When I was a young lad of 11, I was fascinated with computers, or what little there was of them at the time. It was about 1966, and I checked out a book from the school library on the short but exciting history of the machines. I pored over every page of it. Of course computers were very cool back then to pre-pubescent boys, and I was no exception.
Half way through the book I ran across what I remember being J.M. Coetzee’s work with programming computers to write poetry. My memory regarding details like this is not reliable, so I don’t really know if it was Coetzee’s work or some other blasphemer who decided to embark on such a sacrilege. It was bound to happen though. Humans have a strange compulsion to try to get animals to do human things, like dogs dancing the Macarena, or elephants painting self portraits…why not try to get a machine to write poetry.
Maybe this experience was the first example of my deep aversion to transhumanism, or its mirror image (getting machines to be more like humans, AI). Of course in 1966 AI was a rather recently devised term, possibly first used in 1956. When I read the computer generated poem, my first reaction was “so what?” My second was, “why?” And my third was indignation. “How can a machine write poetry? Poetry is a human creation.”
Of course I don’t remember the poem itself, but it was something like this:
The dirty rusty wooden dresser drawer.
A couple million people wearing drawers,
Or looking through a lonely oven door,
Flowers covered under marble floors.
And lying sleeping on an open bed.
And I remember having started tripping,
Or any angel hanging overhead,
Without another cup of coffee dripping.
Surrounded by a pretty little sergeant,
Another morning at an early crawl.
And from the other side of my apartment,
An empty room behind the inner wall.
A thousand pictures on the kitchen floor,
Talked about a hundred years or more.
The above poem was not written in the ’60s. I actually have no idea when it was written, I only know a computer wrote it. If it was recent, I see computer poets have not improved much in 50 years.
The poem I read in my 11th year was not discernibly worse than this, nor better of course. I was not impressed. But everyone else was. Why?
I am not particularly impressed with an elephant painting a picture of a tree either. Well, that’s not true, I am impressed an elephant can mimic his trainer with a brush in his trunk, but I am not impressed with the elephant as an artist. Similarly, that 11-year-old boy was not impressed with a computer’s efforts at being a poet.
It is interesting that the energies put into a computer emulating human art are so compelling to most people. Why isn’t it enough that the computer can decipher mathematical formulas at inhuman speeds? What’s the appeal that the computer can also write poetry?—and bad poetry at that. In fact, the poetry is so bad it is laughable. It consists of a string of words that really have no relationship to one another unless the human reading it gives it a relationship and meaning. I guess that says a lot about programmers—nerdy scientist types who couldn’t tell Shakespeare from ENIAC if their pocket protectors depended on it.
Jump 50 or so years later and what do we have. Two major breakthroughs in AI that seemed to have jumped out of the shadows nearly simultaneously this past year—AI Art and something called CHAT GPT. I won’t go into the CHAT GPT weirdness as I don’t have the space. Just check it out and see how it is similar to AI Art.
AI Art has shown up in a variety of ways, all basically computer engines that create graphic art based on certain criteria the user inputs. I just bought a subscription to AISEO Art and tried it out. The criteria I input was “warrior shrew fighting sheep” and this is what I got…
Hmmm. Kind of like the computer poetry, eh? It reminds me of a Star Trek episode of yesteryear where something went whacky with the transporter and some strange conglomeration came through instead of a human body. In this case a mutated sheep—and something else I can’t identify. Well, so much for that. Still, if a human created it, it might be interesting. Otherwise it is just random drek.
I have seen other AI Art that didn’t come out so weirdly, so I do believe it is a viable process in a certain context. And this isn’t really even my point. Not even my point with the poetry. The material quality of the “art” is not the offense. This is:
- That people look at art and think the only value in it as art is that it “looks” like something they find appealing or interesting or appalling or whatever.
- That people seem to be so mesmerized and anxious to take away anything that is exclusively human, they go through great efforts. It is like they are trying to prove to themselves and everyone else that there is no special thing about being human.
I believe that the only thing really special about being a human is that we have a soul. Actually, all sentient beings have souls (I know some of you will argue with that). Some think everything that is manifest matter has some sort of soul. So maybe this “art” has soul, and maybe the machine that made it has soul. This is sort of the argument of the century (watch the series Westworld for more insight on this concept) and I am not going to attempt to get into it here. Maybe the thing that is special about humans is not that we have a soul, but that we know it, and can ponder on it. Art (including music) is a result of that pondering.
From my perspective, art is not art unless a human creates it. Maybe that is a human-centric idea, but that’s it in my humble opinion. It is what I was cognizant of when I was only 11 years old reading the drek that Coetzee’s computer spit out. It never ceases to amaze me how humans toil to make themselves obsolete. Even as artists.
Anyone familiar with Kurt Vonnegut’s book Player Piano? It’s a good one. A novel about the future when machines have basically taken over nearly all human labour. The country is divided into college-educated engineers who run the machines in the factories, and everyone else who is either unemployed or in the army. The whole thing is a mess consisting of a culture with a huge split between the educated elite, and unemployed, former labourers. The city is divided with very little interaction between the two “sides.”
There is of course a kerfuffle, and all the machines are destroyed, indicating victory for the “working class”—the novel ends with the workers wandering about the wreckage, now with nothing to do but rebuild their old world where they had a distinct and meaningful purpose. But rather than start anew they begin to rebuild the machines, re-creating the exact world that oppressed them and caused such despair, anger, and meaninglessness. Gee, how did all of these authors predict the future so accurately (not just Vonnegut, but Orwell, Lewis, Huxley, and many others)?
The Vonnegut piece just illustrates our penchant for replacing ourselves, and then scratching our heads and wondering, once we’ve been replaced, why we are so unhappy living meaningless lives—or no lives at all.
What makes art, music, and literature soulful? Ya got me, but it is. We connect with art on an ineffable level. It touches our heart, as they say. But it does this in a way that we cannot quantify, and we might not even consciously be aware of it. Can AI Art touch our hearts? That is difficult to say. Even if it did, that “touch” is artificial, and ultimately meaningless. Can we fall in love with an AI sex robot? Possibly, or we can feel something we think is love. But again, it is pointless and artificial.
If we are not connecting with another human being, the connection is pointless as it relates to humanity. Humanity dies. Maybe it is replaced with something else, something that can make things, create AI art, build buildings, and sing a synthesized song. But all this for a pointless and meaningless reason. For whatever it is worth, we will then be gone. God will no longer have a creation in His image, and the grand mystery of life will vanish.
Todd Hayen is a registered psychotherapist practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD in depth psychotherapy and an MA in Consciousness Studies. He specializes in Jungian, archetypal, psychology. Todd also writes for his own substack, which you can read here
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As someone working in the creative field, I agree with the notion, that those bots (I refuse to call them “intelligent”) are merely tools, as mentioned way down in the comments. They can’t be artists, because (at least so far) they aren’t individuals. they themselves can’t create anything, as litle as a hammer or a showel.
Whether they can be used to do something that has soul remains to be seen, I haven’t seen it yet. If a human being were to put their soul into a work done with these tools, the work that comes out may have a soul and be art, but it would be that human who has created it, not the bot.
Even the uncanny image the bot has drawn, based on Todd’s request would not have been possible without Todd making the request, it’s the intention to create it that created it. The bot does not have intention.
As to what art is, I agree with Todd.
As far as we can see, on this planet, only humans create art.
Animals may have the potential, but it’s impossible for us to understand their language and thereby their intentions, so we can’t know if they create art.
Art is already in the wort artificial, therfore only artificial creations can be art.
Only humans create art, constantly trying and failing to come up with something of the grandeur, sophistication and superhuman genius of anything created by the original creator, nature.
After a lifetime of writing poetry, most of which he dismissed as not very significant (“If the poet were to keep only those few poems for which he was truly grateful, his volume would be too depressingly slim”) I was intrigued that W. H. Auden would choose this epigraph as his last word, a dedication to his friend Chester Kallman as the few lines to frame his entire oeuvre:
“Although you be, as I am, one of those
Who feel a Christian ought to write in prose,
Since poetry is Magick, born in sin, you
May read it to exorcise the Gentile in you.”
[A craftsman’s crafty nod, and wink to anglophile poetry freaks (or OCD nerds), and to Rudyard Kipling whom he excused from most fits of critical abuse, already in his elegiac to W. B. Yeats 35 years prior ( “…Time, that with this strange excuse/ Pardoned Kipling and his views/ And will pardon Paul Claudel, Pardons him for writing well…”) as Rudyard had penned the unforgettable “hymn” we learned as lads in the 5th Grade (FYI at Buckley School, Tucker Carlson’s erstwhile toddler tiny alma mater, and much later the Kardashians, too!) : “IF” ~
“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on'”
~ I still exult when I land, just hard enough, on the words in bold (emphases mine, either doggerel) ~ so it’s not hard to see that Auden had saved his best shot for last, shortly before succumbing on a street in Europe to his massive heart attack (even the very day whilst I began scoring his “Christmas Oratorio” as my first and only ~ unpublished ~ opera, in the early ’70s (well, ok then, easy, conspiracy theorists, all things have at least a few degrees of separation, or dots of connection, on some level, even among poetry lovers)]
Where was I now? Oh yeah, the thinly disguised Project to turn us all, soon enough, and maybe more than incrementally, into herds of meat-based androids.
I once thought, of all the many explanations and foreshadowings of dystopia that I had seen or heard since first having my hair stood on end about the same year I had read the Kipling, early ’60s, when we were assigned “1984” in English class, that all trends were heading to near total annihilation, such as I’ve been hearing about the Rockefeller’s really really BIG Great Reset, which involves about 95% global population reduction, or whatever figure fits the menu for them, as unchallenged overlords.
Only problem with that view ~ well, over and above the obvious ones, like near total genocides ~ is that it is spread about like most fertilizer ~ a little too abundantly. You ever notice how certain Armageddon scripts are all the rage, while others fall into decrepit disuse over the years. The one mentioned, and certain others, aliens living under the planet surface, and Area 51, and all, are promoted relentlessly, to the exclusion of more or equally colorful fantasies?
So it struck me, after further review, that it makes little sense to extinguish most human life, since we hold something that no “program” ever can, no matter how extrapolated and finessed: a connection to the origins of life on the planet, graduated over aeons, and incredibly, incalculably, complexified. Maybe I read too many books years ago, that got embedded in my mind, and the many theories by the paleontologist Jesuit, Pere Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and his theories about the Omega Point of the Noosphere and the end “goal” of evolution (cf. Karl Jaspers intriguing book, “The Origins and Goal of History”).
Why would eugenicists liquidate us, at this stage of their game, their humble Reset, when it would make infinitely more sense, from even the most depraved standpoints, to simply keep us one of their welfare tethers or other, feed us, clothe us, prolong our lives, if for no other reason than to keep the ball rollin’, to keep us fit and in form for harvesting our dreams and collective connections to the origins of life.
