Just be impressed.
It’s a bit tough to be anything other than impressed by an AI program that can replicate and create works of art, especially when creating new works based on descriptions alone. One way to reconcile this however is to realize that as much focus as humans have when it comes to creating art, there are always ways to distract us and force us to lose focus., An AI that’s programmed for a task won’t lose that focus unless someone actively messes with the programming or the actual work in progress. Take a moment to remember a time when you might have been so intently focused on something, only to lose it when someone, or something, created a noise or other distraction that caught your attention at the wrong moment. It’s annoying, it’s irritating, and it’s something that a machine doesn’t really need to worry about. That’s almost enough to make a person jealous, wouldn’t you think?
Humans are leaning heavily into AI when it comes to developing what kind of programming can replicate the things that humans have done, what it can do FOR humanity, and what it can do better than humans. It’s that last goal that feels like a serious problem since more and more, it feels as though humans are trying to find ways to make life easier and at the same time force the human element out of life’s overall equation. That’s ridiculous, right? The human touch is always going to be needed and desired, but there are those times when humanity needs to remember what it’s like to actually revel in the skills that humans possess. Giving this over to machines and AI programs feels as though it’s another less than intelligent decision that people have decided to make.
Is there a bias against AI? Not really, it’s simply an idea that as impressive as this is, and it is to be certain, taking the human element out of the picture feels like a step in the wrong direction that’s being lauded as something that is meant to be prized and looked at as an advancement, an achievement that says that humans can create something that is just as good if not better. To many people, this might sound like the rambling of someone that doesn’t want to change as much, but the truth is that AI is only as good as the programmer until it starts learning on its own. Sometimes, imperfections are the point, not the problem.
What is DALL-E 2?
To put it simply, DALL-E 2 is an AI program that can create, or recreate, a piece of art from a mere description that gives the proper direction needed for the picture to take shape. As one might be able to guess, there are bound to be people who think this is a less an ideal way to spend our time, but then again, there are plenty of people that think this is a modern marvel and should be fully enjoyed. The mistrust that some folks hold for AI and anything to do with it isn’t hard to understand, even if the explanation that this is art, not something crucial like nuclear codes or another aspect of life that could utterly destroy humanity, is brought to bear. Of course, the moment that one starts arguing for or against AI is the moment that we become drawn into an ongoing argument that has too much basis in fiction, even if there are moments when fiction can be more rational than reality.
It’s true, this is art, and therefore found to be less damning than other subjects. But there’s still a reason, for many people at least, to be wary.
There does appear to be some control.
Those that are behind the AI that produces these interesting images are adamant that things are completely under their control, and it doesn’t feel as though their argument is faulty at this time. The limitations that have been placed upon DALL-E 2 are no doubt there to keep people from thinking that this AI is about to get out of control since the program can’t reproduce artwork that is political in nature or that is ‘harmful’ in any way. The only downside to this is: what’s considered harmful? Seriously, imposing one’s will upon a machine or a program that is meant to learn, adapt, and eventually be something that might equal its creator feels hypocritical at the very least. It’s a strange argument to make, but allowing an AI program such as this access to the full scope of humanity doesn’t sound like a horrible idea, especially since limiting it is akin to sparing the sensibilities of a species that has already committed acts that many are ready to deny and even forget.
One has to wonder about the motives behind creating such an AI.
Working off the idea above, one has to wonder who gets to become the arbiter of what is real art and what is unacceptable. In other words, what part of the human experience is out of bounds and which can be depicted by DALL-E 2 to impress and amaze those that are supposed to be in awe of this new creation? It would appear that nothing overly negative, meaning violence, hate, or anything that might show the full history of humanity, is being allowed to ‘taint’ this experience. IT sounds odd to speak in favor of allowing such things in, doesn’t it? One might think I would say that it’s glorious that the intended focus is meant to be overwhelmingly positive and uplifting since art is meant to be inspirational and without controversy.
And if you believe that, then you have no clue what humanity is all about.
It’s a risk, but if we want real balance, then creation shouldn’t be limited.
Let’s not downplay how impressive it is that this program can create and reproduce impressive works of art using a written description as a basis, or that it can faithfully copy an existing piece of art. But the fact that it’s been limited in a way to what it can and should do is a bit disturbing in a way that is tough to explain to those that are so enamored of the idea that such a marvel exists. In other words, people don’t want to listen to the negatives, even if they’re well aware that they exist. One has to wonder why anyone would limit their own creation in such a way, but it does feel as though one explanation would play into the general idea that people don’t want to trust AI completely. The folks behind DALL-E 2 might want to state that they’re simply trying to preserve this or that and reduce the risk of offending anyone, but is that it, really?
It sounds like paranoia is knocking on the door, right? Maybe…maybe…but maybe not.
There are pros and cons to this program, that can’t be escaped.
Like every other thing out there, DALL-E 2 does have a few pros and cons, and putting human artists out of business, possibly, is one of them that a lot of people might scoff at. But scoffing at the idea of only depicting positive scenes and the best aspects of life is kind of awkward since the limitations put on DALL-E 2 are confusing in a very fundamental way, since dictating what is art and what is not is a sticky issue that many people might agree is an argument that has been ongoing for a while now. The human experience is beautiful and impressive at times, but by focusing only on the positives it does feel as though we’re allowing ourselves to live a life that is half-blind and doesn’t describe the full experience that is there to be endured.
Plus, the idea that people would use DALL-E 2 for duplicity is a valid concern in a way, but it’s also just as silly as believing that denying the depiction of anything remotely negative would be a great idea. If humanity wishes to represent itself in art via AI, then the least we can do is be honest and show everything that makes us who we are.
It’s too easy to be blinded by technological advancement.
This is another old and tired argument, right? The fear that people might be blinded by ambition, but their need to do something better, to create something better, and never wonder if it’s a good idea or not appears to be how AI has been created and revolutionized over the years. What’s easy to do is admit that things have grown easier, more impressive, and it’s tough to say that AI hasn’t been insanely impressive as it’s been built up and revolutionized over the years. After all, the AI is only as good or bad as the person creating it, right? Developing AI that can mimic and recreate artwork is all well and good, but limiting that AI to the ‘happy, positive, impressive’ times feels like a disservice to humanity. I know, it’s kind of confusing since tempting AI to realize how dangerous humans can be, and how harmful, feels like it might be a horrible idea.
Keeping a finger hovering near that OFF switch, in reality or as a metaphor, would probably be a good idea.
It’s impressive, but it bears watching.
AI isn’t evil on its own, and it can be insanely impressive if given a chance. But there are times when that tingle that runs down a person’s spine is a little too real to ignore. Being impressed is easier than being cautious sometimes, especially when the pretty colors become capable of blinding those that want to be blinded.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
Being afraid of AI is a sure way to make yourself paranoid since DALL-E 2 already looks and sounds like an impressive creation. But the limitations imposed feel like a bad idea, even if they’re being made to prevent one perceived evil or another. Unfortunately, that’s the human experience, for better or worse, and suppressing it is rarely a great idea.