It was always “Oh, you’re only at risk of automation if your job has a high degree of repetition, creative jobs are less at risk” but it feels like over the course of the past year Copilot, Dall-e, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and ChatGPT have decided upend that assumption. Writing, code, art… all with computers nipping at the heels with competency and speed. Fascinating. Unexpected in my lifetime. A mild bit alarming, but fascinating nonetheless.

I don’t think it’s all bad, but my brain is still ramping up to the new reality that these handicrafts have (likely) been permanently altered. We should celebrate the lower bar for creative endeavors; you no longer need to be an expert at Photoshop to produce a creative image, just an expert at generating prompts. People are extracting beautiful artifacts from these machines. Incredible.

As interesting a future this creates, I’m a member of an old caste of people that still believes massive gains don’t come without realized costs; or more explicitly, electricity isn’t the only cost. What if the cost we’re paying is our perception of reality itself? It’s increasingly likely that the next thing you read or watch is the product of a content extruder. Your favorite author, artist, creator, influencer, job applicant, or manager; the curtain pulled back to reveal a series of six word prompts. Rather than be left behind, I should start the augmentation process now…

Siri, make me hotter and smarter. Send.