Critical Response #3
Leyth Toubassy
March 13th, 2023
Music 356 / CS470, Stanford University

Critical Response #3 - Message in a Bottle

Ai is fundamentally a wonderful tool. I came into this class a little bit weary of being replaced with Ai and sort of saw it as evil. I sincerely thought that Ai could only really be used for large scale, big brother type applications. Even though I had seen a bit of the generative Ai artwork that has advanced in the past year, something about the technology felt wrong to me in a way I can’t really explain. I sort of had this fear of the technology, it kept beating our expectations for it, and it almost felt like it was only a matter of time before Ai was used to regulate and oversee our everyday lives. For a while I really only felt dread when I thought about Ai and these large scale applications, just a matter of time before there was no going back.

To an extent, I still feel this way. We have no control over how other people use any kinds of technology. Just like all other technology there will be those who use Ai for “evil”. Armed with such powerful algorithms and machine thinking, humanity is truly about to enter a bit of a golden age of computation. People will be able to use computers and Ai for incredibly advanced and massively important roles in our society. It’s only a matter of time before Ai is used in the government, and we will undoubtedly see some new NLM which makes Chat GPT look like a poor facsimile even sooner. The question of, “Even if we can, should we?” is one I think about quite frequently and I honestly don’t know.

These fears are still present in me.

But also present is a new understanding of what Ai can be used for. I always thought of the big ethical and moral conundrums of Ai before this class, but now, I can see that this tool, like any tool, can be used to engineer play just as well. Seeing the funny and simply joyful things my classmates have made in this class have opened my eyes to what Ai can really be used for. I don’t have to be afraid of Ai, I can just play with it instead. I can make fun digital toys for others to play with too. Training a wekination gives such a simple, human, joy. It really feels like teaching. Ai isn’t the boogeyman, the boogeyman is the people who would use such a wonderful, natural advancement of technology to satisfy only their own ends.

As a note to myself (or anyone else who reads this):
You spend enough time afraid of the future and the uncertainty it brings, take a second to just play, just have fun. Take a second to forget about big brother, forget about general intelligence, forget about all the possible misuses of this technology. Here and now, just appreciate the gift of getting to see and use this technology to spark joy.