As someone who has always been creative in one way or another throughout my life, from writing stories, doodling, writing screenplays, stage plays to producing content for YouTube. To say that I’m a creative person would be the understatement of the century. Whether or not you like the stuff I create.. well, that’s personal preference. But that’s not my point.
I am worried that with the recent hysteria surrounding the possibilities that come with OpenAI that creativity, creative thinking is going to be sacrificed or worse, abandoned. Just like Marvel movies sacrificed telling a half decent story because of what is possible with visual effects.
OpenAI is everywhere, just as crypto currency was the trendy topic of choice only a few years ago, OpenAI is what everyone is talking about today. The conversations range from being genuinely impressed by it, or genuinely concerned. I’m neither. I’m not naive though; I do think that OpenAI is here to stay, just like IoT sensors, unreliable internet and Elon Musk. But it’s not going to be replacing our jobs in the same way that automation destroyed the manufacturing industry or nuclear power killed off coal. (Ish). I think that there are some incredible advantages as a creator that comes from the possibility of AI.
Mainly the death of the blank page (or screen). With Microsoft Copilot just around the corner, AI integration into Notion and other popular note taking applications, your first sentence is already written. Let me give you an example:
Since I seem to plug my YouTube channel in pretty much everything that write, I’m going to use that as an example. For anyone who creates for YouTube, you’ll appreciate the level of planning that is involved to create a quality piece of content. In short, when deciding to create travel content when you’re on vacation, if you plan appropriately, you can make great content - but not have to film absolutely everything. In this case I am planning a vlog — A Day in Downtown Las Vegas.
For this example I’m using the AI Assistant built into Notion.
I could walk away and be done. I’ve just got the outline for a video without looking at a map, making any decisions or consulting with my partner. That’s a couple of hours work in 20 seconds. It even including the scripted elements, I mean, it’s very impressive.
But this is why I’m not sold. This is not me*— It wasn’t created by me. I don’t even know if half the stuff is accurate. It advises to go to the Golden Nugget, but not to actually see the worlds largest golden nugget that they have on display!
But this is where OpenAI does have a place, as I mentioned at the start. I do believe that OpenAI is here to stay and it’s gotten rid of the dreaded blank page. Start with a suggestion and it gets the creative juices flowing. When I used this tool I deleted 90% of it, but then I used the structure it gave me.
Okay — Breakfast let’s plan that, then we want to go shopping — Arts district, then the container park, but that’s better at night, so we’ll do that after dinner at Oscars.
What the tool does is allow a creator to gauge their thinking and that’s great.
But the difficulty is that I have seen enough blogs and read many posts online where the information is simply not true. And I don’t mean not true as in, I disagree with it; Not true as it’s saying the world is flat and that Boris Yeltsin is in charge of Russia.
Last week a friend of mine asked ChatGPT about my YouTube Channel (yes, that again) and well, it was not entirely accurate. The last video was 3 months ago, not 1. The title was changes about a month ago and it pulled the old one and it basically pulled from the description of the video and the chapter markings. So I’d give it a 2/5 score. 3, if I’m feeling generous. My point being. it can’t and shouldn’t be seen as reliable. And this can be quite dangerous.
And in a world where short form content is king and attention spans are shorter than ever. It does worry me that our creative communities are going to end up relying on AI to do the hard work, the thinking bit, the discovery and we’re just going to end up with the same Marvel movie over and over and over.
I hope it’s not true and if you’re reading this and have been using OpenAI yourself, let me ask you — How much do you use it? And if you did, would you tell anyone?
Thanks for reading. Apart from the examples, this post was not written without the help of ChatGPT. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?