So THAT’s How you feel about AI!

Yesterday I posted, asking the question about how people really feel about AI. And I offered my view too, you can read the post HERE. I also posted to Facebook and a got a huge amount of well argued and considered comments. Having lost my Facebook account last year to hacking, I wanted to ensure that these comments would not be lost. So I have copied most of them here, skipping some replies and shorter comments. You can read the original post on FB HERE. Please do comment here, on the original post or on FB. Fascinating stuff… (image created with MidJourneys so expect some wierndess on inspection)

Stuart Newman: Yes, am with you on this. I can spot AI Art/Pics by the wierdism (is that a word? Is is now) most if not all of the time, and with text I can often spot AI help as it uses phrases and terminology which is uncommon in colloquial English language. Take for example: Mastery. I can’t recall the last time I heard the word used in every day language. But not only is that in my CV now, it’s in half of the job adverts I’m reading!! I have a Polish friend who uses an AI converter for his emails and texts, and the language is… Kinky! There’s no other word to describe it, as he sounds like a cross between a cocaine fuelled marketing exec mixed with a PHD physics lecture. But yes, as you say, human tweaks make it much less easy to spot and also speeds up our workflow. Will this create less jobs? Maybe as work will be done quicker. But you can’t spot progress. Once upon a time a typesetter was a prestigious, highly paid job – computer CAD programs killed that off, but we still read newspapers (OK, maybe not in the same numbers but that’s for another discussion). I LOVE the idea of using technology to help the human workflow, but not as a replacement for creativity.

Dorothée Kuepers: I am very, very strongly against that. AI technology in the arts is very dangerous, because it can easily be used to steal, as it is already. Anything that can be done by a trained and skilled human should not be replaced by AI.

I realise that without humans AI technology would have nothing to simulate, but AI technology is ultimately replacing, rather than enhancing.
There are AI shops (without staff), there are AI friends (which is creating a generation of kids that won’t be able to interact normally), books written by AI, mimicking known authors, paintings being drawn by AI, images and voices of real people being used by AI. We can’t tell what’s real and what’s artificial anymore. I personally hate this technology and want no part of it.

Mark Renshaw: I can spot AI generated art, movies and text that has not been edited by humans too. It amazes me that so many people are fooled because AI (currently) has quite identifiable traits.

