Good Artists Copy,
Great AIs Steal
Our August 9 event set the stage for a lively, engaging debate over a private dinner and drinks in the Hamptons with Premier Members and specially invited guests in the entertainment, media, and tech industries.
The discussion centered around creativity, ownership, distribution, and how technology, especially AI, is forcing key players to adapt in a rapidly changing industry. The discourse was more animated and led to productive disagreement on the merits and limitations of AI concerning the creativity of the human mind. We cannot thank the people who attended and contributed to the conversation enough.
Central to our mission is to bring diverse perspectives to these conversations, and the evening didn’t disappoint. We heard perspectives from legendary artists, filmmakers, creatives, entrepreneurs, media and entertainment executives, CEOs, CMOs, and investors. The caliber of their contributions was a key reason why this particular event led to such a fantastic discussion.
We are sharing a few key takeaways here. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to discuss any of them further and contribute a perspective to this editorial platform. As always, the pull-quotes are not and will never be attributed.
Good artists copy, great AIs steal
- Can true creativity be quantified by skill alone or is innovative thinking the real essence?
- Can true creativity exist without emotions and personal experiences, or is that what differentiates us from AI?
- Are we on the brink of an evolution in art and creativity, much like the industrial revolution, and do real creatives lead or resist such changes?
- How does one distinguish between a genuine creative thought and an AI-generated one?
- What is the difference between the smartest person in the world and they can create something and AI?
Do Creatives Even Know What Creativity Is?
- Why when a human copies, it’s not stealing, but when AI does the same process it is stealing?
- In a world where AI mirrors human creativity, can we still claim originality as uniquely ours?
- Should financial or artistic credit be reserved solely for human-created content, even if AI produces equally compelling work?
Would you let Netflix read your mind?
- As AI replicates art, are we approaching a paradigm shift where creativity is democratized beyond human boundaries?
- How might AI-driven entertainment redefine our relationship with anticipatory content?
- As AI tailors entertainment to our desires, does it matter if we ever again experience the joy of stumbling upon unexpected gems if people are entertained?
- If every viewer gets a unique version of a show or series, where does that leave the collective experience of fandom?
- Less Agreeable — The group was mixed on the idea that AI could outperform the human mind regarding creativity. This led to some great back-and-forth debate on the limitations of what AI could do to produce great entertainment. This is the kind of discourse we’re hoping to achieve, and it was a step further in that direction.
“Artificiality will be extremely attractive.”
In opposition to the AI-averse, some fully embraced the idea that AI could replace entire entertainment genres. One guest said: “We need to listen to the audience and their preferences. Artificiality will be extremely attractive. We have to remember that audiences are participants and interpreters. They have a preference, and they will drive decisions.” Another guest was excited by the idea of allowing a platform like Netflix to program itself based on their and their partner’s personal preferences and totally willing to provide data to optimize that experience.
One side conversation remarked on how art and entertainment created in such an alluring and personalized way could lead to terrible outcomes for society. Cheap technologies provide cheap endorphin/dopamine hits, leading to addiction, disconnection from society, and even further isolation and polarization.
— Provocation – Would you let Netflix read your mind?
“We are consuming and cannibalizing our culture so fast.”
Some in the middle of being both curious of what AI could do to enhance art and entertainment, but at the same time worried about how it could lead to a monoculture remarked that “we are consuming and cannibalizing our culture so fast.”
In America, the problem is with adults and their culture and where they think we are going. The one glimmer of hope in all this is around the economy and distribution of ideas. It’s about valuing culture and community. There’s going to be floodgates opening. The question is: will we really be the culture we say we are or will it be invented and adapted? Young people’s rebellion against the dominant culture is what creates “real” culture.
The idea that youth culture could provide a counter to the potential blandness and repetitive nature of AI was thought to be an optimistic view of how humans can overcome the inevitable march of AIs dominance in popular culture.
— Provocation – Good Artists Copy, Great AIs Steal
“The internet made live events more valuable, and AI will make that even more so.”
Another guest remarked on how live events became more in demand in response to the predictability of mass-market culture and the endless content the internet provides. People crave the spontaneity of live events, such as festivals, concerts, and sporting events. The guest predicted that if AI becomes a huge part of our lives, it will only serve to make live and in-person entertainment even more attractive, and more valued because it cannot be generated by a machine, making it rare and special.
— Provocation – AI will destroy talent OR talent is overrated
“Why does AI have to satisfy everything? It’s not an either/or, it’s an ‘and’”
Pushback on those who were AI-averse was that AI wasn’t the answer to everything and shouldn’t be viewed as a tool that will be useful in all cases, or that it should take the place of certain tasks completely but rather be complementary. The hype cycle for AI has created an overwhelming feeling that this will disrupt our lives completely, but the reality may be that it’s an assistant we can lean on to help us, rather than replace us. One participant remarked: “Aren’t we just overwhelmed by the pace of change?”
— Provocation – Do Creatives Even Know What Creativity Is?