What would you say if I told you that artificial intelligence (AI) created the above image?
Would you believe me if I said that it only took less than a handful of keywords and about three minutes?
Well, that’s the truth and the new reality over at MidJourney, both a research lab and the name of the AI that creates artistic images like to the one above via user-inputted text descriptions. According to MidJourney, their AI program was used by British magazine “The Economist,” to create cover art for the June 2022 issue.
The new technology begs a lot of questions.
Even more interesting? Its founder, David Holz, has reported that in the future video game consoles will have a “giant AI chip and the games will be dreams.” What used to sound like the impossible is becoming eerily realistic.
A Time When Bots Were Poops and Giggles
Back in early 2019, when we were all care and Covid-free, the biggest thing to hit the mainstream news was that a writer fed an AI program over 1000 hours of Hallmark Christmas movies and then programmed it to write Hallmark-type Christmas movies of its own.
I even remember where I was when I read these out loud. Funny how life’s Hallmark moments are like that.
The bot came out with gems like this image from Twitter:
Then, there was another of my all-time favorites. Someone fed something called a Markov Chain all of the lyrics AC/DC ever wrote (look, I admittedly know nothing about how this works), and then a bot created an AC/DC song of its very own. And. It. Is. FIRE.
I mean, just watch for yourself:
The Bots are Coming for Loud Coffee Press
Now, stuff is getting serious. It’s not just balls, balls, balls, it’s inboxes of emails practically weekly here at the LCP offices. We can’t go a handful of days without reading an email from some fake-out source that is offering to “write us a blog post” to “generate content.” Or, someone wants to use their resources to comb our website and “make it more user-friendly” by “creating better content.”
It’s all begging a bigger question: how much of the Internet is still being run by actual, legitimate, mushy-brain-bearing humans, and how much of it is run off of AI? It’s hard to flip through the news lately without hearing something about how this or that bot was able to convince its own engineer that it was sentient. How can we convince you that there’s an actual human typing this blog? Do the typos speak for themselves?
It’s also all begging a much bigger question, and it’s the first one that Fred raised when he first called me after stumbling on MidJourney. If we can create art - good, interesting, unique art - with a handful of keywords and only a few minutes, what will happen to the artists among us? At what point does “human-created art” become unnecessary? Or, does the opposite happen? Will it increase in value? How about the same for the written word? I imaging we’re close to a day (if not already there) when we can feed an AI program a bunch of books from the same genre, give it a skeleton plot and some characters, and have it write the next bestseller. Some human tweaks, and voila! A book!
The only thing I can rely on right now is that I believe we humans are hardwired for creative output. I say, let the bots try and compete. Bot art for the bot world; human art for the rest of us.
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