That also happens to overlap, ironically, with my rationale bases (there are many, legion) for being a Christian and Catholic: the Faith is based on the unique lineage contained with family trees. The Gospels that we just read at Eastertide, and also Yuletide, repeat, often at unnerving length, the entire family ancestry of Jesus of Nazareth going back to Kind David, and then from there backwards to Noah and Adam.
After years of hearing those readings, repeated without fail during the seasons each year, it finally dawned on me (I’m just a little slow!) within the last ten years or so, after a half century of those same repetitions, that there is an element in them that is not apparent, in the same way, in any other religious or spiritual formulation or syllabus ever known to us (at least in that way): we each of us have an unrepeatable uniqueness, once here and soon gone, and never to be seen again, however long the interval, a trillion years.
It is the “fabric” (or “tapestry” really, if you want to get artsy, and I do) of humankind, however much alike we are, even identical siblings, our lives and our biology, and everything else about us, plays out once and never again.
Why play around too much with that substance, that fabric itself, when you can have all that “information” and destiny, that is all that individual uniqueness, just by tending to it as ranchers would? Or just to keep it intact to study it, and go from there? Wherever?
To possess it? An infinitude of souls, as your commodity?
Now, that’s dystopian.
As I say, fortunately for a believer, God has something to say about all that. He can be “supremely” ironic, too. Believe me, I know. And good to know.
And good to know, too, that s/He (/It?) is the Boss. The Capo dei capi.
(Mi Cha El: “Who Like God?”)
For comparison I asked Bing A/I to produce a pencil drawing of a man throwing a ball
The result is pretty good slightly different style. A lot quicker than mine it only took less than a minute , mine took an hour or two and I could not do it know.
So…? You were exercising 5 km alongside a car. The car made the distance in 3 minutes, you were taking 30 minutes.
Surprise surprise surprise. See how superior a car is, compared to a human being.
You shouldnt compare apples with pears.
Well, qualitative difference is what it’s ALL about “at the end of the Day.”
Except this is not a man throwing a ball. The hand position is totally wrong. Go to any sports court and look at men who throw balls, it does not look like this.
There is Art and then there is Modern Art. An early example of Modern Art is what they call ready made. Art Fountain is a readymade sculpture by Marcel Duchamp in 1917, consisting of a porcelain urinal signed “R. Mutt. There is creativity here but not of the so called artist but of the original designer and those who worked out how to make it.
Below is a pencil drawing I did in 1969 when I was 17. It is copied from a photograph.
I was living in Reading England but doing a Art correspondence course with the Norman Rockwell school of art. I was also in the middle of my engineering apprenticeship as a Machinist/Fitter. My artist phase only lasted a year or two before I lost what ability I had.
My first Job after finishing my Apprenticeship was operating a capstan lathe controlled by a plug board computer in 1971. I was reduced to removing the swarf keeping the cooling suds running , checking the tolerances and occasionally grinding the tools sharp or adjusting the die box. But the computer was not that much more sophisticated than Jacquard Loom or Bouchon’s 1725 loom. The first taste of artificial intelligent was playing the chess computers in 1970’s.
You could perform a Turin test of A/I art. By selecting some human Art (not modern) and some A/I art and seeing if people could correctly identify the difference.
If not the A/I could be said to be as good as the human Art.
The A/I could not have achieved it though without a lot of human help and art to mimic.
If only AI had eyes to see the difference between its idea of a man throwing a ball and your drawing of a real person – then AI would: 1) blush in embarrassment; and 2) never again attempt to draw anything but a stick man – which basically is all the AI man is..
The AI era is only the logical conclusion to society’s current devolution and ultimate collapse. The signs of our times that “the end is near” are all around us I’m sure everyone can see.
As for art specifically, this short video linked below sums up how art has devolved from the beautiful, meaningful and transcendent to the ugly, empty and trashy:
AI art is the ultimate, discounted, commodified fakery that most people seek in everything nowadays.
That is a key point in the discussion here, that, for a variety of reasons, quite a lot of people, perhaps taking a cue from an increase in commodification, are looking for facsimiles of art, and not real art. But that is just another form of ignorance, caused perhaps by too many rush hours, too often. An encroachment of meaningless activities: robotification that was already being instilled before bots, probably beginning with the industrial age and factory labor, etc. Chaplin did an iconic turn with that in “Modern Times,” with his Little Tramp, developing machine-like tics in an incrementally hypnotic state. That was a mime-worthy exhibition, but most people do it in less Oscar-nominated or overt ways.
This discussion bequeaths the question ‘what is art?’
Out of it we see many people feel it involves soul – in popular terms it requires aesthetic appreciation which is a creative act alone.
It is mutual in that way, if there is an artist. Or at least the feeling of connection that is emanating from the appreciation in some way involves 2 or more people.
Only one person is just creativity. Because art has to be viewed – or not?
If I sit alone and write a beautiful song that no-one ever hears – is that art?
Art and artifice sit alongside each other as terms. Appreciate and it becomes what we term art.
If we appreciate it, it will become art – AI efforts included. But it will have less soul, as only the appreciator makes it art. The originator did not have a ‘stamp’ other than its programmed one.
There is no program as complex as the sum of one person’s experience – it will be a long time before anyone programs that – and they would waste their time.
It’s infinity and soul versus a closed set.
About 50 years ago Scientific American, if memory serves, did a piece on studies of mother and foetus asleep, mapping their dual brainwaves, e.e.g. In any case a friend in Paris told me a summary in 1977 and it always stuck: that at certain deep stages of sleep, mother and child had identical brain waves.
That would offer insight into many phenomena, such as déjà vu and retrocognition, and the inbuilt “anthologies” noted by Jung in his studies of the “Collective Unconscious ” and his rendering of dream images of snakes and spiders, shared by really everyone the world over from early infancy.
The “Salve Regina” melody was written about a millennium ago. I was baffled by the odd anomaly of hearing it the first time, unaccountably late in life, only about 10 years ago. Perhaps it had been sung in church before that so lacklustrely that it had gone unremarked, quite possibly, but it was a riveting experience 10 years ago when a young and very musical priest in a parish here, an Asian with some accent, sang it at its appointed time, after Saturday morning mass, as a solo a capella recessional, as he exited the church. I was mesmerized by the melody. I began to research it and was further amazed to find it had apparently been written in what was our original parish of Notre Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of the Flaming Roof” in one of her “appearances” of several years ago) about a thousand years past. 11th or 10th century! Talk about “golden oldies.”
And until modern times it had been sung at every University graduation in Europe, (maybe now supplanted by the secularized Elgar “Pomp & Circumstance?”).
And sung for centuries, before Aquinas, at churches and on many other occasions. It struck me that millions upon uncountable millions of unborn children had “heard” the melody replayed, while sleeping in the womb, in their proxy mode.
Talk about “open-ended” genetic memory? By definition, AI can not replicate those substances. Human memory is at some depth an infinitude. Resisting all boundaries and ultimate quantification..
“And the Light shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not overwhelm it.”
Appreciation of art often seems cast in terms of aesthetic conventions representing ruling class ideology that reduces art to objets d’art, acquisitions of pecuniary interest for conspicuous consumption. The world becomes soulless within the cash nexus, and compensation, as it were, is sought by commodifying beauty, making museums, or mausoleums, of collectibles in the art market, high (-priced) art, unlike the kitsch reserved for the masses.
As for myself, I’m an aficionado of truck stops featuring the classic series Dogs Playing Poker, copies of course, since originals have become collectors’ items. Where would so many of us be without machinery reproducing works of the masters? I can hardly afford museums anymore, let alone an original by Coolidge, or Van Gogh, or whoever receives the reward of fame from the “masters of mankind” (Adam Smith). But at least I can hang a cheap imitation of Kandinsky from the thrift shop over the toilet to remind my most mundane human nature that life can mean so much more for five bucks.
Art imitating life, art for art’s sake, yada, yada, yada. Art, like artisanship, is an act of production. This is not to reduce its meaning, least of all to the gaze of owners of property, but to restore its essential purposefulness as human creativity, which makes beauty in everyday ways and lends our lives enduring intrinsic value. Art is not some alienated artifact to be contemplated by an audience to spectacle, but active care for our world, full of meaning to be explored and enjoyed throughout the art of living.
There’s an ethic to “the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction” (Benjamin) as to who owns the means of production for which AI poses a final solution, a totally alienated and artificial world cast in the image of power, a twisted version of beauty truly ugly, because it is without human meaning. Like Luddites smashing machines to reclaim their autonomy as artisans, we need to recover our own sense of agency in recreating the social systems into which we have been engineered, revolting against our reduction to cogs and cyborgs.
Art(isanship) is part of the history of civilization based on the few hoarding the good things of life to the exclusion of the many. Might we rather make art a part of human communities sharing common wealth of experience in human fulfillment? Whether we might fall again, a la Vonnegut, for living to work instead of working to live, and reconstruct some mechanical monster to enslave us to masters, remains something to be determined in practice. But at least having that opportunity as well as danger sure seems preferable to having matters determined by the psychopathy of the present.
To change the forces and relations of (re)production (particularly for our own kind) in the radical ways now necessary to resist the new abnormal’s industrial revolution will require an art of politics which still seems generally unimaginable, let alone realizable. But maybe metaphor might be drawn from the difference between dancing to music in my living room and joining the rhythm and motion and ecstasy of the tribe down at the local jazz joint. Just like that, I’m living in a different reality, life imitating art. Revolution rises similarly in creative spontaneity free from the routines of mechanical existence.
“Art is the objectification of feeling, and the subjectification of nature.” (Suzanne Langer) Yes, “we connect with art on an ineffable level” (TH) whenever art’s universal language of being alive communicates how full of meaning life is, and can be.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins
“And for all this, nature is never spent.”
Could cry reading that. Everything we deal with now is anti human. It’s a war on God, and since we, humans, are made in the image of God–it is a proxy war. The beautiful thing is–God hovers over us with “ah! bright wings.”
A tool doesn’t make a thing.
A tool isn’t the creator, the one who made the thing. This simple logic always works. But the ignorant and unwise do not see or even want to see simple logic. They are mesmerized by words and images, as if those were real and reality. They believe the images must be real, and that the stories they read must be true. But all images and stories were created by people and the images and stories are creations, something to inspire or make you feel something, to make you think.
Animals don’t create stories or images, photographs, paintings, or anything that can be called art. Non-living entities cannot and do not create art. A tool doesn’t create anything. A hammer doesn’t build a house or design it – it’s impossible!. A tool is used by someone, a human. Only human beings create art and also can acknowledge and appreciate it. Animals show no care about your painting. And neither do, of course, any hammers or other tools, like machines. They are not creators, and they also cannot appreciate art.
Only humans think, feel, and ponder about things that are eternal.
Pink: When I Get There:
Good one, like that.
Stop worrying about artificial this or that; after cheap oil there won’t be much if any of it …
All it takes is for God the progenitor of all to extend His index finger suavely, à la the Sistine Chapel gesture, and provoke an itty bitty solar flare, say, ten million miles or so in length, and all AI and whatnot on our unworshipful The Grid: ZAP, all in a blink deregulated.
Just hope there’s enough battery backup for vital services.
But that’s Divine Primitivism in action.
And then some.
So there’s that, at least. If we fall short by our own exit strategies.
Deregulation of our PNAC back to the Stone Age.
“Gee, how did all of these authors predict the future so accurately (not just Vonnegut, but Orwell, Lewis, Huxley, and many others)?”
Maybe those who are now busy imposing The New Normal” atrocities on humanity read these books, found the brave new worlds just perfect (for them), and are doing all they can to “create” them?
But you can´t imitate the grand mystery of life. So the imitators are bound to fail. The question is when.
It almost looks like these psychos, instead of attempting to “imitate the grand mystery of life,” are seeking to destroy it – thus establishing their supreme mastery over existence.
Psychos to Nature: “First we’ll destroy all your weeds and all your bugs – in the name of protecting our crops. Then we’ll destroy the crops – in the name of protecting our power over humanity. Then we’ll destroy your atmosphere – in the name of protecting you from the sun. Then, when we’ve destroyed everything else, we’re coming for you. Nothing personal; we just like ourselves so much better than we like you.”
Dag a heads up.
Orwell, Lewis, Huxley, and many others where talking also about there times also =there era.
not just the future.
Lots of you forget this isn’t new, they’ve doing this forever.
I agree Woowoo…we do have to keep that in mind.
Agree 100%. It WILL fail, but it may take a lot down with its fall.
And yes, I often feel the same way about the current narrative finding their playbook in these tomes of the past.
Oh my, do you all live in digital fantasyland ? The whole AI-crap in arts only affects CG-Art, or do you really think there is a computercontrolled painting-machine out there that spouts out new Dalis, Picassos or whatever ? Unplug and the whole AI-crap does not affect you.
But it does affect us in the sense that the proponents of AI seem (and I stress: seem) to want to replace human created art with AI created art. Perhaps as part of this transhumanist thing.
Computers don’t talk back yet (unless you ask them to) and they don’t ask for raises. They do need a place to live and a variety of substances to keep them running. One problem at a time for the technocratic overlords.
It affects us hugely, as in proliferating deceptions of many kinds, in their “Wilderness of Mirrors” to tear a favorite quote from Angleton’s distorted playbook.
Thought the article was discrimination towards AI.
How can this voice not be a turn on.
On the topic of the impending extinction of the human race, I’d like to link to a Graud piece called
But don’t know how to do so without granting lucrative traffic to that nauseous rag so if you’re interested you can just do a search on the title and bask in the absurdity of an article that gleefully relates to you nothing less than the future annihilation of all humanity – but hey it’s OK because the bearer of this news is one Elise Bohen whose foxy young figure adorns the accompanying pictures all shot in a very arty way against various impressively grim (but comfortably cinematic) backgrounds.
Nothing like a bit of topical self promotion…
If ego is the main driving force for someone doing artistic work, then I don’t see them as artists.
I can still appreciate their work and dedication but I don’t grant them the title of artists.
I reserve that title for those fools, born with the rare condition of genius, that will do great artistic work even if nobody is watching,without any craving for money or fame.Very rare indeed.
Artists are individuals cursed by their gift and we are blessed when we come across their creations.
An humble man and a guitar.
Close your eyes and see the difference.
Thank you. You’ve named the very essence of Art. It’s impossible for the artist not to create. Everything he encounters translates into a creation, whether he ever sets it to some media or not.
The truly sane, normal thing is of course to try and turn creations into money and fame. So the creations are edited as they’re being created to make sure they’ll appeal to some select audience. And, as you say, that’s not Art.
The skill may be every bit as great as that of true artists; but something is missing – that elusive quality that prevents the artist from tailoring his creations to his audience.
Nor does he create for himself. He creates for the creation itself. It demands a certain style and no other.
Imagine a piece of software caring about what it’s creating!
It’s an interesting observation, entire curriculae and centuries of debate have been devoted to the question of what makes art, Art.
True that it is the most passionate of pursuits, as many well known names attest – Van Gogh, Beethoven, Hemingway, Coppola, Cobain, Bourdain, RH Biden .. I could probably fill the page just from memory.
The history of the sciences is also littered with colourful characters.
And for every “emo” artist (& scientist) who so clearly pour themselves into their work, there are thousands who’ve lived quiet and well adjusted lives.
But we don’t remember those too much.
A curious note: for the Italian masters, one does not take the title of “artist” unless he is truly a master of his craft.
Until then, he is known according to his subspecialty, eg “illustrator” “painter” “sculptor”, also applies to other skills not normally thought as fine art such as “blacksmith” “architect”
ie a craftsman, a highly skilled labourer, more than a creator
(this is the opposite to how Anglo appellations work)
If the work is done with superb technical skill & attention to detail, yet without passion, should the author be designated a “technicalist”?
The most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was created on commission.
Which is to say, the only connection between da Vinci and his subject, was a fistful of Florins.
Whether Leonardo invested anything personal, any of his soul, into that painting is debatable.
As is whether it meant anything more to him than a paycheck.
Art is a 2-way street.
Which is to say, an artist could pour their life’s essence into a piece, or they could just fart on a canvas.
How the audience appreciates it, is very much up to the context & circumstances of each particular viewer.
I think that the current capacity of AI could reproduce something just as good, or better, than the Mona Lisa with the right parameters.
However, chatGPT would never have the impetus to tell AISEO, “gimme a picture of some renaissance beauty, with an enigmatic smile”.
So in a way, that painting produced above, is a Todd Hayen Original.
Hunter Biden? How did he get into that mix?
“Stop trying to think outside the square. Think instead of how to destroy the square.”…(anon)…
“Most of us have internalised the prison walls…We behave like prisoners.”…(anon)…
LOL, no shit.
A significant minority fear a world without walls. They want to be told what is right and what to do. A smaller minority want to make those rules.
A lot of “military types” despise personal autonomy, independence, critical thinking freedoms (for themselves that is, presumably for everyone else perhaps) and all of that. They prefer, often deeply, to be told what to do.
They don’t seem to grasp, or don’t care, what a deep and grave offense that is against the dignity of their human nature. And its “calling.”
They have abdicated the duty and necessity to think critically.
Unacceptable. It sucks to have to deal with such minds on the same “playing field.” But that’s (this) life.
So, a simple enough beginning to early release is to externalize ourselves beyond the prison walls, which, if done in enough numbers, goes far to removes the walls that are internalized, and probably has an overlap of a kind with the “real” ones.
Both acts are a repetition of imaginative sequences, the first negative kind (internalized walls) activated by various kinds of mind control imposed by the überKultur, and as far as MKULTRA trauma-based hypnosis, so the savviest thing to be done is to invert that process in every way.
PRESTO! Freedom. (And not the intentionally hypnotic NewSpeak forms of Orwell.)
I think A.I. will burn up all that is meaningless, all the fake jobs, all the fake people. It will expose all that was empty.
I once took a photo of a crumpled Coke can lying on the ground, with a dead cockroach and a scattering of pebbles near it. It developed really well. I reckoned i’d discovered an Andy Warhol. Could have made a small fortune were it the real thing.
As a life long artist I’ve been paying very close attention to the whole A.I. ‘Art’ thing, and it disturbs me in ways I can’t even express. I could write a book on it, but I’ll save you all from my diatribe and boil it down to this:
There’s no such thing as A.I. generated art, only A.I. generated imagery. It is soulless, inhuman and profoundly disturbing to me as a human being. I don’t even make the effort to spit on it because it isn’t worth my time.
absoeffinglutely spot on
Well said. I actually find it demonic somehow, deeply disturbing as you note. It truly gives me a dark feeling, the exact opposite of what I feel art should accomplish – a feeling of uplift, inspiration, moving on a transcendental level, the ineffable.
Todd, you hit the nail on the head!
Maybe this robot could write us an entry for the Eurovision contest.
British robot: nul points.
We never Voted for the European Song Contest..We watched IT. We all liked Waterloo by Abba and glad it Won.
It’s was fun. Abba went on to compose night club songs., we didnt drop kick call them discos.
“VOLARE” came in 2nd in that voting, an almost infinitely superior song, one that Pavarotti released in his own version.So much for contests.
Another art. Taliban seems to be the only force who knows to take out the bad apples, just banned opium crops 3 weeks ago. Traders and addicts being beaten and jailed.
The heroine market i US is panicking. Good news for the first time in 3 years folks 😀 https://dzen.ru/video/watch/64516fecb316c82933e6aa6f#video
No need for the USAmericans to panic, they’ll have plenty of fentanyl to pick up the slack …
So Hillary is still fooling around educating people in bs. Gooosh.
Art has to do with humans expressing human emotions. The best programmed computer doesn’t do emotions, those have to do with being an organic entity, with feelings and sensibilities. AI “art” is nothing more than computers using random numbers to pick pre-programmed routines and stitch them together into a product.
Well, the AI emanations may not be art, but they’re artish.
In our current holographic, surrealistic, Through-the-Looking-Glass dystopian culture, that may be close enough.
Now we can say, “I don’t know anything about artishness, but I know what I like!” 😉
“The Source” you were looking for is below. Probably where Dr. Malone acquired it.
This guy is quirky, no doubt, but eventually he gets to the statement about the shortening of one’s life span. And “they” don’t like it.
This has been in the back of my mind for a while. I don’t write shit unless it is meaningful.
Nothing like meaningful shit……..
“They” are going after him and he is not backing down.
He has this quirky way of trying to make things more understandable for the “lay person”. I am assuming.
Nice, decent, enjoyable article, thank you. I agree mostly. When I was a child, one of the first things I realized, life in a body, is a battle for the mind. Later I had to agree with “Don Juan” the Mexican Yaqui Indian shaman in the books of Carlos Castaneda. Don Juan said, “We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners.The predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless.” He continues, “They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre…stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre, from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind!”
Also, I too, at eleven years old, had an experience. All the children of different races and gender in the playground while at recess, before me, turned to inverted conical spirals of energy, spinning west to east. A voice, said to me, “We are all the same.”
This tells me, we bring the life/consciousness to a 3D virtual fake reality, a simulation of an illusion of life…the predators! The illusion of life belongs to us. We must take back our mind in the “five senses” prison. We were never in the image of GOD. For we are consciousness! If GOD were a tree, we would be the leaves! GOD doesn’t respect mankind. God is life.
You said, referring to a poem, ” It consists of a string of words that really have no relationship to one another unless the human reading it gives it a relationship and meaning.” Exactly, consciousness, all knowing and all possibility. And together, we form the human spirit, the most powerful force on earth. Consciousness is our only salvation.
You said, “Maybe the thing that is special about humans is not that we have a soul, but that we know it, and can ponder on it.” I agree with that.
You said, “From my perspective, art is not art unless a human creates it.” I agree, we are the creators!
The psychological war of existence in recent history goes back to Aristotle, wanting everything in a box, Bacon, the Bill Gates of our time, had his hands in everything, the arts, science, and brought about a new Psychology (NOVUM ORGANUM) involving ‘single vision’,Newton, and his mechanical universe, Pavlov, and the mechanics of behavior.
