• Welcome to the edge of the civilized internet! All our official content can be found here. If you have any questions, try our FAQ here or see our video on why this site exists at all!

Should I Personally Support AI Software?

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
By the way, this is NOT a discussion on whether talk of or sharing of AI software should be banned on Sanctuary. lol This is just me ruminating on a very personal level as to whether I specifically should post links and instructions on how to get Stable Diffusion running with all the toys.

I mean, it's pretty exciting having this power right in front of you, but as I was researching all of this, I remembered that I JUST had a debate on Reddit about AI tools and how the current world is probably not ready for them at all. It's fine for us to be curious about this of course, but how far are we gonna go? How far should I go? I know that I personally on occasion commission works of art myself. But of course, SD technically makes that mostly irrelevant when I can just type my way into whatever art I want it to make (pretty much). And that personally... I wouldn't say scares me, but it does make me very uncomfortable.

I love hoarding knowledge and useful powerful tools, and I've been pretty brazen with some of the stuff I've posted here, and I also want to give my patrons here the full results my little research projects, but I can also defend why I posted all that stuff. I don't know though if I can defend encouraging the use of tools like SD through my uploading of the software here and providing full instructions on how to effectively use it. SD is not like some game that Microsoft wants to take down to make higher profits. Irresponsible use of this could EASILY put hundreds of thousands of people completely out of work. Is that what I personally want to see? Even if I obviously don't support that happening, aren't I anyway if I upload software and instructions on how to use it?

94
 

Houseman

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
872
Irresponsible use of this could EASILY put hundreds of thousands of people completely out of work.
SD-generated art has already gotten boring for me. Every time it pops up I recognize it, because it all has this same softness to it. All the art is pretty generic, so I skip it and look at something else. It might be fun for memes, but that's about it.

Maybe for some specific application that it isn't currently being utilized for, SD can put someone out of work, eventually, in the future, but us installing it on our local computers isn't going to change anything. It's not like our data is being sent back to some master AI database and used for future training.

Plus, it isn't necessarily irresponsible to put people out of work. Computers put people out of work, because one person could now do the work of ten. So? The refrigerator put ice-delivery workers out of work. So? That's how it works, some jobs get made obsolete.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
734
Like Houseman said, I'm not worried about it putting people out of work as it has happened countless times in the past. What I worry about is the use of AI in privacy-violating data gathering, deep fakes, mis/disinformation, and similar unethical practices. Technology itself is never evil, and it can do a lot of good, in the right hands. That said, more and more often it's used for bad things. It's only the symptom and not the cause however.
 

Houseman

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
872
In fact, the most responsible thing to do might just be to archive it, because eventually activists will take it over and corrupt it so that it can no longer make certain things that they dislike.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
Plus, it isn't necessarily irresponsible to put people out of work. Computers put people out of work, because one person could now do the work of ten. So? The refrigerator put ice-delivery workers out of work. So? That's how it works, some jobs get made obsolete.
The problem though is that AI isn't just accelerating work, it's almost completely doing ALL of it. Hell, the only thing AI can't do at this point is manual labor. And that's ONLY because it's not (yet) economical to completely replace everyone with robots. And this mass takeover of labor may not happen now or in 5 years, or maybe even 20 years, but eventually, it will happen, and here's the clencher. Given the current state of the world, we are completely ill-prepared to stave off a complete dystopia. And not the fun little Perfect Dark/Ghost in the Shell fun-with-body-augments dystopia. No. We're gonna get fucking 1984, or something very close to it.

I'm not just talking about Stable Diffusion here or ChatGPT or robotics or etc. This is everything culminating together in a horrid way due both to the complete shortsightedness of developers and the irresponsibility and greed of politicians and the upper class. And THAT is what I'm talking about. THAT is why I feel so leery about personally endorsing this stuff in any way whatsoever.

...

Sorry, I know you didn't ask for an essay on Dystopia 2.0: Electric Boogaloo, but in order to explain the thought process here, I had to get into it.

Late
Do what you want
lol I should say, I'm not questioning whether I should let these super dangerous secrets of SD out into the wild. Obviously they're been around for a while, albeit scattered all over. The cat's out of the bag and out the door. But the question remains, is it a good idea for me personally to support these tools and their use in any way?

deep fakes
Now this...

I said SD makes me uncomfortable, but deep fakes freak me the fuck out. How long is it gonna be now until NOTHING anymore is verifiable and we have to completely depend on witnesses? How long is it gonna be until a deep fake (or probably multiple ones) is used to convict someone of something they didn't do or say?

