Artificial intelligence and the war on creativity

In June 2023, Aurora ran an article on the AI Revolution. Since then, AI has continued to evolve rapidly across various domains, including but not limited to its use in healthcare, autonomous systems, business, regulation and policy, research and collaboration and even being utilised as a tool to address climate change.

The latest annual McKinsey Global Survey confirmed that 2023 was the breakout year of generative AI tools.

Less than a year after many of these tools debuted, one-third of survey respondents say their organisations regularly use generative AI in at least one business function.

This rapid integration signals a transformative shift in how industries perceive and utilise artificial intelligence, ushering in an era where AI's influence on creativity and our daily lives is profound and increasingly indistinguishable from human effort.

This reality hit home recently when images appeared online of Pope Francis atypically wrapped up in a stylish white puffer jacket and silver bejewelled crucifix. The image, first published on Reddit, was generated using the AI software Midjourney.

Pope Francis, acknowledging that he was a victim of a deepfake photo, weighed in, stating the technology "becomes perverse when it distorts our relationship with others and with reality."

AI has continued to be a point of interest to Pope Francis.

In his message for the 58th World Day of Social Communications, the Pope spoke of the power of AI to give rise to new forms of exploitation and inequality, or on the flip side, the potential to lead to greater equality by promoting correct information and greater awareness of individuals and peoples.

He says it is up to us to decide whether we will become fodder for algorithms or whether we will nourish our hearts with the freedom of being able to source wisdom beyond our means.

Manipulation using AI can go far beyond false images, too. The challenge of AI-generated audio extends to the music industry, where an AI-generated version of Taylor Swift’s latest single "Fortnight" became a fan favourite before the artist’s actual release.

When the real song debuted, some fans even preferred the artificial creation. “After I listened to the real version, I sat there and thought, ‘oh… the AI version is so much better than this,” one fan lamented.

AI technology has also seen rapid advancement in video generation.

OpenAI, the trailblazers behind the well-known generative language tool ChatGPT, recently unveiled their latest product: "Sora."

This innovative program transforms simple text prompts into elaborate video sequences, heralding a significant advancement in content creation.

OpenAI is candid about the dual-edge nature of this innovation. "We cannot predict all of the beneficial ways people will use our technology, nor all the ways people will abuse it.”

While it remains uncertain when, or even if, Sora will be made available to the public, OpenAI assures that if released, the program will include a robust filtering system designed to reject any text prompts that call for content against its ethical guidelines, including extreme violence, sexual content, hateful imagery, exploitation of celebrity likenesses, or violations of intellectual property rights.

These instances all underscore a growing trend: AI is not just a collaborator but sometimes a competitor—in creative processes. The ease and efficiency of AI can enhance our capabilities but also risk diminishing the value we place on the uniquely human touch.

AI's power to create believable narratives can mislead the public and distort our understanding of truth, bringing into question the future of many creative professions.

Microsoft's Chief Scientific Officer Eric Horvitz recently predicted that if technology isn't developed to enable people to easily detect computer-generated content within a decade or so, "most of what people will be seeing, or quite a lot of it, will be synthetic. We won't be able to tell the difference."

His warning resonates at a time when AI’s ability to replicate and innovate can both enrich and complicate our interactions. The challenge now is to harness this powerful technology responsibly, ensuring it augments rather than undermines human efforts.

As we navigate this new landscape, we must decide how to integrate these tools in ways that uphold our values and enhance human experiences. The question isn't merely what AI can do, but what we should do with AI.

Follow on Facebook.

Alexander Foster Image
Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle