Thank you for your great point of view on this.

I’m currently reading “The artificial man and other stories “ by Claire Winger Harris . A classical collection of scifi stories (I got the Belt Publishing edition to support them and their substack)

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Hi Meaghan! I thought I would return the favour and comment on your AI article. :)

I think this bit you write is really critical:

"After all, no one asked where the horse and buggy manufacturers went after the car came on the scene, did they?"

The difference, I think, is that the point of the horse and cart was never about us being better acquainted with horses. The entire purpose of the horse and cart was to travel, as fast and as efficiently as possible. The car was a natural continuation of that core purpose. Not great for horse and cart companies, as you mention, but the fundamental principle at play remained the same.

Advances in tech like that don't 1:1 apply to art. The point of illustration is not simply to 'make visual images'. If that was the case, then AI image generation would be the perfect next step - it can make visual images faster than anything before! But that isn't the point: the point with writing or illustration or filmmaking or anything else is to communicate an idea, or a feeling. And that communication is between humans. That, really, is what it's all about.

That's why new art tools, like the camera, or Photoshop, or similar, have been useful. AI art might end up in a similar place, where it helps humans with that communication aspect, but it's not there yet - for technical and ethical reasons. It's most often used at the moment as in your AI sketch - as a shortcut to creating An Image, rather than to explore an idea.

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Feb 9·edited Feb 9Liked by Meaghan McIsaac

AI will never have the connection to the authentic uniqueness to human created art. Keep on going Meaghan! I look forward to more stories about mothers too ~ how beautiful your renditions are in your shared doodles.

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So enjoyed your article. You read my mind!

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Feb 3·edited Feb 3Liked by Meaghan McIsaac

"That's why we make art, isn't it? To connect and relate to other ppl. " Yes, absolutely, this is one of the reasons! So beautifully put.

I feel with you. I heard 2-3 references to AI writing in the past month or so and it felt like suddenly it was being talked about multiple times in multiple places. I read a few years ago that creative jobs would be some of the ones NOT "taken" by AI.

I agree with you that it's a good idea to step away from the computer and relax! Non-screentime is so important.

I listened to an interview from a professor from UCLA say that if someone asks if they should keep writing, they don't need to keep writing; that a writer is someone who HAS to write, they need it, they just have to. As he described the writer, it reminded me of me because even when I resist writing something down, I feel it bursting out of me and I find a way to record it. So, to your point about the beauty of art - yes, keep writing! :)

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I feel you fam. Creative endeavours were the last real bastion of freedom we had, one not easily captured by the machine that feeds the system. Now it looks like that too has been take over by the ever gluttonous barons and kings of modern times, our very souls fed into their ledgers to server them for eternity.

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Jan 31Liked by Meaghan McIsaac

I had a writing influencer scaring me with this AI stuff starting a few years back. His podcast guests were full of words like "efficiency," "output," and "keeping up," all of which landed like rocks in my stomach. His numerous books turned out to be unreadable. I took that as a sign.

It can never, ever do what we do. It achieves plausible sounding results by, at each construction step, adding the word or phrase (or whatever relevant piece) that is most statistically likely to fit with what it has so far. We are always looking for the twist, the new interpretation, which is exactly what it cannot do. It can't understand and re-examine itself when it spits out cliches, biases, or verbatim copies of the first article on a new topic. We can. We're not stochastic parrots, regardless of the hurtful things crypto and econ pundits may have said.

The suits sure are trying, though. Just look at the Buzzfeed News debacle. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/buzzfeed-chatgpt-openai-artificial-intelligence-personality-quiz/

Grifters are latching onto it. It will explode the internet with even more content mill type garbage. We will waste even more time wading through it and deleting it. The important stuff will end up buried under bigger and bigger piles of it.

Clarkesworld and Tor have specific policies against it, that I know about so far. Which brings me to one of the biggest use cases for it: plagiarism detection. That's right, its creators stand to make huge bucks by having it flag its own output. If that's not a protection racket, I don't know what is.

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Yay for finding time for markers!

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