A very simple idea occurred to me after using AI to generate ideas for and parts of work. Tools leave marks.
We all understand this, it’s in our language when we say something like, “that looks handmade.” We appreciate the skillful use of thread and needle, the pushing of paint over canvas, and the capturing of light with a camera’s click. And, we accept there is process behind it all.
We recognize there are tools involved and then we forget about them. What we see then is the result that we engage with, the art. And, we strive to understand its purpose, its communication.
In time we will recognize AI tools exist and we will forget about them too when we engage with the stories that are told with them, the communication of the artist. This always happens. It is a piece of the power of storytelling in our nature. There will be new tools that we will marvel at, at first, and then forget them as wonders. Perhaps this is because we come to understand the mastery of tools, either our own or another’s.
Mastery is simply diligence: time and effort. AI tools are the same. Hundreds or thousands of prompts, variations, refinements, manipulations, and always the driving force of one’s desire to create, to assemble and communicate a thought, to tell someone something. I have spent hours and dollars exploring AI. I believe I will spend many more to understand the tools’ means of expression.
.We see the marks. The marks are not the work.