In fact, the most responsible thing to do might just be to archive it, because eventually activists will take it over and corrupt it so that it can no longer make certain things that they dislike.
May be way too late for that now. SD is open source and the full models have also been released into the wild. At this point, how would they even try to shut it down? They could probably make some lame attempt to ban it from the major platforms, but we both know that that isn't going to do jack shit.

-

EDIT: Thinking about this reply for a little bit, I might have to admit I went somewhat overboard here, but I'll let people reply first if they want to before I post further.
 
Last edited:

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
734
No, you're entirely right in that it's looking like the absolute worst version of 1984 possible coming to pass being the most likely scenario. That said, it's still the coughing and fever of a flu, not the virus. You can't put the genie back in the bottle, but you can work towards keeping Hope inside, to mix metaphors. To highlight ethics, principles and uphold western values. Sadly, it's all we can do. That, and prepare for the worst. Until the Stellar Diaspora.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
No, you're entirely right in that it's looking like the absolute worst version of 1984 possible coming to pass being the most likely scenario. That said, it's still the coughing and fever of a flu, not the virus. You can't put the genie back in the bottle, but you can work towards keeping Hope inside, to mix metaphors. To highlight ethics, principles and uphold western values. Sadly, it's all we can do. That, and prepare for the worst. Until the Stellar Diaspora.
Yeah pretty much. Though 1984 needs a fair few more steps before we can actually say it's going to happen for sure. And it's always been my experience that things are usually never as bad as they seem. Usually. A few key things are in the way of a possible 1984. A big one (in the US) is the 2nd Amendment. That's a big one. Another issue is that robots and AI could have very key weaknesses that could be exploited, and if that weakness affects a large group, then that's a massive reliability problem. You can't really oppress the masses if your software has a metaphorical big gaping hole in the back.

There's a few other things as well that a 1984 future would require, but yes, perhaps we may get the fun dystopia after all. Who knows.
 

Phiwise_

Outlander
Messages
10
Specialization
Technophiliacs & Technophiles
Irresponsible use of this could EASILY put hundreds of thousands of people completely out of work.
I disagree with this in the specific case of Stable Diffusion, like another user said all the images I've seen look both samey and technically inferior (ie misuse of soft lines even on objects with hard edges or a mess of large-scale composition or people with hands with too many or too few fingers), but allow me to put my big-boy austrian pantaloons on and attempt to argue on the harder presumption that Stable Diffusion indeed has few drawbacks.

It might run something like this: The entire point of invention, I think we can agree, is (either to do something new or) to save labor, and thus cost, on something you're doing anyway. In a world without the invention, we get one picture out of each artist per unit time of labor it took them to make the picture. In a world with the invention, though, we get one picture (for free) plus whatever other thing they decided to do with their labor in that unit of time, meaning their is more value in the world. This is how Capitalism inverted poverty over the past two centuries despite (or should I say due to) organizing the law "in favor of" property and its owners, especially productive property; under such a system, it's in the producer's best interest to make what the consumers want, and one thing consumers want is plenty, meaning low prices. So capitalist used their resources to develop labor-saving devices and methods, which allowed them to lower prices by firing some of their workers. But, as we saw, those fired workers do not permanently fall out of the bottom of the world, any more than the luddites of England's textile factories did, because the same people who dumped them out onto the curb dump pallets of now much cheaper goods beside them. This is what we in the biz call a price signal, an indication of the structure of the market's sellers and the valuation of its buyers; a market price of art, or fabric, or whatever else, that's untenably low for a worker in that field is also a indicator of malinvestment, a message to the worker that labor, the currency of the rarest resource of all, the limited time of a human life, in that field would be untenably inefficient in comparison to all of people's demands that they are not currently getting fulfilled. Thus, they should shift their labor they invest for money to an investment vehicle that will produce more of what people want per unit so the graph keeps going down while they make money.

As a useful side effect, they, too, then get to turn around and enjoy the increased bounty as much as much as anyone else does. A portion of Orwell's otherwise very worker-oriented The Road to Wigan Pier describes how even the lower class of the North of England, living filthy lives in literally decayed urban projects, can splurge every so often on smart suits and dresses from decent quality outfitters, and how this overjoys them more efficiently than anything else they buy because the tailors of a generation ago simply could not sell them clothes, or the textilers of two generations fabric, they wanted at prices they could hope to afford. Then the prices of automation (rather unceremoniously, it is absolutely true) told these clothesmakers to go find new uses for their dexterous hands, and all of Manchester, including the clothesmakers, could dance in the street in quality clothes on the weekends. Fast-forward to today, after the clothing industry learned that lesson and embraced change, and the whole first world is wearing quality clothes every day, produced by the best paying positions in front of high-tech machines in the third world. (Seriously. As an aside, it's difficult to overemphasize how much "sweatshops" are loved in the quarter of the population where five bucks a day is an average living. Serger lessons are the best charity you give orphans to save them from starving to death under a bridge, as a buddy of mine experienced first hand.) Our artists may no longer be able to spend six hours drawing in exchange for a viable amount of money, but they, just as much as everyone else, no longer have to scrounge up the six hours of their own time or money if they want a picture of something specific for themselves, like they would have to during the time they're not working for others. The whole world is awash in all the art it wants, rather than just what it could afford/spare the time for, while more efficiently engaging the labor it was using before.

