Dear Wordsmiths, let’s get serious!
The internet, as we know, is a mixed blessing – as are its child, social media and its parent, digital technology. Renowned thinker Naomi Klein recently published an alarming look at the latest development, AI, which it seems has the capacity to make everything much, much worse whilst being claimed to make everything much, much better.
Read this, please! Stop and do it now. (Yes it’s longish, but important.)
Did that leave you reeling about the ramifications for artists, amongst the general horror? It certainly is disconcerting and almost (almost!) makes me glad to be getting old and closer to death.
Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash.
And what can we little people do about it anyway, in the face of such huge, powerful forces? How can we word artists protect our creative expressions in an environment where wholesale theft seems to happen with impunity?
There are a number of possible answers to that, some of which are suggested in the article I’ve asked you to read. Another thing that occurs to me is that this may be, even more than ever, the age of the blogging author.
Yes, our words may get stolen and served up in distorted form, or even exactly as written, via AI, and credited to others – but here they are on our blogs, all the same, and the posts are dated. Furthermore, our readers (including each other) won’t give a damn about how and where else they may appear, because this is where they are used to finding and reading us.
I think it’s important to keep producing our original content even if it may then be taken and misused. I think it will become even more precious if it becomes comparatively rare.
I don’t know what will happen to the production and consumption of books if AI forges ahead as feared. Some of us, me included, like to get our writing out there that way too, as well as to read books by others. I expect we’ll still be able to do that for a while. But if not, if things really go downhill very fast, if people stop buying books, or can’t trust what they are buying, still our little blogs will attract those who enjoy them already as well as those who’ll want to read for free in the projected age of more and more exorbitant prices.
It’s all speculative of course at this stage. It just seems to me very important that we keep right on doing what we’re doing. And if we only reach a few among the millions? I remember, when I started making poems and wanting to communicate them, thinking that if even one person was reached, and moved, by one poem of mine, it would all be worthwhile. I bet you all had similar thoughts once upon a time. We’re doing a lot better than that, as it happens. So – onward and upward, my friends!
After that rant, of course your optional prompt this week is to write something – anything – on the subject of AI.
As always, we ask for one post per person, maximum word number (excluding title) 369, and you may give us poetry or prose, new or old, responding to the prompt or not.
Next week, Magaly will ask us to write poetry or prose inspired by an unfinished project.
Hopefully, the performing arts are still safe. I can't see AI managing to produce anything to rival this! Farewell to one of the great keepers-on-going, in more reflective mood than we might remember, yet powerful as ever.