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Will artists be replaced by AI Art? Mid Journey and Chat GPT. What I think

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Hey, guys, how you doing? It’s been a while since we’ve sat down and we’ve had a chat. And everybody is talking about AI and its future on art and photography. So why don’t we have a chat about that today? I have provided a transcript here, but I really recommend watching the video if you can.

Within the last week, it was just announced that Microsoft invested a further $10 billion into OpenAI. (they previously invested 2 billion)

What is AI Generated Art?

Now, OpenAI are the people that make Dal-e and of course, Chat GPT everyone’s talking about. Now, of course, there’s other ai art generators such as Mid Journey and Stable diffusion. And in fact, about a few months ago, maybe six months ago, I did a video on Mid Journey, kind of showing you how it works, how to use it, and then a little discussion at the end. I’ve kind of updated a lot of my thoughts since then. So having six months playing around and digesting this technology, I definitely have developed some different thoughts on it than I had back then.

Back then, I just kind of didn’t know what to think. And for those of you who don’t know about these AI engines or artificial intelligence, give them a text prompt. And based on that text prompt, it can produce art. So you could describe something, or you could describe a scenario, say it’s a cold day in Memphis and it will create art.

You can also direct it to create art in the style of a modern artist or DA Vinci, Giotto, or a pop artist, maybe Andy Warhol, and it will generate art in that style.

And as far as styles, it can do everything from cartoon, hand painted, photorealistic, photographic, it can look like 3D renders. And you can tell the AI all of these things and direct it. In creating art, essentially what it’s doing is you’re becoming an art director and you’re with these text prompts telling it, hey, this is what I want you to create. So we always thought with robots and technology, they’re going to do mundane tasks so we can sit around and create art and take photos. I thought one of the last things that would ever be replaced is the arts.

These are all unretouched images I generated with mid journey (Mid Journey Tutorial here)

But yet here we are today, where this AI on anybody’s computer or anyone’s phone even, is able to create art as good, if not better, than most artists. So it can do visual arts, chat GTP can also do written, where you can tell, hey, write me a story. And it can write a very convincing story. In fact, just recently, I think it was a week ago, they said it just passed the exam at Wharton Business School. And of course, even in the areas of music, AI is in there, and now it’s creating songs.

But let’s focus on photography and digital art because this is kind of what our niche is here.

History of Technology and how it affects jobs

So to kind of figure out where we’re at, why don’t we take a quick stroll through human history? Initially, humans were able to start building tools and things out of stone. And this enabled us to do things that we couldn’t do before. And then of course that went on to the bronze age, the iron age.

We were able to start building different tools and inventing things and eventually this led to the industrial age. And then came the industrial age where we were able to elevate beyond just creating tools into creating machines. And these machines were able to mass produce things. They were able to bring down the cost of living and at the same time raise living standards and provide us with a lot of the things that we enjoy even till today. Now, there is good and bad to all of these, of course.

One of the good things about the industrial age, it actually doubled the life expectancy of the average person. But one of the things about the industrial age of course, is now a machine can work more efficiently than a human and requires less skill. You can kind of see where I’m going with this. So there’s a term that we use for people that are against technology and against progress and that’s a Luddite. And this actually came around the time of the power loom.

Resistance to change – Luddite

There were highly skilled textile workers that made a good living and were very good at what they did. And they had these workshops where they created textiles, which is what cloth and clothing were made out of. Along came these power looms, they started building factories and were able to produce much more textile. And because of this, the prices came down, the workshops couldn’t compete. A lot of them closed down.

The workers went to the factories to try to get work. And of course they couldn’t all get work because number one, they didn’t need as many workers because of the machines. And number two, they didn’t need such highly skilled workers because the skill needed to run these machines was much less than the skill needed to create these things by hand.

And so the legend goes that the luddites were named after a guy called Ned Ludd. Now apparently Ned Ludd never actually existed, but it was a good folklore to kind of get things motivated.

And then the Luddites actually mobilized and went around smashing machines and to the point that the British army was fighting against them. And at one time, believe it or not, there were more British soldiers fighting against the Luddites than were fighting Napoleon at the time. So eventually they were suppressed and everything just kind of moved on.

We go from the industrial age, (through the atomic age, first space age) then we moved into the information age where computers come along. Now remember, computers also replaced a lot of jobs.

So during this time, there was a lot of people that were doing things that were very labor intensive, that were now being automated. Even like today, things are being automated and replaced by machines. Machines are much more efficient they’re cheaper to run. They produce more. They don’t need to be fed, they don’t need sleep. They can’t go on strike. There’s a lot of reasons that it’s more efficient to use machines. Now. As more machines come along, less people have work in those areas.

So let’s go back a little bit, and then we’ll move forward.

Movable type was invented, which is the printing press. And before that, scribes that used to write. That’s how they made their living, by writing these books. All the books were created by hand. Monks and scribes wrote all these books by hand. That was their job. So then the printing press replaced them.

But look at the new opportunities that came out of that. So out of the printing press came people working in printing press. There were printers now. There were newspapers and bookstores. That’s kind of interesting. And so a lot of people were working in the print industry, and that created jobs. Now, of course, a lot of that is starting to diminish now, and it’s being replaced by digital and online. But think about that.

Now we have a whole IT industry. We have whole new jobs. I think about what I do as a digital artist. I wouldn’t have my job if it wasn’t for computers.

One of the interesting things about the industrial age is this brought about these massive cities that started to build, because now people were coming together because it was possible because of this technology, and also they were coming together to work and build things.

Where we are now? We’re in a different place, where now that’s being democratized, and we’ve already seen this happening. This is not new as far as outsourcing. Now everybody in the world competes for the same job. So it’s not necessarily someone next door that’s competing for your position in IT. It could be someone in India, it could be someone in Ireland, it could be somebody in New York. They could be anywhere.

That’s changed things, where literally now, because of the Internet, we can live and we can work anywhere. There’s less jobs in this particular area, but new jobs have opened up, and also new opportunities have opened up. All right, but where does that go for us as artists? Let’s look at photographers for a second. Okay, so I actually started photography when we were using film.

I was predominantly a graphic designer for a living, but I was making part of my living, part of my job was doing photography. And I would go to events, and I would take my camera and I would load my film. And I had a very specific skill set. See, here’s the thing. I couldn’t look on the back of my camera and see, like, all my exposure, everything’s, right? No, I had to learn the craft. I had to know the settings on the camera. I had to understand what was going to work and what wasn’t going to work, where I could hire myself out for a job. Because you can’t go and shoot a major event and then go to develop the pictures and none of the pictures came out. That’s not a good way to make a living.

A lot of photographers will nod and say, yes, wedding photographers will understand that. So there was definitely a skill set required to take photographs. Then along came the digital camera. Has that changed photography?


We go to every event and someone’s got a digital camera, everyone’s got a digital camera, everyone’s got a phone. Yes, but now that everyone’s taking photographs with phones, is that taking away the art or is it making the artist obsolete? I don’t think so. I think the fine art photographer is still going to have a place, because that level of expertise and that level of skill to create that piece is beyond what the average person has with their phone. Not just that, but a lot of the photographs are throw away photos, like when I go to a hotel, I take photos of my room number so I know what room I’m in. I take photos of the menu at a restaurant so I can just look at it on my phone. It’s much more convenient. So the camera has become a tool, which is more than just art or documentation. But let’s look at this professionally, maybe as a working artist, graphic designer, illustrator.

People that used to do illustration were replaced by a camera. Does that mean illustrators are gone? Let’s go all the way back. Does that mean stone workers are gone? No, there’s still people working with stone (usually the last possession anyone has), there’s still people working with steel, there’s still people creating handcrafted goods.

So as designers, we’ve been using props for a while. For example, stock photography. There was stock photography, which was rights managed, licensed before we got into royalty free. And having licensed stock photography as part of my job, I can tell you there’s many times where it has been more cost effective to have just gone photograph it myself or sent a photographer out than it would have been to use the stock photography. Of course, now with royalty free (and micro stock), it’s become very cheap.

Now, that doesn’t mean that stock photographers don’t have a job anymore. And notice I’m going back there. I’m talking about stone workers, steel workers, photographers. They still work. I’m going somewhere with this.

And this will apply to Photoshop and what we’re doing in a second. While we’re working, we can use stock photography, but then there’s other things. We’ve been using overlay assets, templates. So we’ve been using these things to aid us in our work, and it hasn’t put us out of work. And in fact, the design digital art industry is probably bigger than it’s ever been because of the advent of new technology, because now a lot of things are going from print to digital to online. We’re looking at things like iPads, phones, we’re looking at websites, we’re looking at apps, we’re looking at ads, social media. So now there’s more demand than ever to create these digital assets.

Is the Digital artist doomed?

All right, let’s bring all of this in for a landing and wrap all of this up where it all kind of comes together and makes sense. This is what I think. So if we look at AI art that is able to generate what people need, will it replace the digital artist, the photoshopper, the photographer?

And I say, no, I don’t think it is. When I first started using it, I was like, oh, my gosh, this is ridiculous. This can do this. Why do I even need to learn this craft? Well, there’s some limitations that I’ve kind of noticed. And yes, it’s getting better. Mid journey, couldn’t do eyes before. Now it can do eyes perfectly. Now it can’t count. If you look at hands, teeth, toes, you’ll very often get ten fingers on one hand or 100 teeth in a mouth.


Ai art is Improving, but how fast?

So there’s definitely some areas where it has to improve, and it will get better. Now, here’s the thing. It’s not going to get perfect overnight, because there’s that whole principle of, you know, 80/20, that last 20% is going to take way more time and way more computational power than the initial 80%. If you learn a musical instrument, you’re going to learn some chords and stuff on a guitar.

You can learn some chords very, very quickly, and you can make progress very quickly. But the further you go and the better you get, the more difficult it is to make more noticeable progress. So one of the things I found is that AI is capable of generating some incredible things, but it cannot generate what I see in my mind. If I have a picture or a vision in my mind, maybe I can draw it. Or I can find someone to draw it (a job), and then I can feed it into the AI, and that will actually get a lot closer to what I’m looking for.

Now, if it’s not perfect, you can’t tell mid journey, “hey”, “rotate that person 45 degrees and put a blue hat on them instead of a yellow hat.”

It can’t do that right now. So this is where the Photoshop skills come into play. You can take that AI piece, maybe as a plate or as a starting place, and then you can composite over the top of it. You can move things around. You can change the color. You can change the hand into only five fingers. Now, these things still require skill, so there’s always going to be skill. But  you’re applying your skill in a different place. There will be retouchers in the future who’s job is to retouch AI. Now there’s a position that didn’t exist. There were retouches that did commercial retouches of people cars, shoes, whatever. But now we’re going to be doing retouching on AI. We’re going to be using AI to generate ideas. And we might use those ideas as a basis for doing a photo shoot or for creating another piece of work.

How to secure your future

So AI is going to reduce the amount of digital artists that are needed. That’s a fact. Am I excited about that? No. Can I change it? No. So what do I say to you?

I say to you, get as good as you can. Start learning the AI. Learn how to apply it, use Photoshop with it, use it with photography, use it for backdrops, for photography, use it for different things. Start to understand it, start to learn how to use the prompts. And you’re more likely to be one of the people that’s going to be hired in the future to create and make things.

What about the Hobbyist?

So what about the hobbyist? Well, as a hobbyist, it shouldn’t change anything if you’re doing something because you enjoy doing it. It doesn’t matter if a machine is doing it or if other people are doing it too.

It doesn’t matter how well it pays or it doesn’t. If just for this sheer joy of doing it, you should still do it. If you enjoy photography, do photography. If you enjoy design, compositing, enjoy design and Compositing. Maybe use AI to help you with your compositing, to create some of the elements so you’re not searching for stock photography for hours and hours.

You can generate some of those elements in AI, cut them out, drop them in and put them together inside of Photoshop. And at the other side of things, there’s going to be new opportunities, new positions created.

There’s going to be prompt, artists. People’s job is going to be to work with this AI and feed it with the right prompts to create what we want, to create different iterations. And there’s other jobs I can’t even think of right now, but with each one of these major steps forward in humanity because when I talk about AI, we’re not just talking about art, we’re talking about robots, we’re talking about self driving cars, self driving lawn mowers.

All of these things are real and they’ll be more and more ubiquitous in life as we go forward. The AI age is upon us. It’s going to cause a lot of changes. It might change the way we live. Just like the Bronze Age, the Stone Age, the industrial, the machine, the atomic, all these different ages have changed the way we look at the world, the way we live, where we live, all these things.

