I’m pretty done with this internet culture that says any of us need to seek permission or have the blessing of random strangers to pursue the creative avenues that seem like the right ones to us. But I will bite in this case: an article from Pajiba.comwhatever that is – by Kayleigh Donaldson, with a familiar refrain…

If you use AI tools to ‘help’ you create books or paintings or music, you’re not an artist. You’re just not. If you are so defeated by the very process of creation, so uninterested in bettering your skills, then stop doing it. Just stop… You are not an author or an artist or anything of merit: you are a content creator in the nastiest sense of the term.

Here’s a screenshot of apparently what Pajiba.com looks like on mobile (shared by a friend as I’m a conscientious objector against cell phones):

Now, I’m sure this author isn’t the one responsible for running ads on this site (though I hope they do see a portion of revenues from it!), but this is a crazy amount of ads on an article accusing *other people* of being mere content goblins.

This quote later on lamenting Silicon Valley something something also makes me chuckle a little given the above visual context:

They don’t respect literature or art or music or criticism. They don’t think it’s a worthwhile craft. It baffles them that so many people find joy in something that doesn’t exist solely to make money.

In that mobile screenshot above, I counted I think ~34 words from the actual article itself. The rest were ads. Ads for something about Gwen Stefani’s wedding. Ads for an IV drop for migraines (wtaf?). Ads for a hardware store. I measured the screen real estate of the site itself in that screenshot above and got something like ~74.2% of that screen consists of ads, from a site that no doubt “doesn’t exist solely to make money.” Right. Okay.

I don’t know, call me crazy, but whatever valid points might exist in this article are loudly drowned out by the rest of what’s presented here, which seem quite at odds with the actual message of the piece.

My point is, we can throw stones at each other all day, but it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Especially since collecting permission slips from random people online isn’t part of my job description as yes – *gasp!* – a writer and artist who uses AI to ask questions and explore uncharted territories opened by the technology.

Who else but creative people should be leading the way on finding the best uses (including no use) of and right relationships with these technologies? We have more power to shape them through our active use than we do from the sidelines. I find it much more shocking and troublesome when artists turn away from new things instead of acting as the vanguard in finding their contours and pioneering their best expressions. I think much that is important and human will be lost in these early stages of development if artists disengage and leave everything up to venture capitalists, engineers, and marketers to just do whatever they want in the name of infinite growth. But that’s just me: someone whose genuine creative spark and authentic artistic process has been blanket-judged to be of ‘no merit’. Welcome to the internet, I guess. Hey, at least I don’t run ads.