ChatGPT and Dall-E: Is Generative AI Threatening Creativity?

Is Generative AI Threatening Creativity

Does the lack of creative blocks make AI better than us?

Much has been written about the rise of ChatGPT, DALL-E and other such generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Some worry they will steal jobs, while other professionals laud the tools for making their jobs easier. In support of the latter, AI is anticipated to take on repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing up time to be more creative and human. A study conducted in the U.K. estimated that by 2030, AI assistants will provide British workers with an additional two weeks of free time per year. A great bargain!

While ChatGPT and DALL-E are unique technologies with exciting potential, they also come with some potential drawbacks and concerns. Users see many pitfalls of these AI assistants, from threatening employment to creativity and more. Here, we delve into the threats of AI and its potential to transform the creative field (not at the expense of your job). 

The prominent AI tools

Currently, some of the most popular tools in the space are ChatGPT and DALL-E. ChatGPT is a language-based AI that can generate human-like responses to any given prompt. It’s like conversing with a computer but with surprisingly natural and even witty responses. ChatGPT is so good at generating text in a human-esque tone that some have started using it to generate convincing flirtatious messages for their Tinder matches. DALL-E and Midjourney, on the other hand, is an image-generating AI that can create lifelike images from written descriptions, and it’s like having a magic paintbrush that can bring any idea to life. 

The AI boom and the creativity crisis

As the AI boom continues, concerns about its impact on employment are at the forefront. With the advancement of AI technologies, there is a looming possibility of human workers being replaced in fields like content creation, design and other creative work. While this could lead to increased efficiency and productivity, it could also lead to job losses and economic disruption.

Another crucial issue lies in the emotional connection, or the lack thereof, that AI-generated works may have with their audience. While their technical capabilities may be impressive, they lack the depth and personal touch that comes with human creativity. Additionally, there is a risk that these technologies could homogenize creative output, as the AI algorithms may prioritize certain styles or ideas over others, thereby narrowing the creative landscape.

There are also concerns about the ethical implications of these technologies. For example, the algorithms used to train these models are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on, and if that data is biased or flawed, it could result in incomplete or prejudiced outputs. Moreover, there are concerns about ownership and control of the intellectual property generated by these AI systems.

Generative AI tools could also be used for malicious purposes, such as generating fake news, disseminating misleading information or even fabricating deep fakes. ChatGPT, for example, could be used to create convincing impersonations of people, which could be used for fraudulent activities. Similarly, DALL-E or Midjourney could create lifelike images of nonexistent products or deep fakes (manipulating someone’s appearance virtually), which could be used to scam people.

Exploring the nuances: Is all creative AI bad?

The answer to this question hinges on how you perceive it. Rather than viewing AI as a threat, it can be seen as an invaluable assistant, augmenting and amplifying human creativity. What these AI art generators do is tap into existing images to create new ones, placing the onus of creating completely original imagery squarely on the artist. In this light, you can develop a new art piece and then use AI to refine it to save time. This holds a particular relevance for designers on a time crunch, as AI can expedite the creative process.

Secondly, AI might help you break through any creative lulls. Given that it is trained using vast existing data, it knows what exists and what needs to. As a result, it can inspire you to create unique works, not only in art but science, too. 

No AI without the “I”

When you go to museums, your experience would mostly be influenced in equal parts by the art and its artist. After all, one often reveals a narrative about the other. The Mona Lisa embodies Leonardo da Vinci’s thought process, Mozart’s symphonies hum a tune of his life, and Sylvia Plath’s writings reflect the doom underlining her existence. Creative works are beloved not just for what’s on the surface but also for the artist and the story behind them. 

With AI creativity, there’s no story beneath, and it’s just what’s on the surface—is that enough? Perhaps not. The answer, perhaps, is not so straightforward.

While concerns loom about the encroachment of AI upon human creativity, it is worth noting that AI’s efficacy is contingent upon human instruction. Ultimately, the technology used to generate images or essays still relies on human input—the more detailed and accurate the task description, the better the result. 

Following the AI’s generative process, humans may need to make further refinements, such as touching up the art or editing textual content. Even the award-winning art piece Théâtre D’opéra Spatial, brought to life through the collaboration of Jason Allen and DALLE-2, required a lot of human “assistance”. Approximately 80 hours were devoted to meticulously tweaking and refining the task description, channeling human expertise to manifest the desired outcome.

Ultimately, ChatGPT and DALL-E in creative fields should be viewed as a complement to human creativity rather than a replacement. While there are potential drawbacks and concerns to consider, these technologies also offer exciting possibilities and opportunities for innovation. It’s up to us to use them responsibly and ensure that they are used in a way that benefits rather than hinders the creative process. In the end, even if you use ChatGPT or DALL-E to deliver a work, it remains your work—and its quality is your responsibility.

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Header Image by Pixabay

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