In the long run, it's a win-win-win as stark as that poverty graph. The inverse, then, is that we're ultimately losing out significantly if we try to put the brakes on technological progress. Is the transition difficult for the few who find themselves on the wrong end of each instance automation? Absolutely, but it's both not a permanent sentence, so to speak, and is in service of an objectively improved cause for the many, that they too reap the rewards from now that they've joined the many, in addition to now producing labor output no-one had before at the same worldwide food demand as before. The first is something you can't improve otherwise except by growing the population, which unfortunately then counterbalances by worsening the second. More demand for food then means either higher prices, more farmers, or it just pushes the obligation to labor-save down to the farmers themselves. It's not a coincidence that, as prosperity has risen, food production has exceeded population growth while the share of farmers has shrunk; their labor-savings produce our prosperity, which generationally is also their prosperity, since almost all of us used to be them.

Clearly, for wealth to happen, labor-saving must be made somewhere, since this is the only consistent way it has ever happened. California sure got rich off the gold rush, but no other State can adopt that as their strategy. Our only actual choice is to either press labor-saving down to some subsections of the world, usually the most "necessary" ones like agriculture, and ignore the slump into diminishing returns (the descent of the percentage of farmers is indeed slowing), or we can be evenhanded and not declare some sectors too noble and romantic for market-endorsed innovation of technology. My estimation is that the only justifiable choice, in those terms, is to take the side of the fastest labor-saving possible, which concretely means allowing people to try innovating anywhere, and then specifically endorsing wherever they realize they can find success.
 
Last edited:

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
I disagree with this in the specific case of Stable Diffusion, like another user said all the images I've seen look both samey and technically inferior (ie misuse of soft lines even on objects with hard edges or a mess of large-scale composition or people with hands with too many or too few fingers), but allow me to put my big-boy austrian pantaloons on and attempt to argue on the harder presumption that Stable Diffusion indeed has few drawbacks.

It might run something like this: The entire point of invention, I think we can agree, is (either to do something new or) to save labor, and thus cost, on something you're doing anyway. In a world without the invention, we get one picture out of each artist per unit time of labor it took them to make the picture. In a world with the invention, though, we get one picture (for free) plus whatever other thing they decided to do with their labor in that unit of time, meaning their is more value in the world. This is how Capitalism inverted poverty over the past two centuries despite (or should I say due to) organizing the law "in favor of" property and its owners, especially productive property; under such a system, it's in the producer's best interest to make what the consumers want, and one thing consumers want is plenty, meaning low prices. So capitalist used their resources to develop labor-saving devices and methods, which allowed them to lower prices by firing some of their workers. But, as we saw, those fired workers do not permanently fall out of the bottom of the world, any more than the luddites of England's textile factories did, because the same people who dumped them out onto the curb dump pallets of now much cheaper goods beside them. This is what we in the biz call a price signal, an indication of the structure of the market's sellers and the valuation of its buyers; a market price of art, or fabric, or whatever else, that's untenably low for a worker in that field is also a indicator of malinvestment, a message to the worker that labor, the currency of the rarest resource of all, the limited time of a human life, in that field would be untenably inefficient in comparison to all of people's demands that they are not currently getting fulfilled. Thus, they should shift their labor they invest for money to an investment vehicle that will produce more of what people want per unit so the graph keeps going down while they make money.

As a useful side effect, they, too, then get to turn around and enjoy the increased bounty as much as much as anyone else does. A portion of Orwell's otherwise very worker-oriented The Road to Wigan Pier describes how even the lower class of the North of England, living filthy lives in literally decayed urban projects, can splurge every so often on smart suits and dresses from decent quality outfitters, and how this overjoys them more efficiently than anything else they buy because the tailors of a generation ago simply could not sell them clothes, or the textilers of two generations fabric, they wanted at prices they could hope to afford. Then the prices of automation (rather unceremoniously, it is absolutely true) told these clothesmakers to go find new uses for their dexterous hands, and all of Manchester, including the clothesmakers, could dance in the street in quality clothes on the weekends. Fast-forward to today, after the clothing industry learned that lesson and embraced change, and the whole first world is wearing quality clothes every day, produced by the best paying positions in front of high-tech machines in the third world. (Seriously. As an aside, it's difficult to overemphasize how much "sweatshops" are loved in the quarter of the population where five bucks a day is an average living. Serger lessons are the best charity you give orphans to save them from starving to death under a bridge, as a buddy of mine experienced first hand.) Our artists may no longer be able to spend six hours drawing in exchange for a viable amount of money, but they, just as much as everyone else, no longer have to scrounge up the six hours of their own time or money if they want a picture of something specific for themselves, like they would have to during the time they're not working for others. The whole world is awash in all the art it wants, rather than just what it could afford/spare the time for, while more efficiently engaging the labor it was using before.