We are in a war for our existence…always…forever. We are in a human culling. If we allow them to lock us in a digital, AI world, it will change the meaning of eternity.
A Soul Trap? Whereby we’re, upon death, fed back into this realm? Reincarnation,not being a myth, but previous life memories that couldn’t be wiped. An entity that can capture and redirect our Souls upon death is formidable indeed.
The psychos consume (exploit) us in life. The great Eagle (according to Castaneda) conumes us at death.
Art is a good barometer of inequality, privilege and delusion.
So this issue has been big for me just recently. My view is, to reallocate a quote by an economist, AI “has no skin in the game” of Life and never will. It can’t. Just imagine what motivates humans. Machines which die the minute the electricity is terminated has no history, no birth and death, family and society and does not rely upon Spaceship Earth’s ecosystem and the sun for EVERYTHING. The only thing AI is or ever will be, fortunately, is a mimic, a randomized, massively resourced high speed regurgitation machine that learns to be a a simulation of a human as designed by a human. A terrible narcissism manifest, by the self, upon the self. But pull the plug and it’s all over.
Recently a German fine art photographer and instructor at a German college was able to create a simulation of a photograph of two women who never physically existed circa 1930 in deeply toned monochrome, using AI and other techniques. It won a creative award in the yearly famous Sony photography contest. He calls it “promptart” and wants people to discuss AI in terms of art or not art. In his hands AI did indeed produce a work hard to tell not human made. For me at the same time it’s weird and creepy in a psychic kind of way. I think he is very much in support of calling this a category of art produced by humans using a prompt tool, much like a human using Photoshop.
Our tools should never have a life of their own, like horror movie. Only the rich capitalists could attempt this and I think because they think they’re gonna make tons of dough.
The economists and financial “wizards too think they have “no skin in the game”, one their income becomes high enough.
‘Humans have a strange compulsion to try to get animals to do human things,’
Samuel Johnson said it funnier, bit misogynistic maybe but who cares. The quote resonates with the essay (just replace woman for AI)
I told him I had been that morning at a meeting of the people called Quakers, where I had heard a woman preach. Johnson: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” Boswell: Life
Art — all art, literary, visual, musical — is the communication of the soul.
One soul creates something which evokes like feelings in another soul.
This is the meaning of art. It is the entire point of art.
Computers do not have souls.
(Anyone who argues that a computer has a soul is either a troll or an idiot.)
A computer can be programmed to generate text, sounds or images, but it is has no sense of what any of these things mean.
It is not moved by art.
It is communicating nothing.
Thus so-called “art” produced by machines is necessarily meaningless.
Well said…exactly my point…thank you.
What is soul? How do you know you have soul?
I don’t ‘have’ a soul. I am a soul, travelling within a human body. One day I will depart from that body and that body will cease breathing, moving etc. and will start to decompose. I, the soul, will continue and move on……
All the hype du jour about AI rings hollow with me. More often that not, it’s artificial stupidity– not any kind of intelligence– artificial or otherwise. People are being cajoled into interacting with it to help improve it. So far, I’ve resisted. I’d prefer to not help train my enemy.
I wonder if that is also like so called smart cities or even smart phones. Interconnected yes but smart maybe not.
It’s an illusory (broadly mesmeric) smartness.
It’s not much of a tangent, but this brings to mind the 1990s op-art “Magic Eye” phenomenon.
Ever since early childhood I’ve been attracted to, and fascinated by, “psychedelic” visuals, from kaleidoscopes to Sixties “light shows” and holograms. So I snapped up several “Magic Eye” books.
Although I soon mastered the focusing technique, the novelty wore off. I don’t know exactly what I hoped for, but I was let down by the fact that all that high-tech, computer-driven, highly colorful technology produced mostly gimmicky, cartoonish, kitschy 3D images.
It’s clever, but the banal result seemed more like a marketing demonstration of the technology.
But are we not, in a certain sense, all training our enemy each time we simply engage the DARPA internet? We do know that an important aspect of guerrilla warfare tactics is to use the weapons that the enemy has abandoned, such as we see in the first Star Wars, where the Resistance flies in its backdoor attack on the Desth Star the “hand-me-down” jets of the Empire, lost, or abandoned or crashed and later repaired by the renegades.from the spare parts.
Han Suyin goes into some depth of the history of this in China with the first volume of her biography of Mao, “After the Morning Deluge” and Mao’s ragtag peasantry reclaiming weaponry of fleeing opponents. Much like the Dutch reclaiming their “Netherlands” from the enemy as ocean. Painstaking and scanty in the beginning, but in the end more and more effective over the “long haul.”
I am not sure about all the ways that might apply here, or if it stacks up effectively against the inhuman short cuts of AI, but it’s food for thought, even while the “enemy” uses our input here to finesse & develop its training.
Since when did you get to make the rules regarding what is and is not art.
Is Nature not capable of creating things, are you seriously trying to tell me that Nature is not capable of creating art? Art that is then copied by humans and represented in many different mediums.
No, you’re wrong Todd, well wrong.
Can you keep that junk to yourself, thanks in advance.
So, since when did you make the rules regarding whether I am “right” or “wrong” about this? You fell into your own trap.
When I write I am stating my “opinion” and my “truth”. I can say whatever I want about how I see the world. If people agree with what I say, then great, that is fun and nice to feel a resonance with someone else’s way of seeing things. If you don’t “agree”…then move on. Or, if you like, say what you say as you have said it. But, in my opinion, you don’t have to authority to tell me what I can or cannot think or do. If you have a gun and threaten me with it to follow your orders, then maybe I could comply. But that attitude is what leads to that sort of violence.
And yes, I AM saying nature is not capable of creating art in the manner humans are capable of creating it. Nature creates something different that I would not define as “art”…you just have a different definition of “art” than I do. Fine.
Only a human can create what I define as art…and how art has been presented since humans have been creating it. Sure, you can have your opinion…I have been an artist my entire waking life, so this is something I have a lot to say about…
And if you want to shut me up, censor me, by TELLING me to “keep that junk to yourself” then I can tell you right now I am in serious disagreement with your authoritarian world view.
There is no trap, because there are no rules.
You just don’t get that mate.
The only rule is that art should comply with accepted community standards, as defined by the law.
Fine, no problems there, feel free to stick to your narrow and tiny little world.
I’m not trying to shut you up, everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m just suggesting that you are abusing the opportunity that you are being provided in this place.
Oh please…you’ve got to be kidding. Would you agree that only a human can create human offspring? Would you agree that only humans can create skyscrapers or airplanes made of refined materials that only humans can reproduce? Is that a “tiny little world” if one believes that? There’s a few “rules” for you…a “narrow tiny little world”…you totally miss the point “mate”…
Although I am compelled to continue slinging mud in response to your slinging, I will attempt to crawl back into my “tiny little world” and avoid playing your game. Guilty as charged for playing it up to this point. A shameful thing.
AND…”Can you keep that junk to yourself, thank you very much” sure sounds like you trying to shut me up…you are funny, that’s for sue. Ok, end of rant.
I could be wrong but i think STPM’s point is that creation is creation and it is beyond human creation and not limited to human creation. Perhaps defining art and creation as the same thing is a probem. ….
That’s kind of about right.
Setting boundaries in artistic endeavors is not a good thing. Just because ah dinnae hink it’s right, ken. And thinking you can get to decide what is and is not art, get your hand off it.
The writer has published some very poorly conceived thought bubbles. It happens quite a bit.
You should give some examples to bolster your rather weak arguments.
Also, we could all make the distinction between art and Art. That’s something machines cannot and will never be able to do …
Did the ruffled feathers drive you to drink? More than a few artists work that way, and often with diminishing returns, or at least suspect by any definition, but even at best results the alcohol content isn’t really a part of the art.
Art is a form of creation, but creation is not always art. Defining what constitutes “art” is not easy, and I hope I did not imply that it was in the article. My primary point is that a machine that is programed to emulate art is not really creating art. Only because art has to be human made to be art, with intention behind it as well. It has to be a human expression of the human condition (the “human condition” meaning anything a human perceives in his or her experience).
Now, anyone can define art differently, where only “creation” is a requisite…that is fine if you want to do that…but MY whole point is that if something that is computer made is considered the same thing as something human made then there is a problem. And not just ANYTHING, but what we are calling “AI Art”
No. I think i was trying to find the middle ground in the conversation between STPM and you. I need to spend more time on the subject to clarify my own ideas. I do have trouble with a strictly human centric view of life but your definitions are fine. I could see that STPM was shooting for some larger points and did it quite provocatively/insultingly. I’m glad to have had the chance to dig into these ideas. Thanks for providing the article and the opportunity. I need to keep digging into these ideas but i hope to find out more about what is unique and special about human art. I spend a lot more time talking/writing than listening/reading sometimes. I wish i did those two things in a better balance sometimes. Thanks for responding to my comment. I hope i answered your question somewhat. I realized afterwards the larger scope of all these questions and i was still responding to the comments and even to my own comments well into the middle of last night. The results seemed up and down but i suppose this subject matter is not a piece of cake.
Thank you for your wonderful thoughts. I agree there are many problems with human centricity. And maybe it is true that humans think so highly of their uniqueness the universe is ready, and feels fine, about exterminating them (us).
But I believe there are a few things about being human, UNIQUELY human, we should hold onto, and art is one of them. There is a uniqueness that humans hold in how they express themselves through the mediums we call “art”…animals do not do this…at least we have no evidence to believe that they do. That is a big topic, I admit, and it is not the topic of my article.
If animals do express their experience through something we could define as art, so be it. My article is about robots, AI, expressing what so many people have no problem calling “art”…that is my issue. Machines, at this time, cannot create art…yes, that is my opinion, and I don’t care if people disagree with an opinion…but if so, then give me an argument…not an attack on ME…
So thank you again for your words…I appreciate them.
Auden (pardon the “ibid.s”) put some of the psychological mechanisms rather well in a nutshell, and I put it to my own heArt years ago:
“The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us. I don’t know if that increased awareness makes us more moral or more efficient. I hope not. I think it makes us more human. And I am quite certain it makes us more difficult to deceive.”
Inhuman putative art expands the boundaries and opportunities for deception, however……..
I see that as the distillation of the problem we have here.
Where AI enters in, or intrudes rather, is to generate mere “xeroxes” of our humanity, howsoever “ornate.”
Which is the (devouring) “Lion’s Share” of the problem in all this.
One Zen master put it this way:
“Man + 0 = Zen”
And Chopin put it another, but deeply related and edifying, way:
Something like, “I chose to compose my music in a way that was entirely original, and I believe that that is not an entirely ignoble ambition.” (Or words close to that sense, in any case, probably in French.)
However you wish to see the pap put out by man-made (?) programs, it is all ultimately derivative, even the most ultra-glorified kinds of pap.
But it has ceased to be human, or art, except that it is derivative thereof….
Perhaps the “derivatives” of humanity are what we are really fighting.
Or at least their pre-human influences.
I agree, Todd. You are entitled have your own opinion and truth and so is everyone. In the PC climate of today this entitlement is being threatened. Speaking for myself, I do not intend to be threatened.
