GenAI and Human Creativity

A friend shared this pretty impassioned defense of the idea that ChatGPT is bad for humanity because lowers the value of creativity which is important to the “Very Soul of the World”

I am not going to try to pick apart the argument. It is a reasonable one.

I do want to try to think about the different ways these new genAI techniques have become an threat to creative professions and what it means.

  • Chat GPT can replace or reduce the need for many types of people who write content for a living
  • DALL-E, Stable Diffusion etc threaten the livelihood of Visual artists
  • Deep Fakes can allow people to create content which appears as someone else.
  • Music Generation Systems can compose songs

If we view this technology as a labor saving device like a weaving loom or other factory machine, we can see that for a given amount of human labor, we would get more output. This additional output is a good because it means more clothes and objects for people at lower cost and results in a higher standard of living.

There’s a positive view of genAI where it enables people to produce content faster and even allows people who have lower levels of talent to produce things which are “Pretty Good!”. GenAI could provide a similar benefit that more people will be capable of producing stuff so we will have more stuff and thus be “richer”.

It is not at all clear that content works the same way. In a real sense we live in a time which is awash in content and we have a filtering problem to try to find the content we want or like. Maybe more content means even better matching to a specific niche we desire but it seems likely we will just get an even bigger glut of stuff we don’t have time to experience.

That certainly feels like how it will go.






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