Think about this. We’re at a similar place with artificial intelligence (AI) today as we were with the advent of the internet in the early 1990s. At that time, we didn’t know what this thing might become. What we might get as a benefit from embracing this new technology.
30 years later, we’ve made a mess of the world with the internet what with hackers and identity theft, election interference, propaganda presented as news, ransomware and apps that make people feel bad about themselves and jobs lost among many industries. What a boom it’s been.
Now, we have this new thing, AI, that can write for us, create imitation people, even make art and photographs that don’t really exist. Deep fakes in both still and motion picture form. That’s so far.
Imagine what the future will be 30 years from now. Will the AI be telling people what to think? How to think? Will it be the authority all turn to like we turn to Google today? Will we all start to talk alike? Lose our ability to think? Become homogenized by this thing that’s ubiquitous in our lives?
If you think fact-checking during a discussion is bad now, just wait until AI is in everyone’s palm.
There was a time when it was pleasurable to get a simple letter in the mail from a loved one. There was something special about the personal touch that a letter provides. Same thing with a snapshot of a family member or friend.
I don’t believe we will go the way of the typewriter and pay phone, and give up our computers and handheld devices, but I do think people will turn toward more real things the further things go in the artificial world.
We’ve seen an uptick in silver-gelatin (film) photography, More people are making real photographs and printing their photos than they have in years.
We’ve seen it in the increase in the sale of vinyl records. There were more vinyl records sold last year than music CDs.
Think of that rebellion to all things analog, but exponentially greater. Because it’s going to get bad. AI is going to be seemingly unavoidable. Just like the internet is today.
In 30 years, it’s going to be ruling our lives the same way our phones and the internet rule it now. Only it’s going to be influencing and even changing our behavior to what it wants us to be. It’ll be changing the way we think. Only who is it? Who is behind this “intelligence’s” programming, its learning, with what goal, to morph us into what? Identical thinkers?
Where will the jobs be for those replaced by it?
What influence will governments and corporations have over it? (Corporations and government are pouring millions of dollars into it.)
Where will we be in 2053?
I, myself, am not engaging in ChatGPT. Or Google’s Bard. Or any of the other AI platforms. Because I get to choose how much I engage and at this point, I believe there are a lot of people trying to figure out how to make it work best for them, for their bottom line. But they don’t have the public’s best interest at heart necessarily.
Why would they?
As more photography is faked, there will be a move to using film for photojournalism for its ability to sell authenticity and keep journalism trustworthy. (All a journalist has is their integrity.)
Similar to the way there is a slow food movement, there will be a tech-free movement–people will embrace unconnected time spent together. There will be a stepping away from the constant intrusion of tech in our lives.
Cards and letters will return instead of emails and texts as greetings to loved ones during holidays.
AI will become ubiquitous but distrusted. Corrupted and used for nefarious and criminal goals, including new forms of cyber theft.
New jobs will arise in cybersecurity as more people are affected by the negative consequences of AI.
AI will cause our world to become more divided, more unfriendly, and more dangerous.
in 30 years, we will be talking about AI as we are the internet now, listing all its problems. Only by then, something new, even more dangerous in the way of controlling minds, will be developing that will gradually be adopted as the new great thing.
And on it goes.
You make an excellent point about film photography in journalism. You can’t deepfake a negative.
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Right. Though there certainly can be modifications, at least you can show the negative that originated the photograph. Do you know the famous thumb removal on Migrant Mother? If you look at the lower right, you can see a ghost thumb that Dorothea Lange didn’t like, so she kinda removed it. https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/migrant-mother-nipomo-california/ogF9bKF6G1Kwlg
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Wow! It’s not very often I’d say I’m glad I’m the age I am, but I am! In 2053 I’ll be dead (or 85!). I might have an AI taking care of me and nothing to say about it! Until then, I’m trying to live in an analogue/real world. As I type this (on a computer) I sit next to a dozen vinyl cases, I have no mobile phone, and don’t do internet banking. In my photography, I’ve always used film. At the start there was no digital, no choice, over the years I almost became totally digital, but not quite. These days I’m almost all film. Something I’m happy to share on my (digital) blog. As I use more and more computers at work, the last thing I want for a hobby is to sit in front of a screen for longer, to the point I’m seriously considering buying a 4×5 and slowing down on purpose! What a thought provoking post for a Sunday morning! On a completely different note: If I had to choose one photo from history to cherish it would be “Migrant Mother” – it made me cry when I first saw it!… and it still does! I didn’t know the story about the thumb! Sorry to ramble! Cheers and best wishes Andy