Islands of Verifiable Human Insight
Artists: A tsunami of AI-generated content will drive up the value of human-made art, writing & video
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"At the pace things are moving, it will be possible to create video, text, and images that are indistinguishable from reality to the uniformed eye. What does that mean? It means we’re rapidly (and I mean very rapidly) moving toward an on-line world where AIs - either prompted by humans or programmed to prompt themselves - will be generating so much content that the information consuming public will be overwhelmed. It won’t be misinformation or disinformation. It will be a galactic avalanche of content which most people aren’t equipped to evaluate as true or fale, useful or useless, real or fake. Islands of individual, personal, and verifiable human insight and communication will become scarce. The scarcer they are, the more valuable they will become. I can tell you now that we’re already planning on moving more of our content behind the paywall, and behind the prying eyes of AIs." -
The idea that as AI content floods the Internet that personal, human insight and communication will become more valuable makes total sense. In fact, this is essentially the thesis of my previous essay The Post Social Network Internet where we discussed online social activities moving away from monolithic social networks, to smaller, diverse, more human spaces.
When goods become automated and machine-made, hand-made, human-made goods tend to go up in value, a lot.
We are moving into a world where text copy and images are trivial to create and the amount of "information" that will flood online sites will be exponentially greater. As Dan said in the quote above, most people will be overwhelmed.
But, as humans, we don’t want to connect with machines, we want to connect with other humans. And we will seek out what he calls those "islands of personal, verifiable human insight." For it isn’t AI, but humans that have inspiration and insight, AI just spits out words based on an algorithm.
Have you heard of the "Doorman Fallacy"? (The idea was coined by Rory Southerland and he covers this, and other ideas, in his book, Alchemy, which I highly recommend creatives read as they think about their marketing).
The Doorman Fallacy is this: Mistaking the function of a doorman at a five-star hotel as opening and closing the door.
If that simple act is the doorman's true function, then why not just save money and use an automatic door opener? So the hotel hires a consultant who tells them to do just that. And they fire the doorman and a few months later discover that guests are becoming less satisfied with the hotel and their business is declining.
This is because the hotel forgot that the doorman performed a whole host of other human roles: he signified status, he recognized guests and made them feel good, he provided security, he helped keep the entryway clear of vagrants, he talked with other doormen and knew which guests were dodgy.
At this point, having fired the doorman, the hotel can't charge as much, but the consultant who recommended "firing the doorman" considers the whole thing a roaring success and has moved on to his next victim.
As Rory says, "Remember my argument against Silicon Valley: an automatic door does not replace a doorman."
And here's my riff on Rory's quote, "Remember my argument against AI: an automatic image renderer does not replace an artist."
When human connection, insight and ideas become scarce - fine artists will become more valuable.
Rory makes another important point in Alchemy - humans value the effort put into something more than the purely logical function. Humans aren't logical - they are psycho-logical. And the fact we are not logical is what allows “magic” to exist.
Think about this: Why not just save money and send your daughter’s wedding invitations by email?
What a waste of time and money to send them out on beautiful, expensive hand-addressed card stock!
Thinking AI images will replace paintings is like thinking email will replace sending physical wedding invitations!
We don't send email wedding invitations because weddings are a special event, and we send expensive card stock to signal to other humans. That it is an important event. To signal that it is something worth paying attention to. To signal that it is not an everyday occurrence. To signal that it is something sacred.
And your art and writing is the same way - it is set apart.
It is sacred.
BoldBrush Founder & Art Fanatic
PS - Incidentally, what is described here is what we, BoldBrush, are attempting to do with our publications and services - We are building some of those "islands of personal, verifiable human insight and communication." We are glad you are on this journey with us. If you’d like to support us and join us on this mission, please click the button below to see your affordable membership options: