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  • Simon Elam

AI: We Can, But Should We?

AI Makes Me Nervous

I’m going to be very honest. I have been concerned about AI ever since people started talking about it this past year. It felt wrong to use it and it wasn’t until taking a class about its benefits that I finally figured out why. I wrote down some of my first thoughts:

What will happen when AI becomes the go-to solution for everything?

What will happen when AI generated art has more positive reception than art created by real humans?

What will happen to the primary purpose of art- human expression and connection- if AI becomes the substitute?

My conclusion- there will be no need for us to think or create for ourselves.

Reactions to Common Arguments

Of course, there are many benefits to using AI that we could take advantage of, but no one seems to talk about the risks. Here are some of the commonly cited benefits and my response as an artist and someone who deeply appreciates fine arts.

Point 1 - There Has Always Been Development in Art.

Yes, art methods do develop over time. However, never has art created itself until now. This is the first time people want technology to create art by itself, which destroys the whole point of art in the first place.

Point 2 - We Are Still Creators; AI Is Just a Tool.

The problem with AI is that it weakens the human ability to create. People will say the difference between AI and humans is that humans have “soul” and AI can never copy that side of creation. But leaning on this technology will cause artists to work less and less and in return not portray as much “soul” in their own works. We may think ourselves irreplaceable, but AI art generation traps us and handicaps us, causing us to lose our ability to think for ourselves and express creativity authentically.

Point 3 - It Helps Us Complete Projects with Less Time and Effort.

Yes, that may be true. Our collaboration with AI can make processes more efficient. However, is art created with AI really fully ours? Real art takes time and thought. AI may be quick and easy, but it also makes a deeply meaningful process of creation suddenly cheap and shallow. We not only steal other artists’ works without consent, we also rob ourselves of the opportunity to gain inspiration for ourselves.

Don’t Be Replaced!

As AI exponentially advances it will begin creating more appealing art than humans can on their own. Tragically, it has already started. In other words, people may start to prefer the quality of AI projects over independent and original works. Not only does this challenge our human ability to create, but it also puts into question our integrity when it comes to things as simple as honesty and respect for originality. It is an ethical issue. This is why I never want to give in to using AI to create in my field of work.

Cowritten by Natalie Charal and Simon Elam.

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