Human Imagination vs. AI
Can AI really compete with human creativity?
Hello Fringe friends,
Today: Can AI really compete with human imagination and creativity?
Plus some cool tech news. Let’s get into those first.
Midjourney 5.1 Update
Take a look at this picture:
Pretty good, huh?
Midjourney just updated their engine to 5.1 — what does that mean? It just means more impressive looking images, approaching a higher fidelity of realism.
What’s that mean? Probably more deep fakes to come. And election season is coming up soon? I smell disaster looming.
Pretty good fake for a fake
Anyway, here’s more on their latest update:
V5.1 is now available! Images are more coherent, sharp, and beautiful. It's easier to use and should respond more precisely to instructions. We've also added a "RAW" mode for expert users to reduce the 'opinionatedness' of our model and give you more creative control.
— Midjourney (@midjourney)
May 3, 2023
It’s improving fast. It’s hard to say where we’ll be in a year from now, but at this rate, it won’t be long before we can’t tell the difference between human and machine made. Kinda scary, kinda cool, very interesting.
The IBM & WatsonX Comeback
Remember Watson taking on the Jeopardy champ and crushing him? That was AI, and more specifically, natural language processing in action.
He doth not know what cometh
Many don’t know, but IBM has always been one of the leading developers of AI, even if they’re not very loud about it. Today, the company’s Watson tools are used by more than 100 million people, according to IBM.
Soon they’ll release WatsonX. IBM CEO, Arvind Krishna
“We see this easily taking anywhere from 30 to 50% of that volume of tasks and being able to do them with really as much or better proficiency than even people can do,” Krishna said. “That lot, we see getting embraced right away starting this year, and getting to full fruition over the next three to five years.”
Krishna didn’t stop there. Sipping his own champagne, he also said the company expects to pause hiring for roles it thinks could be replaced with artificial intelligence in the coming years. Dropbox can relate.
That’s roughly 7,800 IBM jobs that could be replaced by AI.
If Watson could become the world Jeopardy champ back in 2011, it won’t have any problem beating up on repetitive task workers in 2023. Yes, people will lose jobs, but that means other opportunities will open up, right? Right?!
IBM also surveyed executives around their thoughts and feelings around AI in the workplace. There’s still some challenges to overcome. From Techcrunch:
Thirty percent of business leaders responding to the survey cite trust and transparency issues as barriers holding them back from adopting AI, while 42% cite privacy concerns — specifically around generative AI.
I expect that number to dwindle as AI’s inevitability becomes more undeniable, and every company continues to seek its competitive advantage.
Google and… Wendy’s??
Repetitive task workers will eventually get replaced, whether it’s in the next 3 months or in 10 years. Things are changing — fast. Now Wendy’s and Google are teaming up to create a “frictionless” drive-thru experience.
Fast food chain Wendy's is partnering with Google Cloud on an AI chatbot to take orders at a drive-thru, the company announced Tuesday. https://t.co/YlLhd2wfdP
— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday)
May 11, 2023
I guess we saw this coming with Amazon’s cashier-less “go” stores, even though they’re starting to shut them down across the country. Having been to one, I must say, it’s nice to NOT have to stand in line.
Human Imagination vs. AI
Artificial intelligence excels at mimicry. But can it mimic the human imagination and creativity? Well, yes and no. Yes in the sense that if you’re lousy at drawing or art of any kind, but you’re an excellent writer (or prompter, in this case), then AI definitely outperforms your artistic skills.
And no, AI can’t compete with humans on the imagination front — yet — in the sense that AI is great at mimicry and finding patterns, but not in envisioning futures, and imagining new products or solutions to long-standing problems.
There are still ethical dilemmas when it comes to using AI in your work, particularly creative work. Artists continue to spot their work in the AI wild, and some are furious to learn that their art was used to train the latest models — and they want to stop it.
As you read this, people are using AI to pump the internet full of mediocre (yet still effective — for now) SEO content.
Too many wannabe thought leaders try to outsource the “thinking” part to ghost writers or AI…
And then they wonder why their content falls flat
— Katelyn Bourgoin (@KateBour)
Apr 4, 2023
What are the ramifications when the world is flooded with content in this way, knowing that AI is simply mimicking and repurposing what’s already out there? How will Google and all the SERPs respond? Will you get points for being first?
I’m still a believer in thinking of AI as “augmented” intelligence, or a tool to enhance your current abilities. Better writers will become more efficient, even better writers. Poor writers will become “good enough” writers.
Will humanity have a crisis of imagination in the coming years as AI takes on the majority of everyday tasks for everyday people? Through a lack of mental exercise? Remember, imagination is just as relevant to developing strategy, since it’s really the art of seeing around corners.
Regardless of what happens, personal AI assistants will be the norm for everyday people in the next 3-5 years. Every business will have one, serving their customer base, answering (and even asking) questions.
Every citizen will have theirs, learning its owner’s tendencies and preferences. Our Fitbits and Apple watches already do this, but this next iteration will be different. Very different.
ChatTCM or Total Crap Magazine
What will the sarcastic writers at McSweeny’s come up with next? Ah yes. Total Crap Magazine, a magazine written entirely in AI.
Please, for the love of content, find you a good editor to chisel the David out of your AI spewed content marble block. People still want to be entertained, inspired, or educated properly with your content.
AI is just not there yet.
Wes Anderson LOTR
I guess they’re not going to stop. But I’m enjoying these fake trailers — for now.
Here’s The Whimsical Fellowship, another AI generated trailer:
The Fringe Podcast
Completed a first (read: rough) take of The Fringe podcast. This was just a test run with my good friend Zach, who’s a walking encyclopedia on technology and building products.
So please forgive the poor jump into the middle of the conversation (I hit record after the fact), and our conversational tangents on AI and technology.
This is building in public.
Until next time.