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Throughout history, society has experienced rapid technological advancements making daily life more convenient. However, in the past 30 years these advancements have accelerated to inventions beyond what humans thought was possible. Artificial intelligence is a prime example of this.

In April 2022, OpenAI announced their new program, DALL-E 2; a new network algorithm that creates an image from words or a sentence a user provides. The technology has still not been made available to the public, but has been tested by many individuals outside of the company. As exciting as this news was to many people, others were not so optimistic of the program’s potential, and I have to admit that I agree with many of their concerns. Artists specifically were outraged because they believe this technology could enable people to steal creations to make their own. The careers of these artists and other content creators are threatened, in that AI-generated images would simply take over. Arguments regarding copyright quickly emerged, in addition to other problematic issues. Since the internet is majorly biased towards western culture, this means that it is also prone to emitting gender biases, reinforced racial stereotypes, and overly sexual images. The AI program is not restricted to preventing itself from producing images that are dark or offensive; it is simply utilizing data from the “latent space” of the deep learning model. 

These prospective concerns and controversy are likely why the program has not been released to the public. I don’t think DALL-E 2 should be locked away forever, but I do believe it should be modified in a way that will not endanger the communities mentioned above. While technological improvement has no doubt changed society for the better, there are some developments that should be excluded from the general public until they are ready for them.

2 Replies to “The Consequences of Creative Possibilities”

  1. I agree that AI is something we as a society may not be ready for, mainly because we as humans are so imperfect. Because AI relies so much on human input, both as programmers and users, AI is only as virtuous as the people that made it. What do you think it will take for people to be ready to use this technology? It is all down to us.

  2. Being able to witness the rapid development of technology is exciting, but there are always new ethical concerns that come along with it. You highlight a lot of the main issues with current AI image generators here, particularly the ways the bias of the data set impacts the end results. It makes me think about how pervasive these biases must truly be online, even if we are not fully aware of them.

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