It’s the future and it’s coming at us very, very quickly. And so my advice is don’t fight the future. Embrace it. It is coming anyway. So learn how you can use it to improve your lifestyle.

Because one of the things, through each of these ages, the standard of living and the life expectancy of humans has gone up. Rather than look at this from a dystopian point of view where this is it. We’re doomed. This is the end. I prefer to be optimistic about it and look at how this can enhance our lifestyles. The new opportunities, new jobs that we never even thought of are coming. We’re able to live in ways we’re going to enjoy things that we weren’t able to enjoy. We’re going to spend less time doing menial things, more time doing the things we want. And so, okay, here’s my prediction. What is going to be valuable in the future?

The future value of art?

I believe that handcrafted goods are going to be valuable in the future. If we look at the young people right now, digital natives, people born within the last 20 years, they always had digital with them. They always listening to music on ipods, never listening to records, never having cassette tapes. And trust me, if you’ve had cassette tapes, they’re not that good. But yet the kids today are craving them because they want something tactile.

They want to have an experience. So saying, “hey Siri/Alexa/Google, Play this song.” It’ll just play that song, and if I want to hear it again, I’ll play it again. But there’s an experience in putting a cassette tape, be it good or bad. You remember we had hold it half down. I’d be like and you hear the gap up, and you’re like, okay, there’s the beginning of the song, and then you’ll hear the song again. To get to the beginning of the song, you know what I’m talking about.

If you’ve used the cassette tape. And then, of course, it gets in the heads. They get dirty. It gets all chewed up. Then you get the pencil out, and then you turn it on the cassette, and then you put the tape on it, where it gets cut or it gets chewed, and then you’re listening to your favorite song, and then there’s this sound in the middle, because where it got chewed, right? And it sounds warbly or whatever, or the record gets a scratch. So they’re not perfect. But yet people are craving that experience. It’s something real.

Even now with photography, because digital cameras that take perfect photos, so young people are craving things like lomo, holga cameras, things that have floors. Wabasabi. Wabasabi is looking at the beauty in the imperfection. Wabasabi is your favorite pair of old jeans. There’s something special about them.

And so with handcrafted goods. In the future, as we get more 3D printing and doing all the things with technology and everything moving forward, people are going to crave that hand crafted good, that pot, that’s not quite round, that painting, that’s not quite perfect. That photograph, that oh, it’s got a little bit of noise. There’s some shadow over there. These things are going to be what make people fall in love with handcrafted goods when we’re living in a world of artificial perfection.

People are going to be craving for the imperfection, for the imperfect which is us humans, humanity. We are not perfect. We don’t do anything perfectly. Everything is different. Handcrafted, whatever it is, things that are handmade, I believe, are going to have extreme value in the future. So I’m curious to know your thoughts. Let’s open the discussion. And two things I ask. Number one, be civil. And number two, respect other people’s viewpoints and emotions. Because we’re all at different places with this. As we’re changing and growing, it it’s not comfortable. I’m not going to say it’s wonderful and this is so great and so comfortable. No, it’s uncomfortable. It’s a time of change.

It’s a time of transition. Things are changing. Let’s come together and support each other. And together we can forge the new way forward where we can create more beautiful things than I’ve ever been created.






39 responses to “Will artists be replaced by AI Art? Mid Journey and Chat GPT. What I think”

  1. Very philosophical and positive look at AI art. I’m sure that your view is correct however uncomfortable it is. Takes me back to a conversation with my late uncle when he was showing me his new 2mp digital camera and telling me how amazing it was; my response was not so positive (having not long graduated from university (Photography)) being a steadfast film buff, a particular favourite being Fuji Velvia50 5×4 sheet. I swore that digital photography would never replace film in my precious world as the image quality could never cut it. Guess where I’m at now?🤣

  2. I’m glad you have addressed this. I’m sure there will be good and bad effects from this technology but remains positive, as you point out, is the way to go. It will enhance our need to learn new things.

  3. A good perspective on AI, for me it is an extension of digital thinking and working. Love to see a tutorial where you start from your “word” concept into an AI generated image and then reworked in photoshop to your visualised finished image. Thanks Collin.

