The Possibilities with AI

I’m not worried about AI replacing me as a writer, because the reason I write is that no one in the world was writing the books I wanted, namely Otters In Space. If I wanted to read them, I had to write them myself.
Even with an AI helping, I’d still have to provide that idea.

AI art programs don’t create something until they’re prompted. It’s a collaboration between a human and the program, every time, and collaborating with an AI program is pretty fun. It’s a new form of art, using a new type of tool.
But seriously, if all the writers in the world were failing to write Otters In Space, then an AI wouldn’t write a book like it either — not without someone thinking to ask for it, meaning they’d basically be collaborating with the AI by feeding it original ideas anyway.
And even collaborating with an AI, the program would truly have no idea how to write something like Otters In Space without being shown several models or otherwise walked through it first.
I love AI art, but it’s not good at imagining new things without human suggestion.
The thing that humans are absolutely best at, a thing AIs will never be able to compete at doing, is knowing what humans like and enjoy. Having a sense of taste.
An AI could possibly have some sort of sense of taste, but it wouldn’t be a human sense of taste.
AI programs can churn out things they’re asked for, but unless a human asks for something… they don’t make anything at all. They are as inanimate as a rock.
And once an AI churns out things in response to a prompt, it has no method for telling which pieces are worthwhile.
One of the most fundamental aspects of being any sort of artist is having a sense of taste — it’s not just about making random things; it’s about making things that you find valuable or beautiful or meaningful.
This is why AI art programs are nothing without humans guiding them.
Art is about finding meaning. Craft is about applying skill.
It turns out that AI programs can be pretty good at crafting things. But they need artists guiding them for those things to have meaning.
Over years of practice, I’ve gotten pretty skilled at the craft of writing, and I do enjoy applying the skills I’ve developed. But the reason I developed those skills in the first place is that I wanted to communicate ideas — story, meaning, beauty.
People used to have to do math in slow, laborious ways. Now we have calculators and computers that make it so much faster and easier. People still have to learn the concepts, but they don’t have to waste hours on something a spreadsheet can do in seconds.
Spreadsheets, calculators, and computers in general let us reach higher heights when it comes to mathematics than would be possible if every number had to be crunched by hand.
AI art programs will allow the same kind of new power.
We already use computers to speed up animation, and yes, sometimes the hand-drawn art has a special charm and there’s still room for that.
But if AI can make it so an individual person can sit at a computer and conjure a whole movie from their mind… that’s beautiful.
Music like the work of Owl City would simply not exist if Adam Young had been required to hire all the musicians necessary to record it in the way things were done in the 1960s.
What movies will artists like him make using the help of AI?
I’ve long wished that I could take the visions in my head and translate them into the movies I can imagine, conjured into a form others can see. I’ve settled for sticking with novels, because when I looked into learning Blender, it was just too time consuming and difficult.
There are a lot of artists out there who are going to make amazing things using the new tools coming out now, and I want to see those new forms of art. I want to see movies made by a single person using AI to help them conjure every aspect of a movie alone in their room.
Some of the greatest artists of all time needed to work alone to realize their visions. You can have beautiful ideas in your head, but not be able to deal with the whole team of people it would take to turn those ideas into a movie.
I want those people to make movies too.
And when it gets to where an AI program will let me turn Otters In Space into a fully animated musical movie, you can goddamned bet I’m gonna make the hell out of that movie.
And it will be freaking fantastic.

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