I guess, if you are going to put your opinion and truth in the public domain, you will attract people who will throw stones, sometimes big rocks! For what it’s worth, I don’t think AI can produce art, either!
Thank you Ian…yes, I know…I am having one of those days and just let myself go into the snake pit and try to toss a few snakes around. I always regret it.
…. And yet perhaps being human is allowing yourself to enter the snake pit and throw a few snakes around…,. I certainly found it entertaining and even informative…. And i do see the conundrum or difficulty in it.
Thank you, it seems to still be going on, but I am refraining.
Actually in the “comment war” we are having, there really isn’t anything difficult about it, nor is it a conundrum. The statement I make that art can only be created by humans can easily be dismissed by anyone who doesn’t agree with it. I would debate that point if anyone wanted to debate, but it is then only a matter of definition. The problem here is that this guy wants to call me an idiot for having an opinion. And these days that is a very touchy issue…
Yes. I chose those two words rather hastily. I agree you were provoked/insulted. I generally find confrontation or provocation difficult but conundrum isn’t the right word. Thanks for your comment.
Also, i don’t appreciate the technocrats trying to force us into their digital matrix control machine. These are the days of the hard sell. More of us need to stop buying into these oppressive technologies.
…. I can’t seem to work up a proper rant just now. I wish the movers and shakers would get back into their own lane and let us continue to be simply human. I don’t need to be told by a computer generated formula if I’m sick or well or contagious or safe to be around. Now that the morons have made Kamela Harris the AI czar I’m sure she will have to do some really stupid things to justify her position. Probably including awarding a trillion dollars to AI generated art projects while actual human artists are busy with tried and true charcoal pencils and paper. Eventually the whole top heavy fake artifice will come tumbling down upon itself… and i can’t wait for that day!
Wow…you nailed it. I think I said this in my article, but maybe not, the biggest issue regarding AI Art is not due to a natural progression of “being human” but is a forced response to transhumanism.
Your “rant” was perfect…thank you!
From the getgo, that whole “comment” is just a churlish brand of “intellectualism.” Such as it is.
But I still cannot say that, from its getgo, we did nazi that coming.
Wardropper below may have a point in saying that art was in trouble before robots got “their hands” on it – or, to be more precise, the “robotisation” has been underway for some time now and started before actual robots were involved. The point is that capitalist consumer society works towards centralisation and an increasingly aggressive demand from fewer “producers” (actually investors) to ensure that maximised outputs result from minimised inputs.
You may be tempted to dismiss this at the start as another boring rant from a reactionary old fart – even if he’s not that old.
But his point is strong – the minimisation or homogenisation of music in order ideally to eliminate all risk. Thus e.g. a wide variety of melodies eventually gets whittled down to something called “the millennial whoop”, the “hook” happens sooner and is repeated more often, timbre is reduced from all manner of instruments to a basic set, nuance is eliminated via compression etc.
And risk taking practically disappears. There is a famous story that when Bob Dylan was signed up initially by John Hammond, the first album bombed and Dylan was even called “Hammond’s folly”. But the company stuck with Bob and the second album did the trick. Meanwhile one of the most prominent Dylan writers, Michael Gray, noted that, by the time Traci Chapman arrived, her record company was no longer willing to stand by her and after the requisite hit (“Fast Car”) lost interest.
But nowadays who amongst the investors even has the patience to wait for the formation of an actual career from an actual artist? Better to have the various channels (which are all bought anyway) sneak the latest algorithmically assured pap for however many repetitions are desired to lodge the fucker in everyone’s minds.
(In this respect, the latest pop hit goes through the same procedure as “The Covid Pandemic”: repetition through a vast array of monolithically controlled media channels.)
And just to add a bit from my own recent experience: Most of the songs that gain attention nowadays are probably heard for the first time via TV programmes. Thus we have another amalgamation of media types and a further cementing of a Matrix/Hive society.
Wanna hear new music by humans not fronted by mainstream broadcasting? College radio stations across the country have student and alumni DJs playing every type of music in existence. And what i love is new music by artists that are local or little known or obsure for any variety of reasons. KWVA at U0fOregon. KALX at UC Berkeley and just all over the US. And you can listen online to almost all of them. It’s awesome.
just google the call numbers like KALX and you get…
or KWVA like so…
or use this directory…
I see first now you did mention a few choices for self search. Anyway thanks!
🤗 (AI art makes one lazy you know)
Wow. Great comment!
just google the call numbers like KALX and you get…
or KWVA like so…
or use this directory…
That does sound awesome. I hope the Academic financiers don’t decide to start censoring those programs…. If they haven’t already been doing that.
You know, there is a lot of cultural assets these totalitarians just have to allow in a variety of environments, particularly a public university or any college with a liberal open-minded reputation. Areas like this are where we still have the authority to communicate outside censorship and Establishment monitoring. Repression would cause rebellion. Since most people i meet, 99%, have never heard of college radio unless they are musicians, it probably stays off the radar. But we can tune in and the ruling elite hasn’t a clue. It’s an underground culture and usually that means unheard of, good stuff, per taste. Commercial radio actually couldn’t do this under any circumstance because there is no excess capital profit. We’d have to go back to the days of KMPX in the 60’s San Francisco to find a totally freeform uncensored radio music programming, like absolutely rogue wonderfullness. I’ll never forget it. I heard there was a ship off the coast of England that did pirate radio too for a while. It’s pirate, underground, cultural which should be the norm nowadays. But capitalists have instituted fascist rules controlling all the arts, entratinment and sports into a defacto cultural monopoly. I think that was part of what Edward was talking about. Establishing a pirate culture parallel to the Establishment crap would require vigilance of social participation and defending our right to produce and show, share our creative outputs.
Yes it is probable that a lot of great art/music gets through the censorship/control of the financial interests even at academic institution radio stations. I’d be curious what the rest of the programming hours look like on some of those radio stations and what the general messaging is on those other programs.
There is a movie called’Pirate Radio’ about that radio station ship. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is also in another good music oriented movie called ‘Almost Famous’,where he plays Lester Bangs the music critic. He gives a young up and comer some advice on being a music critic, including… be merciless.
Thanks for your comment.
“what I love is new music by artists that are local or little known or obscure for a variety of reasons”.
‘Formed in 2016, Absolute Darkness is a Death/Thrash band from the San Francisco Gay Area.
They combine influences of Cannibal Corpse, Death, and Amon Amarth, with the Bay Gay Area thrash bands like Testament, Violence, and Exodus to form an unapologetically dark and politically charged Gay sound of their own.’
I see what you mean. I could smell there was something fishy. 😁
I generally pointed out College Radio where you can here this and 99.9% more of different. You picked out this. That was your choice, not mine. You’re finding one bad apple and condemning the barrel? What kinda blank is that? Oh, and the free speech issue? You would shut down College Radio because you didn’t like one genre? That is censorship and totalitarianism. If you don’t like don’t listen. That’s what i do.
Actually I found several of these dark net bands but just took one out.
I admit I didnt searched long time, but what I saw was enough.
Anyway, here is some real music to soften the day:
Enhanced melody https://youtu.be/_6nwdxg9ZXw
The motive is greater production (as on the factory floor) for profit. Since mass production outside music has not gained the right cachet, the alternative approaches include (a) branded handbags at ridiculous prices (b) NFTs (c) artists who manufacture tailor-made sculptures with many assistants (d) fake antiques (e) the black market in plundered antiques.
Im absolute on the same track. But one thing is our own addiction to the human/divine soul and spirit, another thing why do ordinary fix on it?
I see it the same way as faecesbook. Ordinary people is given a chance to play filmstar, to be on the celebrity page with a lot of likes, but its a fake image.
In the same way making a poem or painting or even computer music give them a shortcut to play artist which they really are not.
I find computer art and techno pop disgusting but thats just me. I know young people can feel and see a clear difference between all the good soul music made in the 60-70’es and today.
But what is presented to these youngsters are unfortunately a cold meager shadow of the past.
I would add to your excellent comment that before they can turn music and other art to pap, they must first turn people into pap lovers incapable of wanting or realizing they need art.
In other words: Art = Entertainment.
“Why isn’t it enough that the computer can decipher mathematical formulas at inhuman speeds? What’s the appeal that the computer can also write poetry?—and bad poetry at that.”
Even further back, late 1940s or early 1950s, a Yankee professor came to England, and persuaded some IP (Idiot in Power) to open Shakespeare’s grave because the Yank’s computer had calculated that Shakespeare’s plays were written by Marlow. Like you say, computers can crunch numbers but they cannot appreciate poetry.
The IP who desecrated Shakespeare’s grave was either illiterate, crass, as inhuman as a computer, or a blasphemer like Marlow had been; for the Bard had clearly inscribed on his grave this memorable plea in verse:
“Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.”
Is that the actor guy who left no books in his will, with no record of a formal education?
Its a time period thing. People didn’t keep creative works around after their performance, especially as paper was expensive and had myriad other uses. Its really only a fluke that we have access to works from people like J.S.Bach, for example.
Not just play manuscripts, I mean books. Any books of any sort.
There are 30 comments, as of 11:10 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time. Doubtless there will be more – because, thankfully Todd Hayen now has a following on this site. But as a rule articles on anything other than the most rabidly current of current events go pretty much unnoticed.
What I’m getting at is simply that, in the throes of a crisis, art is almost always put on the back burner – yet those are precisely the times it’s most needed.
If the psychos are banging at your door, by all means take up arms; then sit down and listen to at least one movement of a Beethoven symphony or concerto before you start shooting.
That’ll be the opener to the fifth then…
Thank you. Yes, art has always been on the backburner, but it is the key to a person’s heart, and I do believe the “powers that be” are aware that if they want to crush the soul, they can do so through crushing art. It isn’t the only way to do it, but it is definitely a way.
Of course we all remember the famous words attributed to the infamous Churchill when he was asked to cut funding to the arts in order to support the war effort in World War II: “Then what would we be fighting for?” Needless to say, he didn’t really say this, or there is no evidence of it. Whoever made it up certainly had a point, and enough people thought it significant enough to perpetuate it into a myth…and for all Churchill wasn’t that the masses think he was, his love of art I think was authentic.
I love your last sentence.
I am not convinced either that human beings are really interested in the idea of a computer writing poetry, since so few of us are even interested in poetry in the first place.
I think the ‘excitement’ about this idea is largely generated by the advertising media (now a colossal industry), in the same way as ‘excitement’ is generated about a new washing-up liquid or a new flavour of ice-cream.
It’s of passing interest, but the advertisers want us to believe our lives depend on it.
This is a good point (that people aren’t really interested), and is certainly one reason: that people “can’t really tell the difference”…as I have said, these AI expressions certainly could get sophisticated enough that the SENSES have a difficult time telling the difference…but I believe, in my very humble opinion, the heart will always be able to “tell.”
And yes, I agree, the agenda behind it, either commercial or the evil ones wishing to crush our hearts, is what at least initially brings about interest. It is always easy to herd the sheep…and not just sheep, but most of us at one time or another (me included.)
