Stephen King, the renowned horror author, is not afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, his bestselling books have inadvertently trained AI systems to understand and generate horror stories. This article explores the impact of King’s writing on AI technology and how it has been utilized to create terrifying narratives.
The Fascinating Views of Stephen King on AI and Creativity
Embracing the Role of AI in Creative Fields
Stephen King, the renowned horror author celebrated for his novels such as “It” and “The Shining,” has recently emerged as an intriguing voice in the ongoing debate surrounding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative industries. In a thought-provoking op-ed for The Atlantic, King delves into the subject matter, particularly addressing how his works have already been employed to train AI models.
King recognizes that AI has become an integral part of our lives, with self-driving cars, intelligent phones, and even saucer-shaped vacuum cleaners. This prompts him to ponder whether a machine that can read can also learn to write. While he acknowledges the initial allure of AI-generated text and art, he firmly believes that they are unable to match the depth and intricacy of works crafted by talented human beings.
In his own words, King states, “AI poems in the style of William Blake or William Carlos Williams (I’ve seen both) are a lot like movie money: good at first glance, not so good upon close inspection.” He asserts that true creativity requires sentience, a quality he associates exclusively with human beings. While acknowledging the potential sentience of AI, he remains skeptical and unconvinced.
Moreover, King takes a pragmatic stance on the matter, opining that opposing the inevitable progress of AI is futile. He compares such resistance to the mythological figure King Canute trying to halt the incoming tide or a Luddite smashing a steam loom. King recognizes that banning the use of his work to train AI models would amount to pointless obstructionism.
Contrasting Perspectives in the Battle Against AI
While King embraces the role of AI, the creative industry at large is experiencing growing apprehension and unrest. Hollywood writers and actors, exemplified by the joint strike of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA, are vehemently protesting the potential threat of AI in the industry.
Many artists are concerned that their work is being exploited by AI trainers, which could ultimately replace them in creative fields. There have been instances of news sites blocking OpenAI from using their content for training models. Additionally, a legal battle is underway against companies that generate AI-generated artwork.
Actress Laci Mosley, a supporter of the strike, emphasizes the irreplaceable human touch in the industry, stating that “A computer cannot recreate what we do and what we’ve worked for.” Ike Barinholtz, a notable actor and comedian, echoes this sentiment, stressing the importance of art being generated by humans from their own personal experiences.
Stephen King: An Optimistic Observer
While King remains open to the future role of AI in creative industries, he acknowledges the potential challenges the technology presents. He retains a cautious optimism, envisioning a future where society adapts and embraces AI’s capabilities, much like our current adoption of smartphones.
King refrains from making definitive predictions regarding AI’s ability to match human creativity. However, he leaves the door open for the possibility of technology eventually generating bone-chilling, uncannily human art. He adopts a “wait and see” attitude, ready to be proven wrong.
In the end, King’s perspective on AI and creativity encompasses a sense of foreboding anticipation, akin to his own masterful horror tales. He conveys the notion that AI may sooner than expected approach human-like creative abilities. Nonetheless, until that day arrives, King acknowledges that current algorithms still appear more lifeless than alive.
In conclusion, Stephen King’s views on AI provide a fascinating insight into the ongoing discourse surrounding its impact on creativity. While some artists vehemently oppose AI’s encroachment, King embraces its role while maintaining a healthy skepticism. Perhaps the future will reveal whether AI can surpass human creativity or become an invaluable tool for further artistic exploration.