This is an image generated in Midjourney.
The Prompt: / baroque sci-fi macro, floral lady
A.I., or "artificial intelligence" is coming on strong in 2023. The A.I. bot "Midjourney" produces stunning artwork all of the time in ways that has to be humbling for even the most talented artists out there. ChatGPT is now picking stocks better than financial planners, it is writing better than technical writers, and creative types of all kinds are protesting (and striking) to ensure that they still have jobs in the future. The CEO of Warner Brothers Discovery recently got booed at a commencement speech as students in the audience chanted, "Pay your writers!" This is where we are at now, and it isn't even June.
With the incredible rise of these technologies, I wonder why this is even happening. It isn't so much that I don't know how we got from A to B to C, etc. Rather, it's the fact that all of these A.I. technologies seem to be doing all of the fun things in life. When I dreamed about a future with robots in it, I didn't envision the robots sitting around making poetry, writing creative stories, doing art, and engaging in all of the things that most people do as hobbies because they are fun.
No, I dreamed of a future with robots doing the drudgery. The toilet needs scrubbed. The groceries need picking up at the store. The windows need washed. The laundry needs to get cleaned. The carpets are dirty and need to be washed. The furniture needs repairing. The lawn needs mowed and the driveway needs to be shoveled of snow. It goes on and on, and these are the tasks that I dreamed that robots would do! Not us. So much of our lives are filled with the tiny minutiae of what it takes to be alive. From the moment we get up, some of us have to struggle with pain, then cleaning our bodies, and then food prep and cleaning up after all that food is prepped, and then getting dressed, and then going to work for someone else, and maintaining a car, and all of those other things. In our free time, if we ever get any...then that is the time when we would be reading, watching t.v., listening to poetry, or doing art.
But it looks like the robots are going after all of those kinds of jobs...the kinds of jobs that a lot of us thought would be "the dream job" allowing us to live full lives of creativity and joy as we are validated for the various talents that some of us may have spent a lifetime in trying to get really good at. Now, the robots get to our level of skill within a couple of months, surpass us, and make all of us who relied upon those things to bring us joy now obsolete. I suppose that we could still do these hobbies if we "wanted to." But they will be worth zero dollars in the future.
What will be worth something? Scrubbing the toilets, being a housekeeper, taking out the garbage, servicing refrigerators, and repairing roads in 100 degree heat. A lot of those things are jobs that few people want (or desire) to do. And I suspect they will be as underpaid in the future as they are today. Like...what the hell? We are on the verge of a dystopia so perfect that there's no way I could have dreamed it up. Your children will be born into a world where drudgery awaits them, and all the fun things will be done by computers and A.I. to take that "responsibility" out of their hands.
Only, the word "responsibility" is just gaslighting. It never was a "responsibility" but a "privilege." It was my privilege to write and be read and to be enjoyed. It was my privilege to draw good enough to get compliments or to earn money. It was my privilege to be recognized as someone who creates at a level that is uncommon. And somehow, the capitalists have taken that away from us (or that is their intent).
And...I'm left to wonder why? As in...why didn't the capitalists take away the pothole repairs and the mending of garments and the housekeeping? Why did they create machines that could do art, write, and make music? It seems almost malicious that the people who could program and create these things would set out to create a form of life that would force real living people into the most unpleasant jobs. Can anyone out there explain to me exactly why this happened (is happening)?