Midjourney, Chat GPT, OpenAI, Murf, and Other Ways We’re Being Replaced By Artificial Intelligence

I remember reading futuristic books as a child.

©My Son, I guess.
(Created using Midjourney)

I read everything from doomsday predictions of war and wastelands to happy utopias and unity. Films were the same, of course. The Matrix is a personal favorite of mine, if not my favorite. In that film/anime/video game series, humanity lives in a computer-generated world but is unaware of this. Over time, the protagonists learn of a history where A.I. eventually took over and harvested people for their power source.

Oh, dear.

©My Younger Son, I guess.
(Created using Midjourney)

All that was a thing of the past, though. We humans (at least, the smarter coalition) have gone on to utilize ‘robots’ for many useful purposes: manufacturing, testing, and microwaving our TV dinners. Actually, depending where you draw the line, one could claim that robots are present in everything.

Artificial Intelligence is a little more specific than that, although also quite close to daily life. Think of search engines, your phone’s autocorrect adjusting to your lexicon, or …A.I. programs like Midjourney or Chat GPT.

©Kevin Owens, I guess
(This is to show there’s some error, in the process of refining the A.I.)

All of the art in this post has been created by Midjourney, a Discord-run artificial intelligence program in which the computer creates images. CREATES images! Simply put in a specific set of instructions and away it goes!

©Son #1 again, I guess

It’s not difficult. I mean, not for basic things. I’ve been watching Kevin and the boys play with it for months now. For more complicated works, Kevin pulls out his Photoshop wizardry -since the bot has trouble creating the correct number of fingers or a face that doesn’t resemble nightmares. As you see in the example above, however, it can handle things fairly well with the simple prompt ‘shrek eating a taco.’

All well and good. No one’s going to be bothered by Shrek and tacos, yes? There’s no war or wasteland from that.

Not necessarily, no.

But what about artists? Art copyrights? Meeka of acflory clued many in by posting about a competition in which the winner used A.I. “Is ‘art’ still art if an AI makes it?” she asks.

When I first read this article, my initial reaction was horror. How could a piece of software, no matter how sophisticated, produce something this…beautiful? But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was the parameters set by [the winning artist] Jason Allen that had created an image of great beauty, so in that sense, Midjourney was simply another tool.
I admit an AI is a bit more high tech than a paintbrush, but the creativity still came from Allen.
What do you think? The beginning of the end for artists? Or just one more tool?


Art or tool? Who draws the line?

From Google’s search page.

Thoughts like this buzz in my head as I’ve watched Kevin and our boys play around with other A.I. tools, like Chat GPT. It’s a content-generator, and it’s not bad. In fact, I’ve wanted to write about A.I. replacing us for a while. I wanted to tell Chat GPT to ‘write me a blog post’ just to throw it all in our faces.

That extra step has delayed my writing about it since November, though. -Not that it’s difficult; I just couldn’t find justification for the extra time spent.

But, yes; we, too, are being taken over by robots. We being writers.

From Google’s search page.

I watched Kevin use it to write a children’s story. Our underage boys have started DND campaigns. A friend told it to write a treasure hunt for her children. Yes, we’ve had to edit the results. Having worked a bit in the cesspool of content-writing, though, I can say that this program is several English-Fluency-Test-Results higher than most of the writers one finds out there. As much as I disliked the dark recesses of what really creates content out there, I also know that many poor people in developing countries do it as their livelihood.

I’d love to end this post on a happy note. My inner child isn’t feeling it. She wanted to grow up to be an artist; later, a writer. Maybe she’d be a writer but also an artist? It’s just not worth it anymore…

©Kevin, I guess
(Too many fingers, but look at this art!)

What do you think about all this? Do you think using machines to create makes you the creator?


Want the week’s run-down? Here it is:
Friday, January 20: Friday Photo of some Sad Animals.

Saturday, January 21: “For You, John,” about my penchant to back-date. All in the name of Procrastination, yes?

Sunday, January 22: A quote from a good friend of mine.

Monday, January 23: Mormon Monday: Singing!

Tuesday, January 24: “A Couple Ten Miles and Other Phrases What Gang Aft Agley” in response to Doug’s prompt -although I missed the linkup.

Wednesday, January 25: This post. Yes, it’s on Wednesday.

Don’t forget to enter the Terrible Poetry Contest. No, I haven’t read the entries yet. I’m working on it!

©2023 Chel Owens

31 thoughts on “Midjourney, Chat GPT, OpenAI, Murf, and Other Ways We’re Being Replaced By Artificial Intelligence

  1. All very scary. I wrote a scene in Eternal Road where AI had progressed from IBM’s Watson to a decision-making council that decided to eliminate climate change by eliminating humans. It was the most logical decision.

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  2. What we have to remember is that AI learns by using existing stuff – existing artwork, existing stories, etc. So, basically, it is just plagiarizing bits and pieces of everyone else’s hardwork without giving attribution or compensation to them. Literally, the companies creating these AIs are scouring the Internet and “borrrowing” things to train their AI so they can sell it back to people. If a picture (as you showed above of the soldier) has really beautiful elements, it’s because the parameters the AI was given to ‘create’ were precise enough and it had a database of borrowed info to pull from – but someone else created most of that image. The AI ‘created’ the too many fingers part.

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      1. But is that really plagerism? When I draw or write or take a photo I use what I have learned from reading or viewing other works. Adapting and learning those technics and integrating them into my brains circuitry along with everything else I’ve ever learned.
        The AI is doing the same. It’s not physically taking bits and pieces of other people’s work and meshing it together like some giant collage. It’s taking what it sees and creating something completely new. I suspect creating Shrek would be a copyright infringement but many AI are creating pieces that are unique based on what it has been exposed to.
        You can only copyright the work you create. The technics used are not held under any domain. Micheal Angelo’s brush stroke style of painting cannot be copyrighted or trademarked. If that were the case anyone who created a painting after the first ever painting would be stealing the idea of putting paint on canvas. If I perfect his technique and paint something unique it is still mine. The real question is – if I just feed the machine variables am I still the creator? Giving a child paints and brushes and a few pictures of dinosaurs that they base a painting on does not make me the artist.

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      1. I tend to agree Chel. I don’t believe you are an artist if you have a machine create the work for you but I can see the other side. You can make an argument that programmers are artists and their medium is the code they manipulate to produce a final product. Think video games or digitally animated film.

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  3. Brilliant article, Chel! Despite calling myself a baby nerd, I still haven’t managed to play with any of these AI programs. Absolutely love the images you and your family [wow!] created. Notice I said ‘you’ not ‘it’?
    Being superseded by AI is not a pleasant prospect but…I foresee a massive battle looming re copyright. Why? Because technically, the AI is not creating anything, prompts or no. It is taking existing images and mashing them up to fulfil the requirements of the prompts.
    While the AI generated pictures are ‘just for fun’, the source of the raw material won’t matter, but eventually, industry will start using AI for commercial use [if they haven’t already], and then the owners of that source material are going to want a share of the profits. Then, in typical human fashion, things are going to get messy.
    Interesting times. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For me, AI is a tautology, like airline food, new innovation and frozen ice. But I guess if a monkey plays a piano long enough it will eventually replicate Mozart. 😉
    BTW I’m going to be watching for Terrible Poetry entries that look suspiciously too terrible. 😉

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  5. We all use machines, be it the computer to type up a story, a calculator to add, or an AI to create for us. Isn’t the brain really just a machine? I think what creation is in terms of art is up to the individual

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          1. I’m sitting here using gridlines and a ruler to get facial proportions right. Is that art? The majority of hand drawers will do this to get the basics right

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