For me the AI debate reminds me of the piracy debates over the past few decades. I seemed to be the only one on the planet who refused to engage in piracy. Even the guy who sold me my ticket at the train station kept on trying to flog me pirated DVD’s. Most people genuinely didn’t see downloading something for free as theft, while others engaged with it on an industrial scale to make as much money as possible.
How many people were outraged when Metallica stood up to Napster and said enough is enough? They had the nerve to say they should be paid a fair price for their art and not have millions of people download their albums for free.
And yet, piracy, and pirate services like Napster gave us the world we have today. Would we have streaming services without piracy? I don’t think so. It forced an outdated system to move forward. This is good for customers as they get access to millions of hours of content for a small fee, but maybe not so good for creators who only get a few pennies for their efforts. That has always been the case though for the smaller artists, but these days there is far less of the pie to share when it comes to the streaming giants.
Regardless, I couldn’t do it then and I can’t now. It’s my own personal choice. I can’t simply accept AI unconditionally just like I couldn’t accept piracy in it’s raw form. AI is here and it is here to stay, there’s no going back now. However, we can put rules and regulations in place and make personal choices to make it a fairer, more morally aligned playing field. We can encourage the use of such tools to enhance creativity without replacing humans and we can dissuade those who simply want to make as much money as possible from AI or see it as a quick, easy way to break in.
AI is here – what we do with it and how we collectively approach it is up to us.
Ian Hierons: The problem for me is the overwhelming amount of AI generated material -vs- pure human generated material.
Soon we won’t be able to differentiate and human endeavors could be subsumed by work that is machine made. It’s a tidal wave.
The same will be true of “news media” created by AI. It will overwhelm real news online.
Humankind has expressed and communicated through art since the dawn of time. That voice could be lost in the noise.
I am not negating the immense power or beauty of AI and how it can enhance all creative endeavors – but we can’t get lost in the machine.
We need to honor our place as analog creators.
Perhaps the resurgence of the cassette (while inferior), is simply humans grasping for a non-digital experience that relates more directly to how we experience objects, time and space, – and less to the more abstract and intangible realm of digital media.
I think the overwhelming volume of AI generated art, music and news will reduce human agency.
I look forward to the resurgence of print media, and newspapers. They will become trusted sources again.
Savannah Morgan: We equate effort and training to value, no question. Even within the AI art community, to create certain things (a beautiful woman for example) is easy. If you want a centaur, good luck, and guard your eyes over the things it will generate for you. The science of prompting is wild and goes far beyond putting a bunch of words into a text prompt.
I fully understand the hatred towards AI art, the fact that’s it’s trained on stolen images, that I can prompt a Lisa Frank image and get something very nearly made by her without hiring her to do it.
But I also see another side. Selfishly, first, because I generate film-like images for pitch decks or websites that are royalty free. Could I afford to hire a photographer and motorcyclist to go into the desert to shoot a biker woman speeding across the dunes leaving a trail of dust? No. Are there stock images to buy? Perhaps, but not with the elements in them that I need. Is it cheating that it’s trained on copyright movie images, and motorcycle rallies, etc to produce my image? Perhaps. But it also brings the power to get those images into the hands of people who would previously be unable to afford it. With Unreal Engine, broke filmmakers will probably soon be able to image a scene in midjourney, import it to the game engine, and live capture their actor against a green screen and vastly decrease the budget needed to make a teaser for a film.
With the art itself, it’s even harder. I’m an artist, I use procreate, and my grandmother said to me “but that’s not real art.” Because it’s not paint on paper, it’s a digital paint brush. Because I can erase my mistakes. But I control every line, every layer, every decision. Most people would argue it IS art. So then we look at AI images. If I turn my drawing (a sort of octopus monster, as an example) into a Disney-field version of it with AI, that’s cheating. But if I look at YouTube videos on how to draw disney characters and apply that to my creature, that’s art. Spend any time in an AI group and you will find tons of people using it to create things for their deceased pets. Would they hire an artist to make their pet into a constellation floating in the night sky? Probably not. Does it give them a lot of catharsis, the same that artists get when they pour their angst onto the page, to work with the ai image generator to finally get the “right” representation of their pet and what it means to them? It seems to, yes.
And I wonder what will happen when inevitably something can read your mind, and you imagine something in your mind’s eye and it replicates it. Is that also cheating? Because you didn’t learn to do it with your hands?
I don’t have answers. But I truly hope that AI finds a way forward. A way of verifying it’s trained on consenting sources. Because I have seen people “finding” or “creating” images bringing them a lot of joy.
James Jay: It’s odd I think that some people will pay from £21.50 to £200 to watch an AI generated show – ABBA Voyage, but they accept it for what it is – many years ago a guy is riding in the first-class cabin of a train in Spain and to his delight, he notices that he’s sitting next to Pablo Picasso. Gathering up his courage, he turns to the master and says, “Señor Picasso, you are a great artist, but why is all your art, all modern art, so screwed up? Why don’t you paint reality instead of these distortions?”
Picasso hesitates for a moment and asks, “So what do you think reality looks like?”
The man grabs his wallet and pulls out a picture of his wife. “Here, like this. It’s my wife.”
Picasso takes the photograph, looks at it, and grins. “Really? She’s very small. And flat, too.”
I love this story because it directly challenges our notion of reality. More specifically, it calls into question our ability to see reality for what it is. Is Picasso’s art really abstract, or is all art and communication an abstraction, just like the photograph in the man’s wallet? Then there’s this – “I’d like to acknowledge the debt I owe to the Final Draft software, without which I’d still be using Wite-Out® on the shooting script for A Few Good Men.” – Aaron Sorkin. It’s all very challenging and I was cynical about it, actually not about AI, the cynicism rests on human shoulders. Nothing ever in science, by itself, has damaged us of its own accord. (Apart from a Meteor which wiped out dinosaurs, but thats a natural happening, thats just Nature doing its thing, Black Plague etc. etc. we rise and fall by these things) As Prof Bronowski said many years ago filming for ‘The Ascent of Man’ standing in the pool at Auschwitz where his relatives were flushed – “It’s said that science will dehumanise people and turn them into numbers. That’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers.
Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is
what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken.”
