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The Schedule - Day 23

The Schedule - Day 23

1/23/2023


I am lucky. Feels food to say it and actually mean it, instead of because I think I have to for fear it would be a bad omen of some kind to not be grateful. Yea. I won’t split hairs with that one.


I am lucky that I have so many things I want to do that organization is necessary otherwise I will never get any of those things done bouncing back and forth between one and the other without a plan. And while I do believe that it is true that it is important to try and maintain a positive attitude no matter the reality of the situation; it is also important to not allow yourself to be fooled into ignoring that there are certain realities of a situation that simply cannot be ignored.


I am only saying this because I care - which I am told is not a good thing. ‘Caring’ has gotten me into trouble in the past in professional situations. You know, the kind where you are working at a company and figure something out that a lot of other people probably already know but are not saying about certain things within the organization that would probably not be very flattering to the company as a whole if they were to surface. And they won’t. But the mere act of recognizing them becomes a problem for both the observer and the overseer.


You are not going to ‘zen’ your way out of this one.


I am looking for something on the internet I cannot find.


It is the conversation about what is happening behind the scenes with new technology in certain circles and there is a good chance that at some point it is going to affect you in the workplace.


There is a certain company that I like(d). I have been a customer of this company several times over the last decade and a half or so. Long enough to see the same type of progression that I am seeing with pretty much every other company that I have done business with for a long time and it is not what I would consider to be a good thing or ‘better.’


AI technology has been incorporated into various aspects of the creative content industry and it seems to be lining itself up to eliminate the need for content creators. A LOT has been said about the use of digital image technology that has been ‘trained’ on various assets and this technology has found its way between the customer and the creator of that content.


The well known platforms associated with this technology are (were) a good thing for the content creator. There is a need for a central location for artists, illustrators and other video and image creators to license their work for a limited use in exchange for a fee and agree that the platform should receive a portion of that for facilitating the transaction and maintaining the platform. Agreed.


That is not what this is. Here I go talking about stuff that you are not supposed to talk about, but it is going to happen anyway whether you like it or not. I am throwing this out there because it seems that I cannot find these threads on discussion boards or on forums where you would think people would be ‘talking shop’ when it comes to especially the visual arts.


It is kind of amusing and sad at the same time (as well as confusing) watching the ‘journalists’ - especially the ‘tech journalists’ write and talk about some of the AI language learning models that have made their way into the hands of the public. While there is a lot of focus on ‘students’ using this tool for writing assignments. Language is not emphasized under STEM directives. The conversation about what is taught under that heading is a separate one.


Even the ‘tech’ workers who have been telling people in other industries that they ‘need to learn how to code (ha ha)’ in response to those of us who are tired of having to reinvent themselves every decade or so and still have a long way to go - YES, even those tech people are now experiencing layoffs in large numbers to satisfy the requirements for dealing with inflation.


Maybe, I don’t know, the people who are good at what they do and who know they are better than what this technology can do so far are not worried, remember that this is still in the early stages and for many end users it just might be good enough.


Not threatened by technology, yet - To make a parallel, skilled labor workers are said to be in high demand and they are said to receive a much higher salary than people think. This is for a professional technical skill that is in demand that does not require a college degree. But at the same time, ‘technically’ unskilled contractors are doing a pretty good enough job for a lot of people. There is also a lot of risk potentially for the customer not using licensed workers and also a many more rules and regulations associated with the contract labor industry, but I digress.


“Good enough’ or ‘almost good enough’ puts all of those people who say they are better than what the technology can produce, in the way of creative content, into another space where… will there be enough room for all of you and where will you go and now you will be responsible for marketing and business aspects of competing with many other people on your playing field. And even still, when will you find the time to chase down let alone figure out how this technology may be getting away with allowing people who have little or no idea what they are doing produce very similar likenesses of your work with this new technology?


Just think about this - some high school and even college students cannot achieve passing scores on language proficiency tests because it is not a focus of STEM. However, they can type in a few keywords to a language learning model and generate enough content to replace several ‘journalists’ in a fraction of the time it takes to write this stuff from scratch. In other words, there are many people who can do things this thing cannot do, yet - however, how do you respond to this? Price yourself right out of the market? No. You won’t be able to because you are going to have to compete with the other people who are all as good as you. This has been happening in many other industries where the traditional workers have been replaced by their more efficient and cost effective counterparts.


I am writing this coming from the place of a customer of those digital image platforms. I remember the days when the site ‘chat’ sections actually had real life humans on the other end who would help you and answer your questions. These new AI tools available for public use can answer you questions and do a pretty good job of it, but the bots at these company sites are completely useless. What gives?


Are the people who write articles telling the story on behalf of those on both sides of the transaction how they are supposed to feel about these decisions that presumably were made on behalf of both the artists and the customers without the democratic process of putting it to a vote? Well, the platforms are private companies just like social media companies and I guess they are allowed to make up their own rules.


Game changer? Indeed. But for whom? And what game is being played?

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