The Artificial World Of AI

“At some point in the early twenty-first century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marvelled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI.” The Matrix, 1999

In the quarter century since the release of The Matrix, we have seen artificial intelligence (AI) develop in leaps and bounds from sci-fi fodder to real-world technology that is quickly becoming a part of daily life. AI systems are being integrated into many aspects of human life at an alarming rate, including the arts.

The increasing presence of artificial intelligence in the creative arts industries has become a flashpoint for debate about regulation and restriction of the rapidly advancing technology. Many creatives are taking up arms against the insurgence of AI generated content in an effort to preserve the sanctity of their craft.

Apple managed to raise the ire of nearly every creative person on the planet with a recent ad for its AI technology that depicted the spectrum of the arts compressed into a soulless handheld device.

Not too long ago, we feared how AI would irreparably alter the course of human history. Today, we seem all too eager to charge headlong into the unknown futures warned against by myriad science fiction visionaries.

While we marvel at the wonder of our own creation, one can only ponder what of ourselves we are losing.

Creativity is the mark of mankind, it’s the very essence of our place in the world. From crude cave carvings to the Renaissance masters and the great novelists, artists and composers throughout history, the desire to create something new and inspiring is unique to humans.

Why should we be so willing to give that away for the novelty of a new machine?

AI presents a new and exciting frontier for humanity to conquer, but it also comes at a cost, and we should pause to seriously consider what it means to embrace an artificial future.

In the future described by The Matrix, humans have been relegated to a source of energy, batteries harvested by machines for power. In this world, the only original creation comes in the form of code, a paltry simulation of the real world that no longer exists.

The art and craft of creating should be left to the humans among us. We should not be too eager to relinquish that which makes us human.

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