I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.” Ay there’s the rub – we always start off with our own agency, whether that comes from within or we see it in others through the personal or in a story, written, spoken, seen or suggested by someone or something – we always have to humanise it to make it ours to make it connect – AI as far as I can tell now I’ve investigated it a little is indeed a tool, a powerful tool. But perhaps the more of us that embrace it and use it wisely the more its us that will own it, it becomes democratic and not left to the few to control it. Wasn’t that the original idea of Tim Berners Lee with the Internet? That’s not all gone very well but again its not the thing itself, the thing isn’t the monster, the monster is the human behind it, the monster lies between our ears, we are responsible
Lucy Linger:I’m a lover of analogies and for me the AI issue analogy is eating out. You can eat out at McDonalds and you can eat out at a 3 Michelin star restaurant. Both feed you but are very different experiences. If the meat I eat at both comes from the same farm will I know? Probably not. If they chef that cooks at the 3 star place serves me a Big Mac willI know? Yes probably. So my feeling is how much involvement there is from AI in the creation and what the “diner” is after will be a big factor. I think we have to face it that there will be many people – possibly like Chris’s 8 year old son – who will happily eat McDonalds all day long. They won’t care if a show is AI or not. Some people will think it’s trash and some people will love it. But I think there will always be a market for the Michelin star – which here is the human created art. But it must be recognised that the Michelin star restaurant has a MUCH smaller share of the eating public than McDonalds. Which is kind of depressing on many levels. But there will definitely also be people who want to know the SOURCE of their meat and if it was grass fed, organic etc. This is how I view it – I don’t want to work at McDonalds but I don’t need grass fed meat. So as long as I can’t tell AI was used – as long as I’m not eating a gross Big Mac – I probably won’t know.
That being said for YEARS there have been imitation artists who can replicate the Mona Lisa and yet the Mona Lisa still commands the respect it does and the price it does because it’s original and authentic.
It’s my belief that writers breaking in have struggled to do so with paradigm “save the cat” style scripts for more than 10 year now. Unique voice is what people want. Authenticity. A different human perspective. I think it will take AI decades to learn to write what Corey Mandell calls “pitch perfect authentic” scripts. So doing that will be my focus.
Siobhan Pemberton: AI can never have a soul ..creativity comes from the human soul .., AI can replicate some aspects of creativity but only copies what a human programmed it to do at it’s electronic programming roots. Ai is like the Bladerunner replicants – there is something not quite believable to the “truth” it resembles – the human soul/ muse has gone – is missing as they say the human mind is a monster of biology .. which the electronic “ brain” still has no concept of.
Andrew McGee: Its a brilliant tool for independent filmmakers and creatives. I used Midjourney with a touch of Photoshop for my last short film Kickstarter and a recent pitch; it makes more sense than hiring a concept artist as that stage, since spending money before there’s a budget is counterproductive.
However, I wouldn’t frame that “artwork” and put it on my wall like I have with human-made pieces.
Something I feel hasn’t been discussed enough is the value of scarcity. Already I feel image generation has lost its novelty, and something which was initially incredible is just another part of the tech landscape. When something can be instantly and infinitely generated, it becomes less special with less worth, because we naturally value the time taken in its creation, especially if it’s by a human. For that reason, I don’t believe audiences would pay to watch a fully-AI generated film in the cinema, because what are they paying for? Right now, we know how much money, effort, and talent goes into making a film, reflected by the cost of a ticket.
It’s an interesting point about AI’s influence being the norm for future generations who are constantly surrounded by it. I think that will certainly be the case commercially and in advertising (like Bruce Willis’s face recently used in a TV ad), but for the sake of sticking to art and narrative fiction, I don’t think it’ll change an awful lot besides the current gimmicks like deaging (also not convinced we’ll fully move past the uncanny valley). Artists from all generations will have that instinctive need to create, and consumers/audiences will always see the worth in their time and talent, and be very aware of the distinction between human and AI – perhaps even moreso than we are, so I disagree human-made work will become outdated like vinyl. A music player is simply technical, but creation is different entirely, so I don’t agree with the comparison.
There is certainly a ‘look’ to AI images and a tone to ChatGPT which I can usually spot too (and have received email replies clearly written by AI), and I think more people will start developing that skill.
I think it’s a good thing AI regulations are being written into contracts now, before it’s too late and becomes exploitable, but also radically changing the production process too quickly can lead to an overall collapse above and below the line. The fact that AI generations can’t be copyrighted is a great thing, The random lottery element of images isn’t ideal anway when a client wants to give specific instructions or changes.
It’s also quite limited tech for now. ChatGPT as a learning language model only gives the illusion of intelligence because it’s good at predicting the next logical word, but by default only ever generates the median of whatever it’s asked. Their results are literally “average”, and it can only ever reinterpret, not innovate, and the same goes for image generation. If I ask for feedback on a script, 10 different regenerations will all be similar, whereas 10 different people will all bring their own unique perspectives from their own life experiences. I don’t see that changing until there’s an entirely new model of what we call ‘Intelligence”.
My own feeling are it’s brilliant as a tool and for generating ideas, but I don’t see it changing the landscape of our industry in any meaningful way (unlike copywriters or stock image sites). I think the most exciting prospect is VFX moving into editable 3D spaces, which would be groundbreaking for CGI, and I can see it becoming a major tool in that area.
Fascination discussion, and AI can’t be put back in the box!

Alan X Cross: When I used to produce music and release it on vinyl you had to pay a grand to get it out there so you needed conviction about what you released. In the mid 90’s digital technology and online distribution changed all that – suddenly everyone was a producer and distributor of their own content – both audio and visual – and there was a wave of material in volumes previously never seen.

I guess AI will be the same – in the end there’ll still be the occasional nuggets but we will have to wade through the cheese to find them!
It’s a useful tool in the film production kit bag. Things like AI Text to Speech, Text Based Editing, Auto Subtitles and other tech will definitely free up time to write better stories – that can’t be a bad thing!
It’s just another part of the evolution of the world – probably quite a big part to be fair.
Fire > the Wheel > Electricity > Electro Magnetics > The Motor > The Car > The Phone > The Mobile Phone > T’Internet > AI > The End 😂