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Learning AI & Dealing with Controversy

Woman in a field of flowers on a stormy afternoon surrounded by yellow, bioluminescent flowers, AI art by Blume Bauer

What do you think of AI?

It's a hot button lately. As with any technology, it can be used for good and it can be used for evil. I'm learning how to use it to improve my workflow, be more creative, and sometimes with the sole intent of making pretty things.

Learning how to use it as a tool like Photoshop – or any other tool I've learned since I first went to college back in 1993 – feels familiar. I remember everyone who was devastated about Photoshop coming out. Worried that it would take away jobs and that it would be the end of "reality" as we know it.

Instead, the creation of Photoshop created tons of new jobs. Yes, it removed the need to do some things by hand but there are, and will always be, things that we do by hand because we enjoy it. I'm an illustrator and the fact that someone can make something with the same idea behind it more quickly in Photoshop doesn't hurt my ability to continue to physically draw. The fact that I now draw with an Apple Pencil instead of a pen on paper, doesn't lessen the fact that it's still drawing, I just don't need all of the paper/pen/ink supplies that I needed before. And although I've moved over to using an Apple Pencil that doesn't mean anyone else who loves to still draw with ink has to do the same. And both art forms can still be appreciated.

Woman in a field of flowers at sunset, surrounded by orange and turquoise bioluminescent flowers. AI art by Blume Bauer

I think there is room for all of us. And yes, some people did lose their jobs when Photoshop came out and that is very sad. But I question how many of those people weren't willing to learn the new tech? How many were near the end of their career anyway and decided they rather retire than have to start all over? I get it, learning technology the older we get is more complicated and confusing, especially for those of us who didn't grow up with it as children.

I see AI as a tool. A tool that we should probably all be learning if we still want to be in the workforce in a technology-driven field. Lots of jobs don't fall under that category, but the ones that do will need these skills. I foresee jobs asking in interviews whether or not you know how to use the new software(s). Just like when they asked us if we could use Word and Excel back in the day - now these are essentially assumed knowledge for any job that uses a computer.

Woman in a field of bioluminescent blue flowers at sunset. AI art by Blume Bauer

Does this mean that I don't think anyone will ever use it for evil? Absolutely not. Sadly, there will always be evil people who take advantage of others. But that is another great reason for learning what AI can do, even if you don't learn how to use it yourself. Then you can spot and see the difference between reality and something that is being faked.

Do I think AI might get to a point where we can't spot a fake? Maybe. It's entirely possible as I watch it advance leaps and bounds month over month. And I imagine we'll cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, I'm going to keep learning how to use it as a tool like Photoshop, Word, Excel, etc. because it brings me excitement and joy to be on the cutting edge of learning.

Woman sleeping in a field of flowers, surrounded by a field of pink and blue bioluminescent flowers. AI Art by Blume Bauer

Whether you love AI or you don't, I encourage you to learn about it. Try it for yourself - not just once, but dozens of times – to get to know what it does and to be able to speak about it with a knowing instead of an assumption.

I would love to hear your thoughts about it all in the comments.

**AI Images "Woman in Field of Flowers" by Blume Bauer


This is so great Blume! It just so happens that my brother and I were having this exact conversation this morning! We basically had the same thought process as you shared here. I too am beginning to learn more about it and how it may be a tool for me in my new ventures!

On another note, it’s nice to see your blog in my inbox again.😉🤗😘

Replying to

Thank you so much Nikki! I love that you two were just having this discussion recently too. It seems to be a really divisive topic but I imagine that over time, the debate will smooth out. I love that you're using it in some ways for your new ventures. It really is a cool new technology! And thank you so much for your encouragement to be back blogging again. I really do love it and I'm happy to get to share life's subjects again. 😍


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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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