If people aren’t really interested in it, it is, really, mostly because great art has mostly been quarantined and commodified as much as possible as the possession of the few rich “collectors” (aka usurpers). That needs to be vigorously countered by the more enlightened governments, as many administrations have done in Venezuela have with José Abreu’s “El Sistema” known as FESNOJIV. With stunning, brilliant results and musical offspring, all the way to Maestros like Gustavo Dudamel (brilliant director of L.A. Phil) and others, as well as their incubator of populist talent at their Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra.
“Art means nothing if it merely serves to decorate the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage.”
~ Adrienne Rich ( in an open letter to the Clintons rejecting their Medal of the Arts award invitation )
dave. this conversation can serve no purpose, anymore. goodbye.
Hopefully you’re right. If the conversation serves no purpose, then by all means let it continue all weekend!
What a joy to be able to play it by ear rather than having to link to a bunch of insipid news articles in order to “prove” some unprovable point about the latest madness the psychos have cooked up.
HAL 9000 is never wrong
Daisy dais y
…give me your answer do…I’m half crazy, all for the love of you…it won’t be a stylish wedding, I can’t afford a carriage…but you’ll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two…
Among most other things these days, the symbolism and metaphor is uncanny.
stylish marriage…not wedding…I broke the rhyme, a computer would not have made that error…
“Dave, I’m scared Dave.” He was right then too. In a derivative way.
All art died w covid. There will never be any more art, because covid destroyed the truth.
It’s like a book cipher. Useless without the book.
Covid destroyed the book.
I think you’re wrong.
The truth is not so frail that a ridiculous frippery like ‘covid’ could destroy it just like that.
Talk to a good artist.
He’ll put ‘covid’ in its place for you.
I’d like to see what he or she comes up with.
As much as we’d like to do without them, we still need publishers, and curators. And critics.
Music is the exception. Would anyone, upon being handed a cd by a friend, the name of the group simply magic-markered on, and being told, ‘You gotta hear this” — not listen to the cd?
If it was a friend, I’d probably have some idea as to his/her taste in music beforehand.
But when a typical advertising hustler says to me, “You gotta hear this”, I tend to run away.
“Eurovision”, which my wife endured last night, is another good example.
Most of the so-called music is predictable, clichéd, talentless crap, showing no evolutionary progress from 50 years ago, but just look at the 5,000 varieties of lipstick smeared all over that pig by the advertising machinery…
No, I don’t gotta hear this. I’ve heard enough.
You are right again…music is a very interesting art form, as it exists in time. You can’t just “see it.” You either have to play it, hear it being played, or record it and listen to it later (which is a relatively new phenomenon). Quite fascinating.
Well, in my usual contradictory way, you might be right as well! I don’t think it is only Covid, but my god, how much easier could it be to take down as much as what was taken down? Even the dumbest of dumb should not have fallen for this con. It is astounding.
Actually I find these kind of depressive remarks more funny than the usual wake up bs.
We are all doomed. We cant do anything about anything. These powers are so big so we can only sit on our thumb on the fence, hoping something or somebody will show up.
One day a star will rise and oranges will rain down in our turbans.
This day will come when the sheep will take revenge and take hand of their own lives, I believe.
So we’re not “doomed”? All we have to do is wait for your “star” …
I’m afraid you might be right Nick…ghastly…
This thought doesn’t need to be so depressing.
To my mind, the door was opened for robots to do ‘art’ simply by allowing normal human art to lose touch with reality and humanity.
Generally speaking, modern art has sunk to such a moral and aesthetic low over the last century that all a robot had to do was walk right in and take over.
Those few artists who have maintained the human discipline to be worthy of the term, “artist”, know better.
By maintaining high artistic, moral and philosophic standards, they continue to do things which no robot will ever do.
We stand at a crossroads.
Come on, dear people, just look at what we call ‘art’ today, and compare it with the human experience of the great art of 150 years ago.
I’m not recommending a revival of classical art, but a human evolution of former art.
Most of what art does for our species is connected with our life of feeling, and to feel something you have to be human.
It just doesn’t make sense to imagine that you can programme feeling into a robot.
You can only imitate its superficial aspects, whereas significant art goes deep.
I can’t believe I live in a time where such things even need to be said…
From Wikipedia: St Michael’s Victory over the Devil is a 1958 bronze sculpture by Jacob Epstein, displayed on the south end of the east wall outside of the new Coventry Cathedral, beside the stained glass of John Piper‘s bowed baptistry window. The cathedral is dedicated to St Michael. The sculpture symbolises the victory of good over evil, and depicts a winged angel with spear, standing with arms and legs spread above the bound figure of the horned devil lying supine.”
To my mind (in the 1950s VE Day was still a recent memory) the Devil represented the Nazis and, considering how great was the War to defeat them, I was surprised: both by the “supine pose” of the Devil and by St.Michael’s “Look, no hands!” pose of effortless superiority.
Later it dawned on me that Dante had already described an Angel’s effortless superiority over the really bad devils: the devils of Lower Hell, the Hell of Perverted Intelligence.
Interesting observations, Nick.
I imagine it’s quite an undertaking to personify Michael, since we’re talking archangels here, not Joans of Arc…
Come to think of it, I understand we are entering the Age of Michael at the moment.
I can’t remember how long those ages last, but Gabriel and Raphael have apparently done their work for the time being.
What if they think about the program or the robot as merely extensions or examples of natural creation?
Can the robot self replicate and can the replication ever be alive/conscious. Or, can only God create something with consciousness? Is the devil attempting to re-create life…. From the image of life or from the image of the image. The image of the image of the image of the image of the image….. does the image have any life/soul or consciousness. Can the devil be redeemed?
Here comes my opinion again, sorry…
Art is a reflection of the human condition, generally speaking through the sensibilities of one human being, the artist, but often it expresses the “spiritual” or “soul” state of humanity at the time of its creation–good or bad. Obviously this isn’t always the case. You can have a psychopathic artist creating very shadow elements of his/her “reality”…but still, it is a human expression of that artist’s view of humanity…and we are all part of the human family, even the bad guys.
So if you have “horrible art” it is the culture that really is in a bad way…not the art and not even really the artist, as artists typically express from a place they are not even conscious of. We can’t change the art and think we then change humanity…or the culture…or whatever that artist was “getting” from his experience.
If we see horrible art we hate then more than likely it is the elements (shadow) of the culture (or ourselves) that we are hating, or are, more than likely, blind to.
I do not care much for a lot of art I see today…but I don’t blame the artist…I blame the decadence, untruths, lies, deciets, loss of decency, I see around me.
On the other hand, if we see art that really moves us in a positive way…that we consider beautiful, and hopeful, then we see through the artist the things we have hope for, the things we know about humanity that are deep at its core…love, nature’s beauty, life as it is meant to be–divine.
To change art to reflect things we feel good about, we have to change what the art is expressing and/or reflecting, not the art itself. That has been tried before…in Soviet Russia, Communist China, Nazi Germany, etc.
But we must always support expressions of the shadow as well…because we will always harbour shadow, it will always be a part of the material human’s experience. We must never oppress or suppress it.
And authority should never try to manipulate art (duh) because when it does, as it is now, the expression is not authentically human…it is no longer an expression of “the way humans see reality”…it is then an expression of the STATE AUTHORITY…THIS is what I have a beef about!!
Humans by and large are incapable of distinguishing between real art and fake art.
“Tell me a nice story about my little world, with my immediate family and the car I drive and the people I love. Or else.” The “or else” is the bottom line of human interaction with art:
“Or else I won’t read your stupid story. And neither will anyone else.”
So most of what passes for art has over the eons become more and more inane. Occasionally, a great artist manages to sneak into the public imagination; but not often.
There are two kinds of fake art: the schlock the general public finds appealing; and the esoterica the educated elites take to heart. And squeezed somewhere in between is real art, which says something universal about existence; but which neither the public nor the elites take any interest in.
So if a computer “creates” a work of modern art, as fully up-to-date as the latest soap powder for your laundry, I defy anyone to tell the difference between it and what modern human artists “create.”
I say the “heart” can tell the difference, the soul can be nourished by real art, and starve to death with the fake stuff. It is NOT something you can quantify, and claim “I can see the difference”…you can’t (usually). Your senses cannot define the difference. And yes, some people cannot feel what the heart tells them about a human expression, and some people can feel the fake art in the heart…which is the curious part of this argument.
Terms like “heart” and “soul” are politicized vagaries designed to gain support in debates , and need strict definitions to be taken seriously in a discussion. You left out EM Forster’s , The Machine Stops , and HG Wells as well as numerous other Fabians who wrote about post apocalyptical humanity as WW1 took shape at the start of the 20th century .The rise of AI is not a recent theme ! Its exponential development , for better or worse , toward self awareness should be credited to Bill Gates and Ray Kurzweil , among others ? Philip K Dick’s Blade Runner comes to mind.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
A title that’s always had problems for me 🤷♂️
I’ve heard it expressed either way. Somebody said the original Dick title was so embarrassing that the film makers kept it far down the end credits. Meanwhile somebody else (possibly Brian Aldiss) reckoned the film title was a dull and bland vulgarisation compared to the “wonderful” book title.
Dick’s book only has the one title I believe.
No need to close ranks, gents. Just trying to be helpful.
I was referring to the movie title as well as the book title – bearing in mind that the latter is Dick’s and the former presumably Hollywood’s. …hang on a mo … a bit of shuffling around and it appears that a screenwriter called Hampton Fancher came up with “Bladerunner” though it seems he pinched the title from William Burroughs.
Incidentally, I recall David Cronenberg’s opinion of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver:
“Taxi Driver is a better bladerunner than Bladerunner. New York is a nightmare Tokyo/Los Angeles of the future. De Niro is a sleepless alien who makes a poor job of passing for a human being. He can’t figure out human sexuality but he wants to get involved anyway.”
I watched Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ recently. I thought he did a beautiful job with the idea of living in a simulation. Or the main character struggling with his human-ness…. Depending on how it is interpreted.
As a highly opinionated “Moderator” I can understand how that is so for you !
….but how could it? It makes perfect sense. A human dreams of real sheep and an artificial or electric human dreams of electric or artificial sheep.
But we count sheep when we can’t sleep.
We count imagined sheep and the act of counting them is abstract…. Hm…. I don’t think Androids dream of electric sheep but maybe they can be programmed to do that.
Or… maybe they can only ever dream of electric sheep…. If they have electric souls…
Is it possible to have an electric soul? Now I’m in trouble with the inquisitors.
it ocurred to me that you may have meant having problems with the notion of a machine or Android being conscious. I initially thought you meant the words didn’t make sense to you. Perhaps consciousness is a big part of the conversation here…. Human versus mechanical/electrical…. being born into a body in order to have a soul or be conscious or at least self conscious.
I’m either getting above my pay grade or i need a promotion.
I am not as well read as you. Thanks for the titles. You are right about the rise of AI not being purely a recent phenomenon. CS Lewis certainly was concerned about it. As well as the authors you mention.