  4. I agree with much of what you said, Colin. I believe there will always be a place for hand crafted art. The downside might be plagiarism or copyrights or other legal issues. I appreciate your applying history and progress to the question for I think it’s helpful.

  5. Spot on Colin we are living in a ‘too perfect’ world. As far as AI yes its great and has enormous potential when used correctly. With digital photography, I’ve always borked at the ideal ‘everything spot on sharp as a tack’ approach and I love noise. Just a couple of thoughts. Thanks for all your vids they are great very helpful and informative.

  6. A good muse about AI, for me it is an extension of my digital thinking and working methods. Love to see you working a “tutorial” from a concept in words to a downloaded AI image that is subsequently reworked into photoshop to your initial visualisation of your original idea/concept/image. Thank you Collin.

  7. Life is always changing, you can get on the bus or be left behind. You can make it better or complain. Thank you for an excellent look at the future of photography and art as we know it. I want to get on the bus and make it better!!! AI is coming whether we like it or not. We need to learn what our place in the new era will be.

  8. Colin,

    I share your view and have been a paid member of Midjourney since last August. Like you said it used to be bad all the correcting in Photoshop of the faces generated and the painting to correct fingers and toes. But like all tools, it gets better.
    Recently my sister needed a pic of a woman entering a living room and holding her nose when encountering a bad smell for an ad promoting her rug cleaning business. She hadn’t found an appropriate one she liked and I mentioned I’d try and get her vision generated in Mid journey. She liked using it and started learning mid-journey for future projects.
    I love it for creating futuristic worlds as a backdrop for compositing as you mentioned. I look at it as a tool that can save a lot of time in the creative process no matter what you wish to dream. Thanx

  9. Great comments on Ai, Colin. I haven’t gone there yet but I do think that it’s the future of so much art.
    I really struggled with the idea of computer generated art but soon came to realize that we can’t stop progress and decided to embrace it and am seriously considering Dalle E 2 as my choice of software. I imagine it as another tool for my photography and believe that to be a good thing.
    Thank you for unmuddying the waters for me.

  10. I’ve been playing with these AIs for six months or so. Colin rightfully refers to MidJourney for text-to-art. It beats the pants off DALL-E2, NightCafe, and Craiyon. But even it is a bear if you have something specific in mind. Right now, at least, it’s something like a consciousness-jogger. You can type “a scene from the final day of Earth” and get inspired (or depressed!).

  11. Thanks Colin. I agree with every point you made about the past and what effect it can have one the future. I am 77 years old so I have seen (used) all of the items you mentioned and have always embraced the changes as they occur. Looking forward to what comes next and how it will affect me in the future. Always willing to learn.

  12. AI is nothing more than a tool. It is part of a technology suit that is being created. These are tools for a person to use in a way they see fit. How these tools are used is an individual thing. Our approach to using these tools is what separates us as individuals. AI is a tool to assist in building and to create our vision. AI is not the end game but part of the journey.

  13. The AI visual art I’ve seen is pretty derivative so far. It seems to collect bits and pieces from the web, and reassemble them – a little like a PS beta neural filter with issues. An AI is just made up from neural nets, programed algorithms, and we’re used to those in PS and LR. Some programs will be better than others. Some will be garbage in, garbage out. I agree with your assessment. There will be more new jobs, and creative, problem solving humans will still be needed. It’s important to have teachers and classes available for all ages, to help train people who want to learn. Learning reduces fear, and helps to fill those jobs.

  14. I wrote a reply, then the processing algorithm told me I had already written-posted a duplicate comment. Except I hadn’t. So much for programmed AI algorithms. lol

  15. Well, so long as AI remains AI – and not trying to behave like the computer in “2001 – A Space Odyssey” – I am fine. I have beneftted greatly from the use of AI right now – Camera Raw AUTO mode, Topaz Labs AI tools (Denoise and Sharpen), Content Aware Fill – which I am using every day now – without which I can never edit one picture in about 2 minutes. Cheers.

