To start, let’s simply talk about the idea of creativity. It’s mostly subjective. It’s our way of creating something new and valuable. Specifically, that’s what creativity produces. So, then we must ask what is new and what is valuable. It’s obvious what is new, something that hasn’t been made before and typically unique versus just new as in recently made.
Regarding value, this is where we must have a debate. Is the subjective interpretation and appreciation of art what makes it valuable or is it something else? Is it more reliant on the creator’s reputation? Is it more reliant on technique and effort? To be clear, it’s not just for art, but that’s an easy example of a product that comes from creative efforts.
I hope that it’s a mix of subjective appreciation and the objective technique, effort, and work put into the creation itself. This means that something machine generated with no effort wouldn’t qualify nor would a painting made by a robot that can paint a magnificent painting in under 1 minute. My concern is that most art and creative enterprises are more subjective than anything. The issue is that we may not be able to discern what was made by humans and what was made digitally or by machines. This would mean that we could easily be outpaced and the person who would have all the control and influence would be the one who owns the machines or AI.
You always have people who are afraid of new technology taking away their jobs, but I would argue that hasn’t been an issue for creative work. Now that we are at the point where humans can be replaced by machines in nearly every aspect, creativity was supposed to be the last haven where we had the upper hand and that is quickly fading too.
You would also have the problem we are having now with algorithms that they are steering content creators to create content based on what the algorithm thinks we want versus what we actually want. In the same way, if everything was machine generated, they would be able to create and manipulate culture based on what they think versus what we want.
This sounds fairly dystopian, but we have to reconsider that in a time where creativity is fading and automation is taking over, creativity is one of the last truly human things left.
We see this with examples like machine generated art that people are mass producing for NFTs. People are also hiring Fiverr artists for $5 or using services to produce NFT versions of themselves based on a picture. The effort right now for a lot of digital art like this is the lowest it could possibly and thus I would argue it’s not very valuable nor should it be. It’s not just for NFTs, it’s for anything this is just one example.
With the girl who sold fart jars then deciding to sell NFT fart jars and actually making a profit being a reality now, I have to ask if you think we are in a rational market? More importantly, how is it that people are valuing a digital copy of anything over the real thing? I fully endorse NFTs and the technology behind it, but I don’t agree with using them frivolously and creating what is essentially digital waste.
Do you agree or disagree? What is the value of creativity? Does effort & skill matter more or the subjective appreciation of the art? Let me know what you think about this in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!
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