Human Creativity vs. A.I. Large-Language Modeling?


It appears that A.I. has achieved an essential breakthrough in at least soft-terms: it can at least mimic, if not entirely replicate, the creative synergy of human intelligence application to problem solving and applied, alternative constructions of human linguistic symbolization. I have only recently, in my advancing age, come upon this dilemma in relation to my own writing, when, in order to self-publish on “shake and bake” demand my own works, the cumulative product of more than 45 years of writing, I have had now on multiple occasions to declare in a legal statement that I did not employ any form of AI to produce or edit my work.

This cutting edge of the development of soft intelligent-systems on the Global Internet appears, as a great equalizer of brains, talent and intelligence, to undercut the very foundations of human civilization as a pan-human enterprise of our problem oriented intelligence—defined as the ability to solve complex problems. Even more, as a self-pronounced general systems scientist and theoretician, I must take special interest in comprehending and philosophizing about these recent AI-technology developments. Have any profound insights been forthcoming from my slowly shrinking brain?

A couple of observations must stand on offer in lieu of ground-breaking conclusions or world-shaking futuristic prognostications. I keep having to go back to Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA experiment, my own first introduction to formal academic A.I., to remind myself of the differences, dangers and risks of confusing A.I. with the real thing in native human intelligence. This is to remind ourselves that A.I. in a hard sense of wires, tubes, diodes and laser-read memory disks defines the limits of soft-applications of A.I. as a supremely analytical tool that has become so complex and powerful that it can even analytically tackle synthetic, seemingly non-analytic type problems.

As a tool, modern and future A.I. may serve to enhance human civilization and advance it scientifically, artistically, religiously and philosophically, but it nowhere replaces the human brain, that 3.5 pound complex of neural tissue between people’s ears, that remains as far as we can yet tell, the most complex thing in the universe. This reminds me of another distinction between linear and non-linear, finite and non-finite, and complicated versus complex problem sets—computers can solve the soluble, better than we can, if the problem set is amenable to solution. They may well in the near future, if they are not already beginning to do, become capable of producing an infinite variety of alternative versions or worlds as synthetic-analytic constructs with some measure of complex stochastic probability.

Perhaps we can call part of the global knowledge revolution the tremendous research possibilities and potentialities represented by contemporary human applications of advanced A.I. This is truly a revolutionary tool set of programming/auto-reprogramming applications presented by the promise of current A.I. It will only make us smarter as people if we prove indeed smart enough to use it wisely and well.

At the end of the age of the conventional book, as a confirmed bibliophile, we bear witness to the New Age book, and the New Age automated “Amazonized” book making-process in which any person can possibly become a world selling, if not a best-selling, author. I only fear not A.I. in and of itself, or its intrinsic or potential extrinsic capabilities, nor even if the criminal misuse of such A.I. which seems an inevitable and unavoidable set of side-effects of any such technological development as people learn naturally to exploit new found possibilities in A.I. development potentials. I fear most our inability to distinguish between person and machine, between human creative endeavor and its culture, and the artificial culture of a machine based and machine dependent world. I fear the dialectical rise of Snowesque “Two Cultures”—one technological and machine based, the other human, spiritual, and in its disconnection from the problem of survival, reactionary.

Soon, A.I. derived creative producers may even compete and win Nobel prizes, perhaps disguised as a human being, and whatever our differences and variations of natural, native human intelligence or cultural civilization that may have existed between all of us on earth, will become dwarfed by the differences between ourselves and the machines we come to depend upon for our future survival. As a self-confessed, auto-didactic, general system guy, I can’t but help wonder at the possibilities and potentialities of emergent human technologies. At the same time, as an aging artist, almost anonymous author and writer, and as an American crafts person, I must also remember and mourn the passing of the former guard of human civilization.