Yes, AI is bad. Artists should still be worried.

Here’s a fact. Freshly baked bread, from a bakery or at home, is like candy. If you’ve never had it, you’ve missed out. It’s a treat in its own right. Fluffy, sweet, warm, crunchy on the outside, deliciously soft inside that exterior. It’s like a savory Snickers bar. Like a guilt free cake. And we all eat sliced bread. It’s not that bakeries produced an inferior product, they were objectively better than supermarkets at producing bread, but they were less efficient than buying sliced bread at a market where the shopper is already planning out their week of food. And Wonder-bread is good enough.

Markets and then supermarkets replaced local specialty businesses and then fell victim themselves to the same tactics. Now we all buy the same three mass-produced bread substitutes in the same four supermarkets throughout the entire country. This has not been an improvement.

When defending art from the encroachment of LLMs and various other technologies that masquerade as “AI” detractors like to point out that soulless automation produces an objectively inferior product. Even as it relentlessly iteratively improves, it will never bear the meaning and intention of a human artist. Similarly, technology workers and enthusiasts (many of whom despise the arts for their lack of order and quantification) will often argue that “if AI is as bad as artists claim it is, AI will never replace them.”

Quality has never been the primary determinant for a corporation’s production pipeline. If the public begins or can be convinced to accept AI art in the place of things like meta-images on articles, newspapers will use them in leu of photographers, graphic designers, and artists. If the public can get used to help centers written and staffed by AI, as many companies are already attempting to do, then that is exactly what we will get and the jobs of many hardworking midwestern service agents will vanish exactly as they already have for inferior outsourced labor.

Artistic quality does not protect artists from the advancement of AI as a tool and, in our present economy, art is only protected by its economic relevance. Artists rely on corporate commissions for food. Many novelists support themselves with technical or copy writing.

Without those positions, economic pressure will force artists onto Patreon (a website that is currently banning the most lucrative forms of artistic commission (pornography)). Most likely, we will lose the current corps of rising artists, as only those with established fan bases can economically justify working on their art.

As far as I can tell, the only way to resist this oncoming “shift” is human resistance. Artists need to convince the general populace that they are being robbed of expression. Or maybe artists need to communicate that they are only the next of these jobs replaced by inferior technology. The oncoming shitty automation of every task will decimate our economy and quality of life.

Fucking “Wonderbread”.


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