The next generation of AI apps could make writers and artists obsolete

For decades, we’ve been warned that artificial intelligence is coming for our jobs. science fiction books and films dating back to Kurt Vonnegut piano player depict a world where workers have been replaced by machines (or in some cases, a single machine). More recently, these ideas have moved from the annals of novels to the predictive economic papers of governments and consulting firms. In 2016, the Obama administration wrote a report warning that robots are coming and millions of Americans may soon find themselves without jobs. In 2021, McKinsey predicted that algorithms and androids would vaporize 45 million jobs by 2030. And the Brookings Institute prophesied in a 2019 study that 52 million jobs in the United States to be affected by algorithms by 2030.

While no one can agree on exactly when robots will take over or how many jobs they will gobble up, the general assumption is that garbage collectors, bus drivers and interstate truckers will be among the first to lose their livelihoods to AI. , however, it seems people like me, the creative ones, are at even greater risk. In recent months, new advances in AI have made it clear that writers, illustrators, photographers, journalists and novelists may soon be forced out of the job market and replaced by high-tech pianos.

You do not believe me ? Just read the beginning of this short story:

It was late when I first heard the loud rattling noise coming from outside. As I looked out my bedroom window, the tall grass swayed in an unseen breeze. And then a shadow passed overhead – that’s when I saw it. A creature standing just outside the window, staring at me. His eyes were deep red with a poisonous glow; they seemed to burn with a fire that made me shiver. The creature’s body was black as coal, with a large, thin tail near its rear. It hissed at me and impatiently tapped its long, sharp claws on a tree trunk. I grabbed the closest weapon I could find – a baseball bat – and walked out. The creature’s breath smelled of brimstone, and its muffled breath echoed a crackling campfire. When he saw me, his feet hit the ground with thundering booms as if a skyscraper had crashed into the ground with each step. He rushed towards me; its claws slashing wildly through the air.

This paragraph was not written by an MFA or science fiction writer, but rather by a new online machine learning platform called Sudowrite, which is presented as a tool to aid in the creative writing process. For the paragraph above, I wrote the first sentence – about the loud clicking sound – and the AI ​​wrote the rest. The technology operates using a platform of Open AIan artificial intelligence research lab with $1 billion in funding from Microsoft and investments from Elon Musk. Specifically, it’s built on top of GPT-3, a company component that focuses on text. GPT-3 fetches billions of words and learns from them using natural language processing. Then he gets to work. After reading the first draft of Sudowrite, I said I wanted more description. So the AI ​​suggested adding some “smells” and revised the text accordingly within seconds. While the story doesn’t deserve the Pulitzer Prize (yet), I was surprised by the algorithm’s ability to turn phrases like “the tall grass swayed in an invisible breeze” and “her muffled breath carried the echo of a crackling campfire”.

Writing progress is just the beginning. Another OpenAI tool currently being equated with magic by people in Silicon Valley is a visual platform called Dall-E. Using a version of GPT-3, Dall-E can create truly stunning renderings of artwork and illustrations. Like GPT-3, Dall-E learned to draw and paint by browsing through billions of images. He is now familiar with styles, objects, shapes – you name it. Just type a set of orders in Dall-E, and it will almost instantly generate an image to illustrate them. For example, if you ask him to draw “an astronaut on horseback in a photorealistic style”, it will create several options to choose from. If you tell it to do a “pencil drawing” instead, it will display new images in that style. You can order stained glass, spray paint, Play-Doh, cave drawings, or paintings in the style of Monet. You can replace the astronaut with a teddy bear. A dog. Elon Musk. Or ride the horse on horseback. The possibilities are endless and the end results are terrifying, so much so that one of the main questions associated with a Google search on the platform is “Is Dall-E fake?”

These new technologies have blurred our assumptions about creativity and computers. Philosophers have long believed that computers would never be able to create “art” because machines have no emotions. They feel neither pain nor joy; therefore, they cannot creatively express these feelings. It turns out, however, that computers don’t need feelings to make art. They can just copy what humans have already done. “It’s not so much that the computer ‘thinks’ like a human artist,” said Hod Lipson, a scientist specializing in artificial intelligence and robotics at Columbia University. “It’s more that they produce an output based on what they saw.”

Now I have to be honest. I did not interview Hod Lipson. I didn’t even search the web for his quote. Instead, I asked another GPT-3 powered program called SoonAI to write an article for me about algorithms replacing journalists and artists. The algorithm found Lipson’s work, read his research papers, videos, lectures, and interviews, and selected this quote as the most compelling to add to this article. When I contacted Lipson to see if it was something he said, and that the AI ​​hadn’t just made it up, Lipson said that was correct, but noted that one more point Accurate would be to say that “it’s more that, like a human, the computer too produces output based on what it has experienced.

Here’s what else the AI ​​wrote:

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