Bryan Dijkhuizen

The creative threat

Last week I watched a black mirror episode with my girlfriend.

It was called “Metalhead” and I still can’t wrap my head around it. In this episode, 3 people are searching for something and while they enter an apocalyptic warehouse they trigger some robot dog.

Before chasing them down, the device sprayed with tracking devices that get stuck in your skin so you can barely remove them.

I’m not going to spoil the plot for you if you haven’t seen the episode yet but it’s dark.

The point is that it’s some kind of out-of-hand AI system that wants to kill all human beings to achieve some higher goal.

There are so many things in Black Mirror that were put live back between 2011-2015 that became true in the present. Luckily not to the full extent and with all the lethal drama, but in concept a lot of those episodes are familiar.

But that’s what technology can do.

Artificial Intelligence is applied in our daily lives, even though we don’t always see it directly.

For example:

  • Facial Recognition
  • Personal Assistants (Google, Alexa, Siri)
  • Smartphone Autocorrect
  • Online Customer Support
  • Smart Home Devices

So we can say AI has made our lives quite easy. But what is true about AI challenging our creative economy?

AI isn’t here to kill creativity. It’s here to help us, especially with tasks that are boring or take a lot of time. Yes, it can make music, write, and even make art. But these are based on patterns and templates. AI can’t come up with a brand new idea or make something from personal feelings or thoughts.

Only humans can do that.

So, we shouldn’t be scared of AI. Instead, we should find ways to use it to help us be more creative. We should teach people how to think creatively, solve problems, and understand emotions – things that AI can’t do.

AI isn’t a threat to our jobs.

It will change the way we work, often for the better. We should see AI as a friend, not an enemy, in our creative work. As we’ve seen in history, when we work with technology, not against it, we do our best work.

AI can be a writer’s best assistant.

It doesn’t aim to replace the creativity and originality of a human writer but offers a helping hand to streamline the process and refine the product.

Here are some ways AI can assist in writing a piece:

  • Idea Generation
  • Content Organization
  • Grammar Check
  • Tone and Style Suggestions
  • Plagiarism Check
  • Readability Analysis
  • Content Optimization

So maybe you should use it to your advantage.

The Big Issue With AI

The biggest questions are about privacy – who can see our information – and about how AI affects our thoughts and decisions.

Privacy is a big deal. When we use the internet, we leave behind little bits of information about ourselves.

AI uses these bits to learn about us and predict what we will do next. This can be helpful. For example, it can suggest a movie we might like on Netflix, or find the fastest way home on Google Maps. But it can also be scary. Who else can see our information?

Can they use it in ways that might hurt us?

AI can also affect our minds.

It can shape what we see and think. For example, when you use social media, AI decides which posts you see first. This might make you see only certain kinds of news or ideas, and that can change how you think about the world.

AI is a powerful tool. But like all tools, it must be used with care. As we use AI more and more, we need to keep asking these big questions.

We should still be able to think independently and for ourselves.

To help you do that, Curious Peoples is your daily dose of art, history, and science, delivered right to your inbox every morning.

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