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a few words about artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is going to change the world in ways we have not yet fully conceived. At first people seemed to be focused on the doomsday scenario. The robot uprising destroying humanity as in the Terminator and Matrix movies being the scariest. But this article focuses on the impact it has and will have on entertainment.

A.i. and Machine Learning have been around for a while, but over the past few months it seemed to be on everyone’s mind. I remember the artwork and book covers that first surfaced on social media. The A.i. generated images weren’t that good, seemingly lacking in fine detail. I even tried one myself just to see what the computer would come up with and it was more of an abstract kind of image.

Many artists were clinging to the notion that A.i. would not be able to fully re-create the human imagination. Of course, in less than a year, the A.i. renderings are beautiful and almost lifelike. I’ve seen some amazing artwork coming out of Midjourney A.I.

A.i. was recently used to create a Joe Rogan Podcast without Joe Rogan. A near exact copy of an episode as if it were him. Another A.i. was used to create a fake song which was the first to go viral. It featured Drake and The Weekend, except neither of them had anything to do with it.

Now authors are in an uproar because one author recently used A.i. to help with the story. A publisher signed the author which really upset social media. A few tried to claim A.i. will never be able to create a story like a human author. They should probably read the previous paragraph again.

A.i. is going to get better and better at voiceovers and narrations too. It’s damn near perfect now. For independent authors with little to no budget, this will be quite a temptation. It’s going to put many voice actors out of work. And, with stars like James Earl Jones allowing his voice print to be used after his death, it will take jobs away from aspiring voice actors.

Let’s set aside the lure to use a celebrity voice like Jones; consider the cost and efficiency of using A.i. with a generalized voice. No booth time, no human mistakes like mouth noises, annunciation, or incorrect lines. Wait, I hear the naysayers, no computer will ever be able to have the same inflections or emotions poured into the performance. You should really re-read the paragraph about Joe Rogan and the fake song.

A.i. narrations will be read perfectly the first time, every time. And mark my words, it will get the acting down as well. All of this will require zero editing. In fact, it will probably be able to adjust on the fly and able to meet all ACX standards. It will add in sound fx and music, correcting the loudness all in one take, and within minutes.

It took me months to edit my own voice recordings for A Cry in the Moon’s Light. And I spend hours on sound fx and music placement before adjusting the volume. A.i. can do all of that in the blink of an eye.

I suspect publishers and agents already use A.i. to evaluate stories. I’m not talking about the quality. No, no, I’m talking about the viability of profit. Publishers and agents need books that earn, and they want their taste. They require consistent content they can put out now. A.i. will be able to do that and give them probabilities of outcomes. If A.i. turns out to be correct about sales, game on.

Consider how things might have gone differently if A.i. were available to any of the 30 individuals who rejected Carrie. I’m guessing there may have been two rejections at best. Those 29 who passed will not want to repeat that mistake again and A.i. would help them avoid it.

This is just one tiny aspect of A.I.’s potential in the creative space. I can think of many jobs, side hustles, and services that will be affected. I doubt the big publishing houses will pay editors after A.i. perfects that process. The smaller, independent publishers will not pay either. Unlike the big ones who can afford it, they’ll be able to cut costs and generate more content at a fraction of the cost.

And self-published authors with no budget, who want to get their stories out, but can’t afford to hire expensive editors, cover designers, formatting experts, or marketing professionals will turn to A.i. In fact, this will probably benefit them more than anyone. It won’t take years or the approval of unknown people to give you a break. The fans will decide if they like what you offer. At least, until someone monetizes A.i. and squeezes out the little guy.

It’s more likely to be an amalgamation between humans and A.i. How many of us indie authors have unwittingly used A.i.? We already have predictive text. It’s not the sentient being we think of as A.i. but many of the things we use are computer generated.

Things are progressing rapidly. I grew up in a time before cell phones, home computers, or the internet. I watched Captain Kirk talk to the Enterprise using wireless technology. I never believed I’d see that in my lifetime, yet I’ve had every model of cell phone since it began.

My new Sci-Fi horror crime thriller Bumper City has A.i., which is portrayed as both good and bad. I didn’t write it as any type of deep-thinking exercise, it’s just the way the story unfolded. Perhaps you’ve seen some of my ads for it on IG and Twitter. The ones with A.i. questions?

And if you think all of that is bad, wait until the studios have A.i. generate entire movies with little to no human interaction. No writers, no actors, no directors, no crew, and 1 producer to make sure it all fits together. A.i. could take actors who didn’t get the part and replace the originals with them. Like Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones or Al Pacino as Han Solo. (I love Harrison Ford too, not trying to replace him. Those were just the first two roles that came to mind.)

Think it can’t happen? Ask Rogan if he ever thought anyone could create an artificial podcast of him. Or if Drake and The Weekend thought someone could use their likeness for a hit song.

We are going to have to adapt to A.i. as it’s not going away, and it will only get more efficient. While we should all be concerned about how it will affect everyday life, creatives and artists are right to worry about A.i. too. The robot uprisings of past movies are scary, but there are other ways to destroy humanity.

P.S. I purposely used the lowercase i in A.i. I’d like to say I did that so you would know I did not use artificial intelligence to write this, but the truth is, I just liked the way it looks.


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