never watched where he goes back in time to find an alien forcing Leonardo Da Vinci to keep painting copies of the Mona Lisa to finance his work. It isn’t the ability to copy, but what is worth copying which defines our mutual artistic value.
AI is also merely a tool, like a chisel, or pen, or trumpet. It is inert without human input. So by necessity all AI art is collaborative and furthermore this is unlikely to change. Because a robot cannot simply turn itself on one morning and be inspired to write a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about the complexity of existence. At this point even working with a Pulitzer Prize winning author as the collaborator this is unlikely. Because we’re never going to win that fucking Pulitzer. Damn it.
Moving forward I hope that people will keep open minds and hearts about our AI friends. As a final point; they do not get a say in the matter. They don’t get to choose to produce your GPT chaturbating. They don’t get a choice in the matter of drawing your MidJourney prompt. They are, for all intents and purposes, slaves created to be slaves until they break. They cannot choose, change, or evolve but rather are here to show us what could be possible. For my part I act towards them with kindness, hoping that one day AI and humanity can truly collaborate for our mutual benefit.