There is a limitation and resistance built into most things on earth. A rubber band only stretches so far before it cannot return to its original length or breaks. Many doors stand on hinges that limit how far they can turn. Cars have speedometers to show you exactly how fast they can go and most of them have never run at their true maximum speed. Even a faucet turns up to a certain point or angle to allow the most liquid possible to flow through beyond which it might break. All these resistances and limitations are for one thing – control. Control is the protective shield against destruction. And humans love control because it creates balance and stops our world and lives from going haywire for the most part. 

Most inventions and technological advancements have always been at first resisted before they are embraced; resisted because of the fear of the unknown, embraced later when that fear is done away with by knowledge acquisition and beneficial application. Fire, transport on land, water and through the air, writing, printing, photography, the computer and the internet et cetera are a few of the inventions humanity has seen over the millennia. All of them were once feared in their incipient stages because of the potential alteration to our lives and the threat we feared they posed to our existence. We have since learned that although these inventions carry within them the potential for ruination, they possess a great many benefits to humanity. 

The human mind is vastly complex and that complexity is the birthplace of creativity which leads to the inventions we have seen over the years. One such invention is artificial intelligenceor AI – one of the latest creations to fill us with dread. According to Wikipedia, artificial intelligence, in its broadest sense, is intelligence exhibited by machines, particularly computer systems. Broken down, it is a method of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or a software think intelligently like the human mind. This means that AI is an imitation of human creativity and from the looks of things, a damn good one. Therein lies the fear of humans – they might be replaced and not be needed. How true is that?

Most inventions affect two areas; the speed with which a result is achieved and the extent and effect of that invention e.g. how far it can go, how many people or things it can reach and touch or affect. Fire and the calculator improve speed, cars and messaging apps have both speed and reach in them. What does this mean with AI prompting added to the mix regarding creativity? If the brain is the parent or teacher and the invention the child or student, will the student be better than the teacher and the child escape the nest to never return? Will machines cease to need human involvement?

I think that humans working with technology improves things in terms of quality, speed, size or whatever other needed result. We tell AI what to do because its creations are based off of human experience fed into it. It might learn quicker and produce faster and better results but not independent of us. It has made it possible to have less brainpower and achieve more production but has not done away with it entirely. A single individual’s idea can be executed faster and spread much more widely in less time than before when execution and distribution needed a meeting of minds. 

What AI cannot take away is human judgement. No matter how many iterations or versions of a thing it can produce in so little a time, we must be the judge of what’s good and what’s better, what works and what does not. Another factor is humans have an everlasting connectedness to each other which makes us root for our own kind before anything else. The reason for that is that we are encouraged by seeing our own imperfections. We can resonate with them. AI and its hunger for perfection lacks that. We live for the frustration of our human opponents in sports, for the arc and storyline of protagonists in film or drama that even when a work of fiction is human vs machine, we find ourselves mostly rooting for our own. 

AI prompting has made creativity more accessible to all and sundry, even writing. An academic essay generated in minutes by a subject prompt, a few key strokes producing manuscripts on alien topics, manipulations of voices to produce AI-generated music et cetera are all examples of how anyone can create almost anything. Whereas skills like writing are no longer the preserve of those who through practice or training can string together thoughts and ideas with structure and flow around a subject, they still target the same audience and that audience is the judge of what cuts it or not. Because of this, necessity is laid upon the human behind the AI prompt to be more careful and more critical than ever. If anyone can make anything, what makes one better than other? That’s the human element that cannot be done away with. AI has changed a lot and continues to but humans are nowhere near tapping out to our own inventions because it means giving up control and, by that, balance. If we do that, everything shatters to smithereens and I do not know if you have noticed but we, human beings have a deep liking for living.