Just watched the two Blade Runner movies again, which I had not seen since before Covid, and was surprised how much more I got from them regarding transhumanism. Quite interesting.
I’d say that by and large, great art has nothing to do with ‘the public imagination’.
I realize this undermines everything my own training and capability stands for, but I have often thought that the wonderful music I have had the privilege of working with for most of my life really only speaks to others with the same education and familiarity, although I also believe the door is open to anybody who is curious enough to walk in.
I wish everybody understood the uplifting work of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart well enough to love it as much as I do, but they just don’t.
As with any significant relationship, it takes more time, patience and effort than many people can be bothered with.
I think there’s a fine line between how a work of art is created and how it is experienced. This is perhaps more apparent with music than with any other kind of art.
To create a symphony requires an almost mathematical precision. But that same precision is not needed to enjoy the symphony. Yes, to a music critic this precision is necessary in order to fathom how it was created. But not to the listener.
It’s kind of like the form/content issue. Currently, at least in literature, form is god, as is character. Content is almost irrelevant. Perhaps that stems from the maddening observation that “there’s nothing new under the sun”; so it doesn’t matter what you say, only how you say it.
In college I read a novel by the French writer Alain Robbe Grillet. The form was exquisite; but the content was almost vaporized by the form. (No, I didn’t enjoy it.)
Yes, those are important considerations too.
Then there is the other fine line between ‘enjoying’ a symphony and ‘appreciating’ it, although of course it’s best to be able to do both.
In my case, it usually happens that I begin by enjoying a work, then gradually find that appreciation naturally accrues to the enjoyment with time.
Continuing that process for a while often seems to bring me quite close to a mental, or emotional place where the composer might have been when he created the work – something my spiritually-minded teacher urged his piano students to try and achieve.
Mathematical precision alone, as you have probably noticed, doesn’t make music.
Maybe all these technocrats see themselves as artists of the future. The past no matter matters. Fasten your seatbelts and watch us creat the future!
Maybe feelings represent the past or are like maps telling us where we are coming from and where we are at. So art is the map of feelings and we will have a lot of trouble with the future without the map to guide us. …. And post modernist nihilism, where nothing matters, is just beyond stupid and quite insane or suicidal.
Poems? Any old thing can write those. The real question is: can AI write a Beck song?
The word art is ‘to be’ – though now archaic as in Thou art.
Hence ‘humans’ is now current as an alien and alienating perspective from a dissociated thinking for human specimens rather than any felt appreciation of connection with human being (which hasn’t really a plural as it is already relational).
The thought and world we co-create via dissociated thinking is set in a mind of predictive control. Our very definitions are attempts to grasp or possess so as to control or fit to our will and desire. But the will and desire of dissociated thinking is set in substitution for the qualities of being that are filtered, ruled out, distorted and denied by masked or distanced self-conflict. So it cannot actually create, but only gain function from the subversion of the creative, as a parasitic denial of the very life it feeds on.
Artifice operates as a virtual or augmented representation of being in replicate or copy that mimics forms but no longer embodies the same context – so providing a lens or matrix by which to ‘miscreate’ in terms of fear & control given power in the mind to run on false currency of thought with self-reinforcing emotional and physical expression and reflection.
For our mind can be phished by image and form or self-fixate in fantasy set in idols – acted out upon the body or bodies of others and world. This ‘Narcissus’ is prior to the thinking that then operates self-justifying narrative backstories before and after actions running covert – as in a sense of subjection or coercion to frameworks of perceived & believed necessity.
So the art of science is in the questions that reveal an already answer in a new light of meaning that extends or unfolds meaning rather than the ‘revolutions’ of shifting gods set in mutual struggle for dominance. Creation extends the Timeless – as the qualities inherent to Existence as Self-Aware. But the ‘miscreative’ or segregative identification set in opposition or conflict operates a limiting filtering focus by which mind – or Mind is compartmentalised in effect to a split-levelled experience of reality as -for example mind and body or thought & feeling, conscious and unconscious.
Freedom to engage experience is limited by workability that includes tolerability, for conflict dissonance as pain becomes a toxic burden to any thought system or civilisation. If reintegration to a grounded reference point is persistently evaded, the pain is masked over not least by limiting the faculty and function of thought, while also projecting out as a world of irrevocable unresolvable conflict – that invokes war, destruction and death to ‘save it’ from full Disclosure – as the wish to self-create locked into its own ‘defences’ that DO the very thing it thinks and lives to avoid!
Cognitive dissonance is not obvious to a mind-set of survival.
Even those who loved Jesus in Spirit saw only from within the mindset of loss, disconnection and threat, as a basis for the ‘self-protective reflex’ that was suddenly recognised amidst the cock craw at the approach of dawn – and then by the gift of prophesy for such an event as had seemed inconceivable when given.
The grace of noticing is a Gift already given, yet revealed anew from beneath the capacity to see what fear and guilt made of dissonance and disconnection – within the heart of a love that needed no word for the life it both has and is – without apology or justification.
Gain of Function runs from the idea of harnessing nature – and then by extension the minds of targeted enemies, rivals or threats. So the Trojan ruse uses the sympathy of the enemy for the horse as a divine symbol (as the horse was so across many cultures) that provided a ‘back door’ for a destructive agenda that could not otherwise break the siege.
The artifice of seduction, manipulation, marketing or entrapment to disempowerment, loss and death is ‘war by any and all means’ – and to those so given is it self-honesty in thought set over denied and stamped out feeling. For they are at war with their own being while attacking ever shifting targets of their own projective denials – and also meeting reinforcements by reaction.
But Jesus said ‘even as you do unto the least among you, you do unto Me’. Not ONLY the least or especially to the least, but as you do without exception. Nor did he teach guilt, blame and moral superiority as a salvation for the ‘select’ but shared in any tongue to the revealing of a love, a law and a light that was recognisably shared – NOT specialness conferred.
Why invoke Jesus?
The heart of any matter is in the heart and mind to which it matters. We have collectively assigned Cause to externalised physical determinants such as germs and genes to the exclusion of the psychic act of giving meaning as a form of self-definitions that then frame our adaptive experience. Without invoking the gaslight of blame – there is a basis for recognising where we do unto ourselves – or in some way set ourselves up’ – and this is the opportunity for a simple curiosity of noticing to both see and choose differently to patterns of a past made in conflict and confusion.
True presence does not ‘wait’ while we dissociate into past and future imaginations, but is the Call to joy or wholeness of being – even if we perceive that contagious, weakening or threat to our defences. True Perspective aligns truly felt and truly shared outcomes – one willingness at a time.
The Trojan Horse like Jesus is a myth . With the deciphering of linear b Greek came the probability that Troy experienced an earthquake , earthquakes and horses were “managed” by the same god in ancient Greece, Poseidon , after which the warlike and avaricious Mycenean’s saw an opportunity to raid and loot that Hittite outpost on the edge of the Greek world.
Deep. Very deep.
The primary intention is not to create computer art, it’s to accurately interpret our emotional & spiritual aspects of communication for purposes of predictive behavior modeling and subsequent ‘steering’ mechanisms.
The concepts of the noosphere and cybernetics are currently blending together.
Yes, well then there is THAT!! If I understand you correctly…the power behind AI Art and ChatGPT is not benign…it is evil. You can’t get ChatGPT to write an article about the dangers of the vaccines, for example. So it is definitely biased. Which is completely unconscionable…I am sure the AI Art is also biased. What have we created here???
Human? Case in point; Hunter Biden.
Created? We have created just more plastic. Actually Im concerned for my boy who use his time on this ChatGPT, instead of reading some classics which he should to understand the basics of our times.
I mean, I suggested to several of my best nearest, mistresses and family, to read Orwell and/or Huxley, The Ecclesiastes, Camus, Bobby Seal, Kafka, Hesse, some of the Tarzan books, at least one of these books just to have one mental platform from the real world.
They wont, not read one single one of them, busy, f…finger. Jumping directly to ChatGPT the newest state of the art within AI.
Well, it actually follows the same pattern as with the vaxx, division into sheep and horns.
Well…. Who is doing the creating…. Maybe it is we or maybe only a woke group of we. I saw an interesting twitter post where a Korean said I’m proud to be Korean and the AI response was very positive. Then he said I’m proud to be white and the response was a question about why bother affirming race. Then he said I’m proud to be Asian and it responded, ‘Awesome’. So it appears in that case the AI is programmed by a woke’ist. I wonder if the AI will ever begin to program itself and what then will happen. Perhaps it will be unplugged by the woke’ists.
You’ve chosen a couple of terrible examples of the current capability of ai language and art output. The dial has shifted much more than you might think.
The tools that have been released for image creation (midjourney, dall-e, stable diffusion and many more) have been lapped up by a generation raised on tools and apps of convenience. They don’t share the same concerns about the loss of human creativity in the long run. I have no doubt this will be the case.
Here’s an image generated by AI (human input is via text prompts such as ‘wise old woman’, ‘hyper-realistic detail’, the better the prompt the better the image, usually. You or I could create the following image within minutes:
That one was created in mid journey.
It’s all over, Todd. Almost every article you read on the subject will begin along the lines of.. “AI art may be controversial but it’s here to stay”. Given the complete conditioning of so many to the worship of convenience and instant gratification, there’s little reason to doubt that.
I didn’t touch on chatgpt, bard and other large language models, using prompts to create poetry, articles, essays at a level beyond ordinary folks writing capabilities and knowledge. I’d brush up on some of my other skills if I were you Todd.
What I wonder is this: Is a picture worth a thousand pictures? In other words, a photographer can create a thousand pictures which may represent a thousand different subtle aspects of a human face. Can an AI do that? (I’m not saying it can’t, I’m just wondering.)
They also say AI can mimic any human voice. But I wonder: can it sing a song, rendering all the emotion of, say, this one?
Ol’ Man River – William Warfield And MGM Chorus – YouTube
I think the answer is yes, or if not yes now, then yes very soon indeed.
Small example of publicly available software below. Generated simply by text input detailing the type of music and song, along with additional details to create a variety of styles. No skill required.
A picture being worth a thousand words is a truism which has nothing to do with who or what created the image. Art , however one defines it is defined by those viewing and interpreting it . Rock and Roll the music of the sixties in general are products of a form of AI known as the electric guitar and other such devices. Androids will , if they don’t already , dream of electric sheep . as Philip K Dick wondered half a century ago .
Electric guitars are analogue electromagnetic string instruments. They are not AI.
I met Warfield nearly 40 years ago when I taught piano for 3 years at the University of Illinois. I was accompanying his nephew, who was studying singing with him at the time, and he went to his uncle for coaching.
Warfield was a lovely, gentle man, and it was quite an experience to get some kindly-delivered tips from him on how to make the piano sound more like an orchestra!
His nephew was a very promising singer too, as I remember.
I saw David Beckham in a store once.
And I saw a cardboard replica of Prince Charles…
Spitting image Maggie was AI.
Speaking of a piano sounding “more like an orchestra,” it is amazing listening to a rendition of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition” on the piano – especially after hearing the Ravel arrangement.
