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AI Is Coming for Art’s Soul

AI Is Coming for Art’s Soul

While AI-based technology has recently been used to summon deepfakes and create a disturbing outline for running a death camp, the ever-pervasive digital juggernaut has also been used to write books under the byline of well-known authors.

The Guardian recently reported five books appeared for sale on Amazon that were apparently written by author Jane Friedman. Only, they weren’t written by Friedman at all: They were written by AI. When Friedman submitted a claim to Amazon, Amazon said they would not remove the books because she had not trademarked her name.

Though the books were eventually taken down, Friedman said the books were “if not wholly generated by AI, then at least mostly generated by AI.” She went on to say, “It feels like a violation, because it’s really low quality material with my name on it.” She explained: “It looks terrible. It makes me look like I’m trying to take advantage of people with really crappy books.”

The books’ low quality is just one of many issues involving this emerging phenomenon. It suggests anyone who knows how to man AI technology could publish virtually anything under anyone’s name, and there would be nothing the author could do about it until the damage was already done. It is easy to imagine how this technology could be used to destroy someone’s reputation.

The trouble continues. The creative and intellectual property of creatives is suddenly put in jeopardy by so-called digital progress, and it presents a new era of fake news and overt misinformation. In a world where it is already difficult to parse truth from falsehood, this technology could make it near impossible to decipher what is really happening in the world.

There is also the concern over identity theft, which appears to have happened to Friedman. If Amazon and other major platforms refuse to implement a system that can effectively identify an author, then what would prevent someone from using AI to publish material under a well-known name?

“Unless Amazon puts some sort of policy in place to prevent anyone from just uploading whatever book they want and applying whatever name they want, this will continue, it’s not going to end with me,” Friedman said. “They have no procedure for reporting this sort of activity where someone’s trying to profit off someone’s name.”

This situation also presents a serious issue for those of us who read. Friedman mentioned the books published under her name were poorly written. One reason AI writes poorly written books is because it wholly lacks the unique watermark of human thought and emotion. While we consume art for a multitude of reasons, I believe what we are really after is another individual’s idiosyncratic perspective and expression.

If we allow AI to commandeer the arts, whether in literature, music, or film, it could mean the erasure of authentic human expression. And if there is any real purpose to art, it is to sincerely communicate what is most profound about the human condition. These are expressions utterly inaccessible to AI, without recycling pre-existing material created by humans.

AI is profoundly incapable of producing Mozart’s “Jupiter Symphony,” Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, or Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The reason why these works of art are so successful is, in part, because humans—with all their genius, flaws, and idiosyncrasies—made them. A hunk of technology—no matter how intelligent—simply lacks the twinkle of humanity necessary for a meaningful piece of art.

Though AI probably isn’t going anywhere, I still hold out hope that we will recognize its limitations to elevate and connect us through art. In our lonely modern era, what we need is more human connection, not less.

Image credit: Pexels

C.G. Jones
C.G. Jones

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  • Avatar
    September 1, 2023, 7:07 pm

    Uh…duh…you can virtually publish anything under anyone's name WITHOUT AI! What the hell does AI have to do with it?

  • Avatar
    September 1, 2023, 7:26 pm

    AI is already rewriting the Bible to suit the new world order

  • Avatar
    J Marie
    September 1, 2023, 11:35 pm

    This all comes down to the question of, 'what is art' and if we take a lens to the history of this question, we will find that it is constantly renewed and contested. AI art still requires the input of human prompt, and is another branch of digital art. Pop art was also highly controversial but emancipated ownership and control over 'what is art' to the masses. AI art is here to stay and allows almost any human with a basic wordstock to bring to life all the images of beauty that were previously imprisoned in the imagination by the limits of artistic skill, training and accessibility. Have a go at creating an AI piece, you will find that the desired effect takes time and might change assumptions about this ever evolving technology.

  • Avatar
    September 2, 2023, 8:30 am

    RE the "Oppenheimer" movie

    This movie omits the unnecessary and evil bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and also of its testing grounds in New Mexico and the Marshall Islands as if there were no innocent victims and grave harm done (https://www.themarysue.com/oppenheimer-has-people-speaking-out-about-a-pretty-glaring-omission) which shows the lack of conscience of its creator/filmmaker/director. And much dark facts on Oppenheimer himself are also concealed in this Hollywood movie (https://amgreatness.com/2023/08/21/the-oppenheimer-file-missing-cast-and-forgotten-back-stories).

    "The primary job of both Hollywood and the mainstream western press is to is to put a friendly, normal-looking face on a globe-spanning empire which dominates the world using nonstop violence and coercion. Their job is to continually normalize freakish tyranny. They do this in a whole host of ways, including the agenda-setting practice of under-reporting inconvenient facts while amplifying convenient ones…" — Caitlin Johnstone, Independent journalist

    So this immoral director presents a whitewash of history, a fake history account. Memory holing of real atrocities is immorality, a serious crime per any reasonable humane standard. The Nazi Holocaust should "not be forgotten" but the US Holocausts at Hiroshima/Nagasaki are fine "to forget." But this memory holing is in line with what it is: a stylish propaganda movie of the genocidal US empire, made by its criminal Hollywood 'dream factory'/propaganda apparatus. A celebration of the "wonders of technology" and the "brilliance" of its inventing immoral conscienceless scientists. A celebration of madness.

    It's the programing of the naive/dumb public by (one of) the most murderous regimes on earth to accept and want such horrific killer weapons –it's part of the normalization of evil via the brainwashing of the forever naive/dumb public.

    This inexcusable despicable conduct by the film's acclaimed director parallels the fact that dozens of Nobelists worked on the creation of the atomic bomb that proves that guilt and conscience never played a notable part in them.

    Oppenheimer’s guilt and conscience, too, was of no real significance as his actions in establishing the atomic bomb demonstrated.

    It shows the real fundamental condition and nature of “civilized” humans — they are inhumanely mad …. https://www.rolf-hefti.com/covid-19-coronavirus.html (which also explain WHY they are mad).

    "[…] I realized that the entire nuclear power program was based on a fraud—namely, that there was a “safe” amount of radiation, a permissible dose that wouldn’t hurt anybody." — John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., 1918-2007, Medical Physicist & Radiation Expert

  • Avatar
    Jerome Schneider
    September 13, 2023, 8:35 pm

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!


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