To embrace AI or rail against it. That is the question.

To embrace AI or rail against it. That is the question.

FIU News — Large language models are making creativity and knowledge work accessible to all. Everyone with an internet connection can now use tools like ChatGPT or DALL-E 2 to express themselves and make sense of huge stores of information by, for example, producing text summaries.

Especially notable is the depth of humanlike expertise large language models display. In just minutes, novices can create illustrations for their business presentationsgenerate marketing pitches, get ideas to overcome writer’s block, or generate new computer code to perform specified functions, all at a level of quality typically attributed to human experts.

These new AI tools can’t read minds, of course. A new, yet simpler, kind of human creativity is needed in the form of text prompts to get the results the human user is seeking. Through iterative prompting – an example of human-AI collaboration – the AI system generates successive rounds of outputs until the human writing the prompts is satisfied with the results. For example, the (human) winner of the recent Colorado State Fair competition in the digital artist category, who used an AI-powered tool, demonstrated creativity, but not of the sort that requires brushes and an eye for color and texture.

While there are significant benefits to opening the world of creativity and knowledge work to everyone, these new AI tools also have downsides. First, they could accelerate the loss of important human skills that will remain important in the coming years, especially writing skills. Educational institutes need to craft and enforce policies on allowable uses of large language models to ensure fair play and desirable learning outcomes.

Second, these AI tools raise questions around intellectual property protections. While human creators are regularly inspired by existing artifacts in the world, including architecture and the writings, music and paintings of others, there are unanswered questions on the proper and fair use by large language models of copyrighted or open-source training examples. Ongoing lawsuits are now debating this issue, which may have implications for the future design and use of large language models.

As society navigates the implications of these new AI tools, the public seems ready to embrace them. The chatbot ChatGPT went viral quickly, as did image generator Dall-E mini and others. This suggests a huge untapped potential for creativity, and the importance of making creative and knowledge work accessible to all.