Of course, I only hear music via a recording. I wonder: is that kind of like hearing AI music?
Well, since you mentioned it, Howard… you might enjoy this:
I felt the same way the first time I heard “Pictures” on the piano…
Recordings do indeed take a bit of “soul” out of the experience…maybe more than we know. But keep in mind, what I am calling “soul” is non material…so even though a recording cannot physically (materially) capture everything, “soul” may be conveyed just from the playing by the musicians. It is not easily explainable, and may not be true at all! Who knows.
And he makes it all seem so effortless…
The important thing for me isn’t how close a robot can get to mimicking a human being. It’s enough for me to know that it isn’t human, because it was programmed.
I often wonder whether the likes of Matt Hancock, Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and the rest are also, in fact, programmed robots, and I don’t doubt that technology will continue to develop that agenda to its logical conclusion.
But, sooner of later, they’ll all give themselves away, when somebody notices that they never eat, drink, sleep, or take a crap…
Quite impressive this photo. You are of course right. Its here to stay even if we like it or not.
But I think it will divide the world in two. I love the real world, the sea, the wood, the sun, the real flowers, mountains, all what reminds of God’s hand.
As much as I dislike our times artificial bs even when I use it as I do it here.
This is just tanking of ideas, knowledge and experiences not really necessary, only to acquaint, for preparedness, for defence use. So be it.
A technical question…doesn’t the AI engine pull up pre-existing photos and artwork to create its images? I’ve seen some AI art that has recognizable images within the image…or does it create this woman’s face pixel by pixel? All created by its algorithms? I am rather ignorant about these things.
And how do you know I am not already using ChatGPT to write my articles?
The image can be created as an original by the software or it can incorporate existing images, or parts of them.
I recommend this site for a comprehensive yet digestible breakdown of the history and processes used to create AI art.
Well, I probably couldn’t tell! Especially if the algorithm has been trained on your style and content.
I don’t mind admitting that it makes me a little sad that we’ve arrived at this point, where it will quickly become impossible to tell if the information we share or stories we are told have human origin. That they may not come from a place of experience, spirituality and imagination but from datasets, coldly analysed and then spat out in a few seconds or minutes at the prompt of anyone who cares to use it.
No sacrifice, no effort, no talent.
The real test does come for writers like you, Todd. Imagine being able to have fairly limited input around the idea for your next article, but it can be ‘written’ in time for dinner, with little research required and more of that special time for family and friends. Will you resist the pull of efficiency, and convenience to be able to produce three, six or ten articles a day and still have time for a midday snooze?
Your peers will be tempted. Then you’ll be tempted just to keep up!
It may be worth reflecting upon how life has changed since about 1975.
Back then, computers were in their mainframe infancy.
Things like pocket calculators and digital watches were exotic novelties.
Also missing were ATM machines, CCTV, video recorders, CDs, credit cards, and of course the internet with all its ramifications.
And of course mobile phones. People did not have telephones at home, and made calls from telephone kiosks. And maybe had to think for themselves a bit more.
People still went to cinemas. And libraries. Bank clerks recorded deposits and withdrawals with ballpoint pens. Or fountain pens.
There were only 3 television channels.
Cars were mechanical objects that could be easily repaired. Most were not imported.
Foreign restaurants existed but were thin on the ground. The takeaway was the chip shop.
People still had coal fires.
Foreign travel was not taken for granted.
Family doctors were still common.
The small minority who went on to higher education did not have to pay tuition fees and received student grants.
Very large numbers of men still worked in coal mines, steel mills, shipyards and engineering, and belonged to trade unions. People still made things.
There was no easy credit. Mortgages had to be earned after going on a waiting list, and were not granted to women.
Homosexuality was legal but was not flaunted or encouraged.
The tidal wave of immigration had not yet occurred. Communities were homogeneous. London was not 37% white British.
There were even still a few colonies left, in odd places like Hong Kong and Rhodesia.
A very large part of the planet was communist, where all private property was illegal.
The Common Market consisted of half a dozen western European countries and had not yet morphed into the bloated EU. Britain had just been shoehorned into the organisation through assorted political chicanery.
Global Warming had not yet been invented. All the scientists were confidently predicting an imminent new Ice Age.
Just a few of many changes. Whether for the better or worse is of course a subjective issue.
Asset backed currency still existed.
Once expurged (1978) “money” creation was just an accounting exercise.
that’s when everything you mentioned changed.
Used to think like and be that nostalgic until I realised that, just like you in 2023, someone in 1975 may very well have written or said: “It may be worth reflecting upon how life has changed since about 1920.”
This thing called Progress and our relationship as human beings with it… A headache.
Try Orwell’s “Keep the aspidistra flying” A “middle class” travelling salesman in the 1930’s pining for his childhood in the 1890’s
Thanks, I will.
Progress: not so much a headache as a heartache. At least, considering all the things that could and ought to have been achieved but weren’t – all because destruction has been, and always will be, more appealing to those in “power” than creation.
“There was no easy credit. Mortgages had to be earned after going on a waiting list”.
Around 1985 I walked out of a bank because the clerk was so willing to give me a mortgage that I became suspicious.
“I’m not joining any club that would have me as a member” — Groucho Marx.
That’s all interesting, Paul, thanks … let’s remember that Communism holds that the private ownership of the means of production is not of benefit to humanity. One is perfectly free to own privately all the things humans require to be happy.
Like your post Paul, back up a little to petrol shortages and blackouts..and you got it chum.
If humans created the machines that produced the ‘artwork,’ then didn’t humans (indirectly) create the ‘art’ the machines produce?
“Guns don’t kill people…
Or, how about Jackson Pollock?
I worked with computers in the 1990’s, training operators transitioning from paper to “desktop publishing,” using powerful SUN UNIX workstations.
The machines and software levelled the workplace, enabling the most unexpected people to perform miracles, including jobs they’d never had an interest in or ever considered even exploring, let alone doing, before the machines arrived (believing themselves lacking ‘natural artistic talent’).
I regularly observed trained artists contemptiously dismissing the tools, while managers and administrators, who embraced the devices, developed new careers in art, engineering and design.
Most people admire artistic talent.
Human admiration of machine art is a good sign in that it is simply an expression of the generalization that people admire art, and talent, that most people wish they had even a drop of it, and, admiring machine art is nothing more than admiring human talent and ability, and not devoid of God or inspiration.
That these tools are helping people ‘create’ even if that creativity doesn’t measure up to art according to the standards of more widely educated minds, seems kind of condescending to me.
Artificial limbs, eyeglasses, all kinds of man made things improve people’s lives
From my observation, a.i. has the potential to augment and elevate the existence of the less obviously naturally talented, and enable the disabled.
The world of digital art is an accomplishment and legitimate extension of human talent and ability, worthy of admiration.
You remember how crude those computers were you worked on, and how programmers, working with artists, transformed them into the subtle and powerful tools everyone uses like second nature today.
Thanks for reminding me about that Xmas in 1961. There was only one computer in the Company, and it occupied a room to itself. At the Xmas party we suddenly heard “Jingle Bells” coming from the computer room though no person was in that room. Today my main interest is programming a computer to play a Beethoven quartet in Just Intonation. But nothing compares with “the shock of the new”: hearing that familiar one-line jingle coming out of an empty room.
In 1975 I bought a light-sensitive Z80 chip for a few $$ and paid an electronics technician $100 to wire it up. It produced a crude 256×256 BW image on a Z80 Spectrum PC. Today my hobby is digital colour photography. The equipment costs the same in $to$ purchasing power, image quality and convenience are incomparably better, but nothing beats that thrill of transferring one’s first crude image from a digital sensor to a Visual Display Unit.
With humility ref to my previous comment, faecesbook, making ordinary people stars.
But it still has something evil over it, even if you make the usual “vulnerable kids and disabled can use it” and we all get wet eyes.
The combination of vaxx, 5-6G, transhumanism and big pharma….’doing it better for humanity’. I smell outdated fish and horns.
I prefer disabled, vulnerable kids, old people, participate and live as they are. We may use glasses and sticks, maybe a little more, but thats it. Being part of life’s natural circle.
Of all the gin joints in all the world: this is a true story, and hopefully it has no ending yet. My partner and I went into a bar, hoping to get some bar food. Alas, the kitchen had just closed and we talked to the only other customer in the bar. He was a very pleasant and well read chap from the US who was shortly on his way to a new job in Brussels. However, there was something sad about a man sitting alone in bar with only the bar staff for company. I engaged him and soon the conversation got quite deep as I probed his philosophy. He had never read certain key books which had meant the world to me and in fact, he admitted he was a nihilist. Here was a man whose life had no meaning. I asked him if had children and he said no; I then told him his life would be transformed when he held his child in his arms because it is these helpless and loving little souls who give us meaning. I sensed a need to help him and asked him to read Tolstoy if he had the tine, or if not, read Victor Frankl’s “Man in search of meaning”. He confided that his job was nuclear war, and he was heading for NATO. A nihilist in charge of annihilation! And yet he seemed such a lost soul who could be put onto the right track given enough time (and beer)…
But what has this story to do with Todd’s article? Art is balm for the soul – whether it be music, a baby’s laughter, a beautiful sunset. There is zero point in AI writing poetry or painting because it has no soul – nor did its designers. There can be no beauty when there is no soul, no emotions, no Humanity. Their future is bleak. Venceremos
Maybe they will develop an algorithm for Pathos. Until then, the most they can aspire to is being “artistic”, not Art, because without Pathos, Art cannot be created.
Its hard to shake the suspicion that AI is being added to the list of things for the public to worry about, as people can only hold one thought at a time. While they are kept busy with AI and all the other nonsense tossed at them, they cannot be devoting any attention to the avalanche of developments in the world of feudalism that consistently fleece them of civil liberties and wealth.
It’s worse than you think, this changes everything.
You could say that even art designed by computers is ultimately designed by people since it must have been people who designed the programs. You could see the the original program writers as very lazy artists whose programs are basically groups of stupid people who can only behave in limited ways so that the output becomes increasingly stultified.
You COULD say that, and many people do. You could say that about sampled music too, and also that the keyboard musician that plays the violin part on the keyboard is still an expressive artist, and is human.
So then it becomes a matter of distance…how far away from the human’s hand and heart does the expression become. The idea is that one day humans will not be behind the creation…so so distant from it, that they essentially do not exist.
That kinda plays into a point I make later in the thread about the homogenisation of music. See the video link about how shit modern pop is.
Agreed. IMO Humanity seems to surrender, to be full of shy reverence, in front of its own creation. Feuerbach held the theory that God as a separated person is a human creation, a projection of human qualities. Knowing himself to be mortal, and a sinner, he created a personal, perfect and immortal God – a God he unconsciously wanted (or knew?) to be equal to – to which he may repent, but at the same time this God allows him to sin, otherwise repentance is not possible. Similarly, according to Marx and other thinkers, humanity gets enslaved by the tools it creates; the tools try to represent and prove the divinity of humans, but being separated from them in space and time, they can’t identify this divinity as theirs and end up putting themselves at their mercy as before an alien power.