Exploring Perspectives on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Creativity of Knowledge Work: Beyond Mechanised Plagiarism and Stochastic Parrots

by   Advait Sarkar, et al.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), and in particular generative models, are transformative tools for knowledge work. They problematise notions of creativity, originality, plagiarism, the attribution of credit, and copyright ownership. Critics of generative models emphasise the reliance on large amounts of training data, and view the output of these models as no more than randomised plagiarism, remix, or collage of the source data. On these grounds, many have argued for stronger regulations on the deployment, use, and attribution of the output of these models. However, these issues are not new or unique to artificial intelligence. In this position paper, using examples from literary criticism, the history of art, and copyright law, I show how creativity and originality resist definition as a notatable or information-theoretic property of an object, and instead can be seen as the property of a process, an author, or a viewer. Further alternative views hold that all creative work is essentially reuse (mostly without attribution), or that randomness itself can be creative. I suggest that creativity is ultimately defined by communities of creators and receivers, and the deemed sources of creativity in a workflow often depend on which parts of the workflow can be automated. Using examples from recent studies of AI in creative knowledge work, I suggest that AI shifts knowledge work from material production to critical integration. This position paper aims to begin a conversation around a more nuanced approach to the problems of creativity and credit assignment for generative models, one which more fully recognises the importance of the creative and curatorial voice of the users of these models and moves away from simpler notational or information-theoretic views.


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