The future of content creation: humans or machines?
My 4 year old son wants a dog. He wants to call him “Singo” after the dog from his favorite Swedish cartoon Alfons Åberg. My two year old daughter also wants a dog and wants to call her “dog”.
I learn a lot from my young children about the early functioning of cognition. How they reason, how they calculate, how they produce language. It’s humbling, entertaining, and gives me invaluable insight into how the human brain works. Kids are like little versions of machine learning. Always watch, learn, imitate, advance.
They anchor their worldview in the contexts and outcomes based on the intention we feed them, such as to be good, kind, creative, and caring. They are young and have yet to endure the many rites of passage that will one day determine who they will become as fully formed human beings – enabling them to reason, calculate, and produce language based on their own past experiences.
After all, that’s what makes us unique, isn’t it?
Humans against machines: the war on the media
Today we humans are locked into some kind of bogus war with AI content creation bots.
As a human who works in communications, this should make me nervous. But the truth is, if machines can do a better job than us, then who are we to stop them? Shouldn’t we be promoting a society where the best woman, man or machine gets the job?
In its latest Connected Smart Machines report, Ericsson tested eight concepts of multimedia creation among early adopters of consumer technology in several major cities, to see which content we preferred. Some of the content was created by humans, some by machines.
The results sparked celebrations on both sides. A surprisingly small one in five consumers said they preferred creating human content to AI in more than half of the concepts tested. However, the same number prefer AI content creation to humans. A dead end for the moment. Whichever way you look at it, the trend points to a total machine takeover of the future content creation market, meaning the machine will inevitably be able to identify and meet the demand for content. better than us humans.
But what about the creativity of machines? As humans, the way we reason, calculate and communicate reveals a rich tapestry of our own experiences and conceptualizations. It tells us about who we are and fuels our creativity. Will machines one day be able to match this creativity and continually push us towards new artistic genres? Will machines ever be able to think like us humans?
I create, therefore I am
In his 1949 Lister Oration, esteemed Professor Sir Geoffrey Jefferson became one of the first to question the creative prowess of these so-called mechanical men, in which he argued:
“It is not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of the thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the accidental fall of symbols, that we can agree that the machine is equal to the brain – c that is, not only to write it down but to know that she wrote it. No mechanism could feel (and not just artificially signal, an easy trick) the pleasure of its successes, the sorrow when its valves merge, to be warmed by flattery, being made miserable by his mistakes, being charmed by sex, being angry or depressed when he can’t get what he wants.
However, a year later, in his groundbreaking article Computer machines and intelligence, the father of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing, dismissed this argument as purely solipsistic:
“In the most extreme form of this view, the only way to be sure that a machine thinks is to be the machine and to feel yourself thinking.” The truth is, machines don’t necessarily have to think like humans because they’re, literally, wired differently. They just need to be able to imitate humans.
In the same article, Turing first proposed his imitation game or Turing test as it is called today, which provided the means to measure the human nature of intelligent machines. The test, which relies on human-machine interaction through an intermediary, is still used today to help set the benchmark for today’s connected intelligent machines.
The imitation game: AI content
So consumers are predicting that mass media will be increasingly influenced by automation by 2030. The future, in fact, may be closer than we think.
Last year, OpenAI rolled out the beta version of its GPT-3 language generator, which many call the biggest step forward in creating human-like AI content. It was even demonstrated to be very effective in producing fast media forms such as poems, fan fiction, press releases, pop songs, rap songs, tech manuals and even that full article in The Guardian Last year.
As impressive as it is (and it is very impressive), the developers are already seeing that it is. not quite pass the Turing test, indicating that we still have some technological distance to travel before we can truly emulate human intelligence.
And even the most basic AI language generators – even if they don’t stand up to a long Turing test – have turned out to be a pretty good knockoff on social media platforms. The rise of fake news on social media and the many existential questions it has raised show that creating AI content, like any other technology, can be used as a proxy for negative or malicious intent. That’s why, as humans, we have a responsibility to ensure that responsible AI is built on trustworthy and ethical AI principles.
Content and creativity: humans after all?
But where are we when it comes to slower, more subjective and studied art forms?
Well, that’s good news for us. Right now, consumers still favor humans when it comes to music, with 65% saying they prefer humans as writers and performers of pop music. However, the Connected Intelligent Machines report also reveals that six in ten of us believe artificial musicians will be able to outperform humans in the charts by 2030 – imagine something similar to the machine-human hybrid. French Daft Punk, now retired.
We humans have been using computers to augment musical creation for decades. Even Turing himself used his digital computer from 1951 generate music. Bowie was also a leading proponent of AI songwriting who said that “…[gave] a veritable kaleidoscope of meanings and subjects and nouns and verbs clashing. “Today there are many examples of musical artists teaming up with machines to create new genres of music. AI music.
The report also found that consumers today see movies, like music, as an area of human creativity, with six in ten consumers saying they would prefer human film producers over AI counterparts. However, most of these interviewees apparently don’t know that AI is already being used in the movie industry to increase human decision making. Another perfect example of humans and machines living and working in harmony, right?
The future of content creation
So am I nervous? Content is as much about creativity as it is about automation, and as long as that remains the formula, I believe there will always be a leading role for humans in creating future content. This is because creativity is seldom a lonely pursuit, but rather a collaborative effort.
As Michael Björn, head of the research program at Ericsson’s Consumer Lab and author of the Connected Intelligent Machines report, puts it: “The future of content creation is indeed collaborative, but I think the creators who collaborate with the IA will have an advantage. One interesting area where this is already happening at the mass market level is science fiction writing. Famous Chinese SF author Chen Qiufan recently won a literary competition in Shanghai against candidates like Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan with the news “The trance state” which included passages generated by the AI. “
So who knows, when our kids get older, they might just have their favorite human-machine musical artist, or their favorite human-machine songwriter. It could all be within the realm of the possible.
Read the Ericsson Connected Intelligent Machines report.
Read the story of Ericsson AI.
Read previous articles by Michael Björn: