This morning I watched a video about artificial intelligence and the bleak future that is in store for us once human creativity is replaced. I laughed to myself and decided I had to check it out. What happened was not at all what I expected.
If you don't know, you can sign up at openai.com and test out some of the AI that Elon and his crew have been building. I signed in to one called DALL-E 2 which is an AI system that will create original works of art based on various requests that you plug in.
I love the mountains, craft beer and vintage national park signs so I entered the following into the description field: "bigfoot in hiking boots, wearing dark sunglasses and drinking a beer in the style of a vintage postcard".
Here was the result:
I was stunned. The above original artwork was generated in less than a minute. This is a cool image and actually something that I wouldn't mind putting on a tee shirt or hanging on a wall.
Once the image was created, the AI system allows you to edit it. By using an eraser tool and the extension functionality, I was able to extend bigfoots landscape and add another mountain and treeline. Total time, about 10 seconds once I figured out what the tool options were:
Why not add a lake:
In the third image, bigfoots boot disappears. That wasn't DALL-E 2's fault, that was mine. I was messing around with the eraser tool and didn't replace the boot.
I'm still kind of mentally processing this and will probably post on this in the future. I started this experiment by watching a video about how AI is going to change the world over the next decade. This particular video focused on the cultural changes, and it painted a pretty bleak picture. And I wasn't buying it.
But after spending a half hour taking a peek at what is coming our way, I cant help but wonder what happens when information... even creative expression... becomes a commodity. I'm not ready to go Mad Max yet, but I will say that the next ten years will be nothing like the last.