Don’t Fear AI. Respect it.

Shutterstock (a leading stock image company) has partnered with OpenAI to sell AI-generated artwork. Craig Peters, CEO of Getty Images (another leading stock image company), believes firms racing to sell AI art could step into illegal territory: “I think that’s dangerous. I don’t think it’s responsible. I think it could be illegal.”

Here is a tale of two strategies (or perhaps two personalities): one fearlessly forging a path to the future, one clearly afraid of the future.

In 2001, David Hockney’s book Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters was met with controversy. His argument, known as the Hockney-Falco thesis, was that the notable transition in style for greater precision and visual realism that occurred around the 1420s is attributable to the discovery of the capability of optical projection devices, which came to be known as the camera lucida.

Is the value we ascribe to the paintings of the old masters diminished by knowledge that they were tracing? Do we discount the artwork of the lesser artists of old because they needed tools to help them create their art? Isn’t a paintbrush a tool?

AI is not only here to stay; it is quickly becoming the “go to” tech to enhance our human capabilities. The steam engine amplified our muscles and gave us superhuman strength; AI amplifies our minds and gives us superhuman capabilities. AI, in all its forms, is powerful and deserves our respect. It must be harnessed, not feared.

As for Craig Peters and Getty Images? We’ve seen this many times before. Think Kodak and digital cameras, BlackBerry and smartphones, and on and on.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, co-founder of Metacademy, and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and his latest book, Blockchain - Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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