I'll pass on AI for my own practice, though I admit I've used it for my day job, to generate ideas for events and communications. I predominantly use historical and alternative processes and creating camera-less images, so it makes no sense to me to use AI to create an ersatz version of a 150+ year old process. Hard pass. Besides, I like getting my hands dirty and having a physical thing in my hand that I've created. Yeah, I know AI images can be printed, but it just wouldn't feel the same.

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I'm also still struggling with embedding AI in my photography. Was working on a personal project where I combined my own images with AI generated ones, based on extensive prompts, but to be honest, I kinda lost my interest after a while. Think it might be useful in some ways, but the lack of control as you mentioned draws me back. It is only the beginning so will be way better in the near future. Exciting times.

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I can’t set aside the legal and ethical questions. To put your work into one of these things is to make your work a part of it. You are its training data. When these tools first started gaining popularity I did argue in their favor, that art since the Dadaists had increasingly courted the machine, that conceptual art argued for the instruction of said machines, that they were even analogous to the camera because we don’t create what we photograph, we simply make a series of choices to capture something that exists outside of us.

I now feel that’s bunk. These tools are taking our work and making money for someone else.

I also don’t buy that they enhance creativity. I’ve heard writers say it frees them to be more creative. Yet when I’ve tried to use them for my job, it’s been futile. I spend more time telling it what to do and then correcting it’s errors and bias, and I get less than satisfactory results. I would never put my personal writing into it. I’m still better and faster.

I think to set aside the morals and ethics while we see if it could be useful is a dodge. Is there a point where something becomes so useful that we can ignore the ethics? I suppose we do this all the time (hello, automobiles).

John Henry died with his hammer in his hand, and I’ll likely do so with my keyboard. But hell if I’ll feed the machine that kills me.

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