If art is how we express our humanity, where does AI fit in?


Courtesy of Memo Akten, using custom AI software

Courtesy of Memo Akten, using custom AI software

By Zach Winn

The rapid advance of artificial intelligence has generated a lot of buzz, with some predicting it will lead to an idyllic utopia and others warning it will bring the end of humanity. But speculation about where AI technology is going, while important, can also drown out important conversations about how we should be handling the AI technologies available today.

One such technology is generative AI, which can create content including text, images, audio, and video. Popular generative AIs like the chatbot ChatGPT generate conversational text based on training data taken from the internet.

Today a group of 14 researchers from a number of organizations including MIT published a commentary article in Science that helps set the stage for discussions about generative AI’s immediate impact on creative work and society more broadly. The paper’s MIT-affiliated co-authors include Media Lab postdoc Ziv Epstein SM ’19, PhD ’23; Matt Groh SM ’19, PhD ’23; and PhD students Rob Mahari ’17 and Hope Schroeder.

MIT News spoke with Epstein, the lead author of the paper.

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