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Is AI Created Material Really Art (or Real Writing)?

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It started out with someone I connected to on Facebook — and forgive me for saying so — who all of a sudden shared art that surprised me. Why did it surprise me? It was fantastic. And I didn't know her to be an artist (of course, it was possible she had this low-key amazing skill that she all of a sudden decided to reveal to others). 

Secretly, though, I wondered, where on earth did she get such talent and why has she waited to share it until now?

Finally, a few posts of hers later, I complimented her art, and asked: how did she do that? It looked so real and professional and creative. I had to know. What was her medium? How did she make these images?
She told me: an AI-art program.

AI (or artificial intelligence) art doesn't come without controversy. Recently, an AI artist won an art contest that left people feeling pretty mad about it. Other artists have become unhappy at the thought their style is being mimicked in AI programs. And some AI art has been sold at an auction for a hefty sum.

But I confess: the idea of creating AI art drew me in too.

I joined a program called Night Cafe and played around with it. It's not as easy as you might think, especially if you are trying to create something in particular. While I'm mostly trying to recreate images from stories I've written, it's been fun to simply play around and see what I could do. (If you are curious, here's what I have attempted so far).

Then a conversation at work made me wonder about this whole subject. My boss was talking about the 2023 Q1 budget and mentioned they were considering an AI-writing program. I wasn't too surprised, and considering the level of content we had to create as a department, it could be a helpful tool. However, I wondered, could it eventually AI-write me out of a job?

If we had a tool that could use Mary Shelley's writing voice to create a new novel about some other monster, is that real writing? If we used J.K. Rowling's writing voice to create a new Harry Potter novel in the Harry Potter world, is that a book that should be sold? If we had a program that could mimic the Hitchcock-style of moviemaking and create new film noirs and mysteries based on that style, should those films be released in theaters? 

This has become a morally ambiguous question that I'm not sure about the answer to anymore. We're all inspired by certain writers' voices, but we don't mimick them in our creations. Sure, certain styles may seem similar, even in published material from a real writer. You'll see certain books as being great fans of "fill in the blank" because of how similar they were in nature.

Movies can be that way too. If you're a fan of Lifetime movies (and I am) there's a certain formula to each one that makes it so wonderfully terrible and amazing at the same time. Outside viewers can criticize the films, sure, but fans like me love them.

As technology advances, it's getting harder to deny a computer's role in our creative world. Is it only art or creative writing if there's a real person behind it that has produced the material?

What do you think about AI-created art or writing?

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