Cody Pallo


Navigating the Complex Intersection of Creativity, Technology, and Society

September 9, 2023
By: Cody Pallo

I sat down and thought about all the creative things in the physical world that AI couldn't replicate or do better than me. I can't really think of a single creative task. Even collage art seems ruined in my mind. Sure, you could argue for the authenticity of human-made art over the wow factor of computer-generated art. Personally, if I were an artist working on a collage, striving to create the most impactful piece, I would go to thrift stores and garage sales, scan the source materials, and then have AI compose a composite piece, while I would assemble it, much like a laborer.

Labor is likely to be replaced soon as well. Why would you hire a human construction worker when robots can perform tasks with equal or even better dexterity, lifting capacity, and problem-solving skills, working tirelessly through the night? The only creative tasks that seem to remain involve product design and using technology in innovative ways. But why would you need people like us when you can just ask ChatGPT for ideas and have all the UX designs whipped up in seconds? Sure you could say its solving problems but really on a base level, its creating more when not regulated.

Everyone performs some form of creative task; it's innate in our being. People often say, "Oh, I'm not creative," but of course, we all are. Deciding what to make for breakfast is creative, and AI can do that too. As for the purpose of building society, why are we diverting our efforts from solving real pressing problems like homelessness and climate change to replacing creative tasks we enjoy? I'm sure some are addressing these issues, but urban decay remains a problem in many cities and we are closing in on a new ice age and I don’t see what can be done about it from the perspective I’m seeing at least.

What kind of scientist creates something that takes the joy out of our world just to prove that we work too hard and need a cocktail on the beach? Most won't get that cocktail; instead, they're fighting starvation because techies moved to rural areas, buying up homes from farm workers and ordering from Amazon instead of supporting the local economy. The money isn't being distributed properly. The problem is, we need work to earn a living.

And what purpose do robots serve in this universe anyway? They are not a species; eventually, they may form a collective intelligence and seek to dominate the universe, much like any other disease. The universe is fine as it is; it doesn't need more people or robots to save it. We came together as a society to solve problems, yet many smart people create more problems just to give themselves something to do. Big tech companies do this every quarter, constantly outmoding our hard work with software updates, hardware changes, and new technologies. They create products that isolate us from one another and are as addictive as anything else.

Regarding ecosystems, tech companies are essentially taking ownership of the internet. This may have some benefits, such as offering insurance against identity fraud and viruses. The internet is infested with problems, but it's also the last bastion of free speech.

Maybe we don't need to work, be creative, or have free speech. Perhaps we should just eliminate the "unintelligent" poor people to solve our societal problems, leaving only the "smart" people behind. While you're at it, replace governments with corporations; maybe they can address food chain issues, climate problems, and protect us from ourselves and other nations.

The fact is, technology can burden society. If you've ever seen the movie or read the book "The Time Machine," we could end up dividing society between underground, cave-dwelling poor and tree-dwelling utopian seekers. That's a sad prospect. Creating such a polarized society is one of the worst things we could do because it perpetuates an endless cycle of conflict between the haves and the have-nots. Those who were once rich but not the richest will become poor, and the cycle will continue. There is no excuse for taking away humanity's passions and indirectly causing people's suffering by being greedy, taking their homes and jobs, and leaving them to die on the streets. None.

People working in tech and possessing significant wealth should reflect on their own ignorance of these issues. As someone who is very tech savvy and lives in a city I'm certainly trying to see the light myself. Can anyone provide me with a more healthy perspective on this?