- Stephen King weighs in on AI in an essay published by The Atlantic.
- King said that he’s not opposed to programmers using his works to teach AI about creativity.
- Thousands of other authors have objected to their work being used in AI without permission.
Artificial intelligence may be getting more capable, but Stephen King believes it still has some learning to do before it can successfully mimic human creativity.
In an essay for The Atlantic, the author said he wouldn’t object to his work being used to teach AI programs, and he’s “not yet” nervous about technology’s potential.
“Would I forbid the teaching (if that is the word) of my stories to computers? Not even if I could,” King stated.
Even human writers need to be readers if they hope to write well, according to King. Uploading the works of others to computers, or “state-of-the-art digital blenders” as he put it, can teach AI how to produce better art.
As of now, the 75-year-old wrote, AI’s creativity isn’t on par with the mental capabilities of a person. He compared AI-generated poems to “movie money: good at first glance, not so good upon close inspection.”
Fellow authors Margaret Atwood and James Patterson joined over 8,000 other writers in signing an open letter demanding compensation for their work being used by AI companies without consent. The letter was sent to tech CEOs Sam Altman of OpenAI, Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, and more in July.
“Millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays, and poetry provide the “food” for AI systems, endless meals for which there has been no bill,” the authors wrote in a letter published by the Authors Guild.
Elsewhere in the literary community, audiobook narrators have also raised concerns of their voices being cloned by AI. Audiobook sellers — including Apple Books — have already rolled out their own AI narrators.
King said that forbidding programmers from using his to teach AI is essentially pointless.
“I might as well be King Canute, forbidding the tide to come in. Or a Luddite trying to stop industrial progress by hammering a steam loom to pieces,” King wrote.
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