The Collective Authorship of Imagination (Retro Riders)


AI doesn’t just mimic: it transforms and creates. With the vast expanse of human creativity at its fingertips, it blends history, culture, and aesthetics, crafting unique expressions that echo our collective journey. It’s as though we’ve handed AI the brush, yet it’s our collective experiences that guide its strokes. Imagine AI as an artist with an endless palette of human history, culture, and aesthetics at its disposal, painting not just from what it sees but what it feels through our collective experiences. So, the question arises: who truly crafts these pieces? Let’s break it down:

  • The AI as the author: At first glance, AI seems to be the artist. It sifts through data, learns from patterns, and creates. It’s akin to a brush that paints on its own, guided by algorithms instead of hands.
  • The AI artists as the directors: Then, there are the individuals who guide this process, the ones who prompt and tweak the AI. They’re like conductors, directing an orchestra of code to produce something beautiful.
  • All of us as the authors: But if we look deeper, a broader picture emerges. Every piece of digital content ever created -every snapshot, blog post, and tweet -has fed the beast. This means the author isn’t just one person or even one machine, it’s the collective heartbeat of humanity, echoed through the digital age.

It seems most accurate to consider all of humanity as the creators -both those living today and those from our distant past. Together, we’ve woven the rich fabric of culture, history, and aesthetics that AI now draws upon. However, this presents a challenge: ensuring the vast pool of knowledge from which AI learns isn’t skewed towards the most visible or dominant cultures and perspectives. The key lies in striving for diversity and inclusivity, making sure every voice has the chance to be heard. By consciously broadening the sources AI learns from, we can minimize bias and foster a more representative digital creativity. This commitment to openness and equity in AI’s education is crucial for building a future where digital art celebrates the full spectrum of human experience, avoiding the pitfalls of exclusion or discrimination.