  16. I have been using AI in photoshop now for a few years. It has helped my work flow so that I am way more efficient with my time. Luminar and Topaz are all using AI in their Programs. This has also been a game changer. As to, will AI replace Photographers. NO. Consumers love Hand Made Products. Most of them buy from a known Artist or Craftsperson. A lot of them buy a work of Art from Artists who have a Name and is know for their style. and Artist Abilities. AI will Never replace the Hand Made Artisan, But it can make our lives a lot more efficient. Automation can be considered AI, but it has not replaced the Artisan who make a living by being known for their self produced Products. Styles, Genre, Dedication to ones Craft and Artistic Abilities

  17. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I recently entered a piece digital in an competition by Light Space and Time. Where does AI ;eave my art as apposed to somebody entering a AI generated piece. Should we not be required to state that our art is plain digital or plain AI. I am not opposed to AI art or using it to produce little bits and pieces I can use in my compositions. (I do this anyway, by using elements bought from other artists) Where should we stand when it comes to selling our art. Should we not be morally responsible to state that a piece is AI generated. The buyer may decide to buy AI art or prefer to buy a ‘human’ piece. Just my thoughts.

  18. A very thought-provoking video. I’ve never been opposed to change, just slow to embrace it. I like to take my time and study what is changing and how it might affect me. My photography started back in the days of film. Today I still own a couple of film cameras, but all my work now is done with digital cameras. I’m watching AI art and I’m being cautious in embracing it. I don’t think it’ll replace photography, especially as it seems to rely heavily on existing photography for its reference materials. Personally, I’l like to be able to use AI to work only with my work and see what I could do with it.

  19. Thank you Colin. Cannot agree with you more. A thorough and insightful look at the role of AI in the art of photography and where it will inevitably lead the art of photography. Like the first commentator Mike, above, I find myself thinking back to the recent history of photography and smiling at the scepticism with which many photographers viewed the introduction of the digital camera and the way in which so many proclaimed they would never use a digital camera! I can’t imagine a professional photographer today not owning a several digital cameras, and as for the amateur photographer, there’s no question about it. In the last few years we have seen an absolute explosion in the use of mobile phones bringing photography into the world of the non-professional, and the quality of some of the work you see is very high. I can also clearly recall the initial negative responses by many practised photographers, to the introduction of auto-focus lenses, yet, once again, it has quite understandably been embraced by professional and amateurs alike. Just as the resistance to auto-focus lenses has now evaporated, I feel sure that a few years from now AI will be universally accepted by photographers, particularly professionals, and their skills will have not only multiplied but become a great deal more refined.

  20. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas, and opinions, you made a difference to me. It came just at the right time as I was seriously thinking of giving up my work as a digital painter because of AI development. I really did think ‘what is the point’ I work hard to generate income to support my specific voluntary work, but now I think anyone can do what I do. I’m quite isolated and never get to talk to other artists. What impressed me and what I value most about your presentation, besides its usefulness of course, was how you came over, just like a friend having an intelligent discussion, giving good advice, and providing support. THANK YOU!

    • I’m so glad to hear you were encouraged. This was my purpose of making this video, to help and encourage people like you.

  21. It’s definitely going to be a challenge to camera clubs and other juried competitions where the rules were that each component in the image, even if a composite or sky replacement, must have been taken by the photographer. It’s hard for “older” people to grasp the impact of this type of image generation and whether, and how, to use it as another “tool” in the toolbox of the artist.

  22. Great Talk, Colin. A reality that is part of progress and like you say; instead of fighting it, let’s use it on our favor.
    AI is in our lives in a great bunch and is here to stay. It would be great for you to show or teach us some forms of this AI from some of those platforms you mentioned in the beginning, how to feed this to a program on what the art we want.
    Thanks, Colin.

  23. Great article Colin, it remains only to investigate the problem of any copyright using names of artists in the prompt.
    In my opinion is a false problem, if you are a real artist you will not copy anyone as happens in traditional art.

