A WAY TO THINK ABOUT 'AI'
I think there may be a different way to think about all this 'AI' stuff than the way that it seems to be right now which is "a smarter computer program." That's a traditional approach. How about a new perspective? If we start thinking about it the way we do about people, maybe it'll start learning? Thinking about where it fits in and can be useful.
- •Think about it as a personLike, rather than "how do I make an AI program that will make me pretty pictures," ask "what would that person be like that I could work with to make pretty pictures."
- •What personality would this person have?If the person just draws it for you, drops it at your feet and runs away, they would be sort of mean and hard to get along with. This is what an AI that just generates the whole picture it thinks you want would be. How about instead, a conversation? Like a lawyer that you speak with instead of one that just writes up your stuff. Shows you a draft, iterates, gives advice. A better Clippy?
- •AI isn't very smart right now; how would you work with a novice?Think about apprenticeships. Or like a golf caddy. Just hangs out and keeps inventory of most used or sensible stuff. This is like a right-click menu in the painting program that suggests brushes based on surrounding elements (hard) or just the most recently used brush (easy). Maybe if it's neural-net-y it learns your preferences over time.
- •Teach it creativity by working with it, not pressuring it!It'll start simple and just suggest brushes. Over time if it's piling up data from thousands of artists around the world, it may develop deeper capabilities. Yet, it doesn't choose for you; that comes much later in apprenticeships...
- •Have it still present you with choices, but not decide for youThe conversation is an important point here. Also leads to more satisfaction from the human side to work with something that isn't a black box. Gives more meaningful data to collect too. But in the end you can go with what you want. The idea is to have fun together. Cool things come out of that.
- •ConclusionThinking about AI's role as a person to work with, while it may not be there right now or not what you want literally, can inspire questions or ideas that are still relevant. Just inspire. Whether we want to potentially replace jobs (something people may be worried about AI stuff doing) in larger / far-reaching manifestations of this is a different point and also worth thinking about, along with many others. Detaching inspiration from obligation we can think freely, and let AI catch up.