The idea of using artificial intelligence to create unique artwork appeared to be cutting-edge and futuristic. This week, Microsoft announced that it was bringing OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research firm, to Microsoft 365, a leading provider of software services. OpenAI''s DALL-E 2 AI technology allows users to create any image in a box, such as cookies with strawberries, bread, and pastries for the fall.
DALL-E 2 has been rescheduled for quite a while, but the development underscores how quickly art-generating AI has shifted, to the extent that artists have expressed concern. A surge of new fake imagery is also affecting the internet and stifling misinformation campaigns.
Microsoft''s involvement in this field is good news. OpenAI''s limited use of DALL-E 2, as well as its strict restrictions on the types of images it will produce, has echoed the company''s commitment to the materialization of OpenAI. For example, DALL-E 2 may prohibit explicit sexual and violent content, but it can do so by simply removing such images from the database of pictures used to develop its model. Microsoft has stated that it will employ similar filters.
Some tech ethicists have been concerned that open-source versions of this kind of technology, such as a tool developed in August by Stability AI, will lead to a free-for-all of fake content that will infect social networks and disrupt future elections (think fake images of Joe Biden or Donald Trump in hostile situations).
Two reasons are necessary. First, opportunistic photo fakers are more likely to find their efforts stalled by the technology''s filters. Additionally, the general public will become more aware that photographs on the internet might be generated by AI.
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It''s extraordinary that this form of creative artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving, and that Microsoft''s Designer tool will soon join business-software glitches like Word, Outlook, and Excel. This is, as some have already pointed out, like clip art on steroids, limited only by a user''s imagination.
It also demonstrates how serious it may be to predict the direction that artificial intelligence will take. A few years ago, tech experts predicted that we would have autonomous cars and trucks on the road that would cut accident rates and put human drivers out of work. However, artists and illustrators now have greater reason for concern, although the nature of their work may simply change. As art generation comes to the fingertips of millions, they will need to be flexible.
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Bloomberg''s L.P. in 2022