  24. Great video however we should all be very very scared. ChatGPT has already come under fire. Students in high school have already figured out how to use it to generate papers and reports without having to write a thing and the Teachers can’t keep up.
    As a society, we already have huge problems with figuring out what’s fake news and what’s fact-based news. AI will only drive this deeper into the muddy water and once that happens who will you trust? I mean come on their already selling it to the sheep as a way to strike up intelligent conversations. Whatever happened to having an intelligent conversation with a human?
    I really hate being a cynic because, at 64 years of age, I really shouldn’t care but I do. I care for all those who have been affected negatively while using technology. TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, etc aren’t helping society their running it. People walk around oblivious to their surroundings cause their face is buried in their phones. Well AI can help that because now you will be able to strike up a meaningful conversation with your phone.
    I’m still having trouble, with what we know now about privacy and social profiling, understanding why anyone would want Apple, Google, or Amazon, and would pay to listen in on their conversations while in the privacy of their own homes but it seems many do and it sells products that make them bags of money. People endlessly complain about the cost of living, the cost of housing, food, heat, and water, and yet those same people will pay through the nose to have a $1800.00 phone every year or two. Who uses a cell phone to make calls anymore anyway? Addiction comes in many forms, alcohol, gambling, drugs, and over the last 10 years you can now add technology. We’re addicted and they spent hundreds of millions of dollars to figure out how to do that.
    AI and its uses are way beyond the scope of removing a simple background in photoshop. I’m sure Russia, China, USA, and loads of other countries are well on their way to creating havoc using AI to their advantage, and if you don’t think so… you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.
    Just look at the Trump era much of which was done without the use of AI.

    Sorry I know I’m off-topic but this really infuriates me. Society is constantly being told what it needs by others who are only in it for themselves. I don’t remember waking up and asking for any of this and I guess unfortunately I don’t trust big business to do anything that benefits me without adverse consequences. Its a shame really cause I used to be a nice guy.

    • Thanks for you thoughts
      Teachers are already using zeroChatGPT to detect if papers were written by ai, so it didn’t take them long to clamp down on that. Anyone can use that tool

  25. A very valuable addition to the way we can look at the change in our world.
    I started in the Black and whits film based photography. When the world changet to colour, I could not jump on the train, because it was too expensive and the homegrown development was not good, too complicated.
    I have used things called AI 50 years ago. They were helping tools but nothing compared to the latest iterations.

    Thanks for your ultimate advise to all your followers, jump on the wagon, get experimenting, look what is in for you.

    I certaimly will take that advise when I get wondering if this is still for me. At any age, it still is.

  26. I think AI is amazing, but it worries me. My primary fear is the use of it for videos. I’ve seen AI generated videos of famous people and I can’t tell the difference between the AI generated video and the real person. This technology could be used to mislead people about what our leaders are saying or doing and that scares me. I know they’re working on technology so we can tell the difference. I just hope it can keep up with the AI technology. As far as what its impact will be on photographers, I agree that it will result in the loss of some jobs but will create others. Colin, this was a very good and thoughtful summation of AI and of our history. I appreciate your comments and think they’re very timely. We need people like you who will help us understand how this is going to effect us personally and in our photography businesses.

  27. Thank you for this Collin. I am 85 years old and supply stock to Shutterstock and Adobe. I have been digital since Photoshop Professionals Magazine.I love simple tools and count on my own skills to create everything in every image. My photoshop is very plain. I want to know what I should try to learn AI.I have designed my personal certification for selling my fine art pieces to private buyers. A gallery — well respected –was not able to .offer my work without something to prove I owned the copyright and the edition print #. Sanity and sales are necessary. Xoxo Joan H
    I have a stash of 400 works never made into solid matter, they are digital stock and copyrighted in the big international stock stores of Adobe & Shutterstock. Maybe I should just sell all my stock and retire and watch. I am also a writer with books on Amazon. That too is at risk. Keep me posted. 💋

  28. Hi Colin and thank you for your perspective and insight on AI and the future. I use to be a graphic designer and photographer.
    After I retired I jumped head first back into creating with my hands and not the computer. I am painting, and sketching again. I am now
    experimenting with printmaking. I have am teaching myself weaving, creating art using textiles.
    It’s funny how I became so burned out as a graphic designer and how freeing it is to go back to creating art where I can get paint on my hands and pick up a wall hangings or vessels I made from cloth and yarn.
    Yes we have to try to always look forward and see how we can make that change work for us. And you might just find that you are even happier and feeling more satisfied when you lean into change.
    Yes their is always a transitioning period where their will be self-doubt…. but hang in there and give it a chance.

  29. Your analysis and ability to explain this developing art form was informative, simple but covering all the important bases, and quite thorough, You are so correct regarding change and what it means and how to learn to roll with those changes.

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