On A.I. Creativity

One of the big things going around right now is training AI to create art. You can give a trained network prompts and get extremely interesting images and less interesting but still interesting bits of fiction. It’s come a long way. A lot of people are wringing their hands about the death of human creativity, or at least the death of humans getting paid to be creative. As a writer, and as a 2D and 3D designer/cartoonist in training this impacts me. I have some thoughts on it, of course.

Thought One: All Hail the Basilisk!

Thought Two: SOMEONE is going to have to train and/or prompt the AI and edit/wrangle its creations. This is a different skill than doing the initial creative work yourself, but every creator goes through revisions and editing. A new creative operator class will be needed, I believe, to listen to the client/marketing committee and figure out the best way to get the AI to give them what they want and then revise, compile, edit, whatever to get to the finished product. I expect that there will be people who do this as a hobby, as well as people who do this professionaly. Which is already how things are in the creative community.

Thought Three: The fanfiction community is going to get nuts. As this technology improves and becomes more accessible I can totally see more hobbyists getting into creating movies, cartoons, and books with the end results being at least visually exciting. Big Corpo like Disney will still reign supreme over your average consumer type, but creative communities like Newgrounds and Deviantart and, I guess, Livejournal, will have their own television series and movies produced by weirdoes like me who previously just did short Flash animations and written short stories or whatever. Imagine, instead of an internet that just has one Homestarrunner style metaseries there are hundreds to thousands of that same quality and much, much higher. It’s going to be crazy, I am pretty sure.

Thought Three and a Half: I lurk television and film discussions online, and one of the big gripes that people have is that the mainstream content creators like Netflix or whoever either give up on interesting shows after one season or cram so much propaganda and social agenda into a show that it renders it unwatchable. Accessible and powerful creator AI bypasses this. The democratization of content creation. Or the anarchization of it, and if that’s not a word it should be because I am pretty sure you know exactly what I mean.

Thought Four: I want to use it myself. One of my hobbies is 1970s and 1980s mecha and cyberpunk anime. Eventually our Lord and Savior Discotek is going to run out of series to bring over to the West on blu-ray (not to mention they are only doing limited runs of some titles that are already “collectible” again) and it would be nice to feed the right prompts into a creative AI and get new material in the style and aesthetic of those precious, bygone days.

Thought Five: With many people the compulsion to create is powerful. I feel this like a tidal wave at times. Plenty of people are going to simply keep creating the old way just for the sake of doing it. Maybe even “Authentic Human Content” will be an expensive and sought after thing. After all, to continue training these machines to create they have to be fed human created content to go off of. I have read, and I don’t remember where, that machine creativity breaks down over time if it includes a certain level machine generated content to train itself, so there will be a need or desire to feed these creation machines more and more human generated content. So there is that. Don’t quote me on this, though, because I don’t remember where I read that article.

Thought Six: As I have said before, I am training to become a 2D/3D designer and cartoonist because it’s something I WANT to do, and not because I expect to go into it as a job. I would love to have a creative job, but I’m not pinning my hopes on it. I’ve got some demons to exorcise by hammering them into a form that others can enjoy. I’ve pretty well written off finding joy and meaning in a bill paying job. What I’m after right now is the sort of job that I can pay the bills with the minimum amount of thinking about what goes on at work, so that I can not only pay for my off-the-clock hobbies and pursuits but also enjoy them with peace of mind.

And that’s it. I’m not afraid of AI content creation. I’m not afraid of AI at all. If anybody worries me it’s governments, religions, and other agenda-havers training an AI to do wicked things. But someone training an AI to create a movie or tv series? Nah.



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