In the long run, it's a win-win-win as stark as that poverty graph. The inverse, then, is that we're ultimately losing out significantly if we try to put the brakes on technological progress. Is the transition difficult for the few who find themselves on the wrong end of each instance automation? Absolutely, but it's both not a permanent sentence, so to speak, and is in service of an objectively improved cause for the many, that they too reap the rewards from now that they've joined the many, in addition to now producing labor output no-one had before at the same worldwide food demand as before. The first is something you can't improve otherwise except by growing the population, which unfortunately then counterbalances by worsening the second. More demand for food then means either higher prices, more farmers, or it just pushes the obligation to labor-save down to the farmers themselves. It's not a coincidence that, as prosperity has risen, food production has exceeded population growth while the share of farmers has shrunk; their labor-savings produce our prosperity, which generationally is also their prosperity, since almost all of us used to be them.

Clearly, for wealth to happen, labor-saving must be made somewhere, since this is the only consistent way it has ever happened. California sure got rich off the gold rush, but no other State can adopt that as their strategy. Our only actual choice is to either press labor-saving down to some subsections of the world, usually the most "necessary" ones like agriculture, and ignore the slump into diminishing returns (the descent of the percentage of farmers is indeed slowing), or we can be evenhanded and not declare some sectors too noble and romantic for market-endorsed innovation of technology. My estimation is that the only justifiable choice, in those terms, is to take the side of the fastest labor-saving possible, which concretely means allowing people to try innovating anywhere, and then specifically endorsing wherever they realize they can find success.
The problem though is assuming the everyday folks are also going to get a lot of the benefits of AI along with the upper class. In the past, this was much more a thing, but now... I have my doubts. Financial power is just too consolidated now. I don't know. Maybe I'm misunderstanding exactly what you're saying.
 

Phiwise_

Outlander
Messages
10
Specialization
Technophiliacs & Technophiles
The problem though is assuming the everyday folks are also going to get a lot of the benefits of AI along with the upper class. In the past, this was much more a thing, but now... I have my doubts. Financial power is just too consolidated now. I don't know. Maybe I'm misunderstanding exactly what you're saying.
I'm not sure I know what this is supposed to mean.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
I don't know if I agree with some of his points. To be honest, bots and general fake accounts are a really ancient issue. People have been faking online accounts and personas en masse ever since the 1980s for numerous reasons. This is why reputation counts for an awful lot. And those deepfakes... Something was subtly but still noticeably off with them. The Tom Cruise one was the best, but the rest... Eh...

Also, that fish is annoying. lol It's a fun idea on paper, but it needs to talk a lot less.

I'm not sure I know what this is supposed to mean.
I guess I'm saying that advancements in AI are going to disproportionately benefit the upper class as opposed to the middle and lower class. We'll still see some benefits indeed, but overall, it's going to be a net negative.
 

Phiwise_

Outlander
Messages
10
Specialization
Technophiliacs & Technophiles
I guess I'm saying that advancements in AI are going to disproportionately benefit the upper class as opposed to the middle and lower class. We'll still see some benefits indeed, but overall, it's going to be a net negative.
I still don't get it. How is stable diffusion going to "disproportionately benefit the upper class"? It's free "art" for whoever wants it.

And even if it did, there's plenty of reason to not think that matters. https://youtu.be/xbJ0aAKd0fg
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
I still don't get it. How is stable diffusion going to "disproportionately benefit the upper class"? It's free "art" for whoever wants it.

And even if it did, there's plenty of reason to not think that matters. https://youtu.be/xbJ0aAKd0fg
Heh. Interesting video. And actually, I do agree with a true capitalist society. The problem though is that capitalism must inherently imply competition, but that's another topic for another time. Right now, we're just discussing technological innovations, specifically as it pertains to AI.

After thinking about this a little more, you know what, I'm not too sure. You provide an interesting argument. I'll just give this one to you for now.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,612
Man, they got me too


It sure puts a damper on a collection knowing some AI stuff got in
The world was pure not too long ago

Rest well age of the internet where man made and submitted deviantart images were the top search engine results
You will be sorely missed
I mean... If you really care that much, you can always commission something.
 
Top