Taking comfort from art and history in the age of Artificial Intelligence
It was the BBC's Books & Author's podcast. Here's the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001ry44
Harari’s books all literally blew my mind. I listened just yesterday to a podcast on AI & the novel. It’s definitely becoming more and more relevant & pressing. Thank you for this thought-provoking essay!
I answered "no" to your question at the end but I've got to qualify that a little . . . I don't believe "we're all doomed" but I do think the supposed advantages of AI are drastically overhyped, especially in the fields of art, image, and text generation. Tasks which were are drudgery, like washing clothes or manufacturing textiles, were sensibly offloaded to robots, thereby affording a greater degree of human flourishing. But giving art to machines? Why is that a good idea?
I am confident, though, that artists will figure out a way to use these AI tools in the furtherance of their own art. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of using AI image generators as a means of randomization; this would fit nicely with the kinds of things the Surrealists were doing, mining their own dreams and using techniques like frottage or collage to "generate" imagery which they would then incorporate into their own artistic creations.
Thank you for bringing an astute and nuanced view to this very intriguing intersection of art, which is of course another language long used by humankind, and this emerging new system made by us but which will most likely transcend us. We have always been slaves to the languages we create and use such as religion and politics as we are seeing play out once again and forever more. We have always been doomed, we refuse to acknowledge that our convictions about the nature of reality must also be seen through the limitations of our language’s ability to describe and perceive it.
This post situates this vision of a future of artificial intelligence (AI) within the context of art and as always, Victoria, you make us think more deeply about the human condition. AI only needs to gain a command of language in order to create havoc and it is already doing this with greater and greater efficiency. As Harari says in the YouTue video link you provide: 'For thousands of years humans have always been haunted by a much deeper fear; humans have always appreciated the power of stories and images and language to manipulate our minds and to create illusions' (22.00mins). The potential of this is truly frightening.