The ever-evolving landscape of technology brings with it a variety of perspectives, from those who embrace the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to those who oppose it. In recent years, AI antis have become increasingly vocal in their opposition to the use of generative artificial intelligence. AI antis are part of a broader anti-technology movement, which seeks to challenge the human-centered view of AI, instead advocating for an AI-centered approach.
The anti-technology movement and AI antis
The primary argument put forth by the antis is that generative AI threatens to disrupt established career paths and professions within the creative industry, thereby devaluing the skills and expertise required for those roles. For instance, automating tasks traditionally performed by human artists, musicians, writers, et al., they claim that generative AI poses a risk to the livelihoods of individuals working in those fields.
But this perspective fails to take into account the broader implications and benefits of generative AI in terms of accessibility and inclusivity. The use of AI in creating artwork not only lowers the financial costs associated with producing high quality content but also opens up opportunities for individuals previously unable to participate in the arts due to physical limitations or other factors.
The antis crowd also resort to further gatekeeping by stating that AI-generated art is not “real” art because it lacks soul. They aim to discredit the legitimacy of AI art, reinforcing the notion that human-made art possesses an intangible essence that machines cannot replicate. However, the idea that art requires a certain level of passion or “soul” in order to be legitimate is subjective at best and elitist at worst. And attempting to assign sentimentality or spirit to material inanimate objects or abstract concepts creates an unnecessary distinction between them and something that simply wouldn’t apply universally.