As an artist, writer, and actor, I have spent nearly four decades creating various types of art. During this time, I have seen many threats to my craft come and go, from CGI to click farms. However, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has filled creative types across the globe with existential dread like never before.
As a tech journalist, I cover AI, which puts me in a strange position of being at odds with myself. On one hand, AI is a powerful, game-changing tool that could be used for a lot of good. On the other hand, AI poses a grave threat to my livelihood. But that’s not the focus of this piece. Allow me to explain.
AI is a remarkable tool that could make predictions for companies, governments, and organizations about weather patterns, economic trends, and population issues. However, the reality is that big businesses will use AI to boost profits, even at the expense of employees. Jobs will be lost in frightening numbers, and society could wind up looking through a rather dystopian lens.
For those feeling a sense of doom, let me try to assuage your concerns by humanizing this problem. What is AI? AI is a concept that has been around since the 1950s, defined as a machine’s ability to perform a task that would’ve previously required human intelligence. It’s a massive and very complex computer program that allows you to feed in any source of data you like. However, AI will never have a life, which is the missing piece that de-humanizes it.
Every artist has a unique voice, and we use it to make our work distinct. AI might be able to mimic the style of Shakespeare or Stephen King, but it will never have their voice. AI isn’t human, and it never will be. AI can only know what we tell it, and it cannot experience things like humans can.
In short, we have reached the point of “know” return. AI will continue to grow, but it will never truly “know.” As an artist, I have spent decades developing a voice that is decidedly mine and no one else’s. People read my work not just for the stories or information but because of my unique voice.
AI is a tool that can be used for good or bad, depending on how it’s used. It’s up to us to ensure that AI is used wisely and ethically, so it benefits humankind rather than harms it. At the end of the day, AI will never replace the unique voice of an artist, writer, or actor.