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The AI ​​revolution: is it a threat or a tool?

Shaun M Jooste

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By now, it’s fact that technology is advancing at an incredible rate with artificial intelligence (AI) having completely transformed many processes we’ve become used to performing automatically. There was once a time when we believed that the creative part of our beings was irreplaceable, as that’s what makes us really human. Right?

Well, a new player has entered the arena while others look at it suspiciously. Some state that artificial intelligence will eliminate jobs, while others praise AI as a tool: which statement holds the truth?

The AI ​​revolution: is it a threat or a tool?
ai safe or not

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has made a massive leap from the realm of science fiction to reality. Yet, how does it work, exactly?

An AI uses a combination of formulas and algorithms to establish a machine that mimics what human beings are capable of (sometimes exceeding them). As hard as it is to believe, AIs are present in almost every moment of our lives. Some examples of devices using AI are facial detection on smartphones and virtual assistants like Alexa

If you look at it realistically, the cognitive processes of humans don’t govern AI. That’s what makes it so efficient when it comes to complicated mechanical tasks, while it may fail at more abstract tasks. Well, such was the case until today.

Image and writing generators: the death of creativity

Our smartphones, tablets, and PCs have already become everyday tools similar to the purposes of a canvas or brush in reality. Today, digital art clearly dominates creative mediums thanks to diverse benefits. For example, better and faster results and improved versatility. It’s not simply visual art that has gained an advantage from the leap to the digital realm. Other tasks have also become unthinkable with using a computer, such as video editing, writing, or photography.

No matter how you look at it, AI has always been present in our lives in the last decade or so, albeit in secondary roles. It made our daily lives so much easier in many aspects, even if we weren’t aware of it. However, AI is no longer satisfied with being a walk-over, aiming to take the leading part in our lives. If you take the Knowledge Engineering Institute, AI has proven that it’s capable of writing its own Don Quixote.

There are other platforms that are just as powerful in the image industry, such as DALL-E, Stable-Diffussion, and Midjourney. With only a text description or prompt of what you want the image to look like, the virtual machine will take care of the rest for you. While many of the results are precise or perfect, it’s an indication of what’s to come in the future.

We tend to transform the reality around us with our experiences and senses. AI performs the same task via mathematics. The input fulfills that function, condensing the best representation of the image as if it was an equation to create something completely new as a result.

Feeding the beast

This act of transforming concepts and ideas into tangible objects is an activity that needs prior documentation. While it’s a fascinating notion to make something new from nothing, that’s generally not the case. The environment nourishes your mind and imagination, and many references are within your creations, even if it wasn’t intentional. AI works in the same way, or at least similar.

AI uses massive banks of data to learn, which is called machine learning. Just like an artist, artificial intelligence uses references from data provided online, using it to create images, text, and videos. Meta is developing AI for making videos as we speak.

There’s an ethical discussion about these so-called data banks, though. When it comes to artistic illustrations, many artists are now noticing many of their work being utilized without permission in an effort to train these AI platforms. 

AI useful or not

Add to this the fact that artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly better at creating enhanced images, we’ve basically created a scandalized industry where their work is in jeopardy. When you look at artists like David Rubin or Jon Juarez, you’ll notice how vocal they’ve become about the topic and clearly show they’re against it.

Still, there are some people in favor of it. Some creators see AI as another tool that can improve artistic creation. Some mention photographic disruption while others mention the appearance of Adobe Photoshop as examples. However, we still hear that digital art is not true art or using autotune doesn’t mean you can sing?

As much as we don’t want to admit it, AI is here to stay. Yet, it’s also true that it needs to comply with the laws pertaining to intellectual property. We need to have better regulation of AI if we want to live with it in harmony in the future.

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