While artificial intelligence has crept into nearly every facet of modern life, it has largely been an afterthought for most of us, even as we know it’s playing a big role in defense weaponry, pharmaceuticals and financial transactions. (Well, it’s been more than an afterthought for me. AI is at the center of my new high-tech thriller, Firefall.)
But the past half year, and particularly the past six weeks, leads me to think that AI will be front and center for an increasing number of us — particularly those in the so-called professional class, such as writers, journalists, academics, researchers … and now even artists.
Some of this may turn out to be merely diverting. But much of it will be epoch-changing and usher in fundamental changes to society.
On the diverting yet utilitarian side of the ledger comes the Lensa AI app, available on iOS and Android. If you want to have some fun, pony up $2.99 and try its Magic Avatars. You upload 12 to 20 profile images of yourself and within 20 minutes it spits back an assortment of fanciful images of yourself in various outfits (none of which you’ve ever worn) in a couple of dozen high-fidelity variations. For now at least, I’m using one of them for my social media profiles on Twitter and Facebook.
Likely to have a more long-term impact are the new crop of text-to-image generators, starting with DALL-e but quickly outpaced by Stable Diffusion and particularly Midjourney. The imagery coming out of these new AI tools runs the gamut from pedestrian and derivative to jaw-droppingly awesome. Above and below are a couple of examples. [Read more…] about Will 2023 be the year AI dominates culture?