Newsletter #6 - AI Cometh

Hey, everyone! Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror author Paul James Keyes here with another newsletter!

Last time we got into the “song” of a molecule and how scientists can broadcast a drug into your mind. [LINK TO NEWSLETTER 5 - THE ‘SONG’ OF A DRUG] This time I thought it would be fun to talk about the fast pace of the advancement of AI technology and how it is changing humanity and our workflows.

My novels; covers created with aid of Dalle-2 and photoshop.

AI has been popping up all over the place this year, faster than ever before. If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s probably starting to get difficult to avoid with the new chatGPT and AI generated profile pictures all over the place. I know I’ve seen a few CGI versions of friends that looked pretty nifty going around on Facebook recently.

As a writer, I have NOT used AI to generate any of the words in my books, but I have used it to aid me in creating cover art image ideas that I worked over further by hand in photoshop. I am sure we will start to see people writing whole books with AI doing 99% of the work load pretty soon. In the future, it may be hard to find a book written by a human, and as sad as that is, we probably won’t be able to tell the difference between an AI story and one written by a human writer anyway by that point.

Hopefully you all will still be fans of this mere human writer when the AI overlords are running all our systems. 

And why shouldn’t AI run everything? Obviously we need to trust the governance of our systems, but AI will be more efficient than humans at basically everything with little to no exception as time goes by. There is absolutely nothing to stop AI and automation from taking over 999/1000 human jobs within a few decades. Humanoid robots like the movie I, Robot are probably in our future (Tesla is trying to develop one right now). Labor will be a thing of the past, and so will most jobs once enough androids are running around.

You don’t see people welding individual car doors these days—a robot arm does that. One technician watches all the machines work and maintains the workforce (well maybe not just one, but you get the point). Humans are becoming obsolete with every passing year. The trouble with this is that our capitalist system doesn’t care to pay the workers whose jobs were displaced by machines. This has always been the case. With automation, everyone is forced into a larger labor pool with fewer and fewer opportunities. The work required to run society is quickly dwindling, while expenses seem only to grow.

In the not-so-distant future robots will be able to take care of us, but we probably won’t be able to afford the Apple and Tesla bots because we will have already lost our jobs to them. A possibly bleak future is on the horizon if we can’t figure out how to make laws that force corporations and the rich into supporting human society. Our labor is trending towards becoming meaningless when compared to the power of AI and automation. There are only so many service jobs to go around. Eventually, the humans that can afford to eat will do so because of a basic universal income, and the rest will starve. That is what capitalism is heading towards without legal restraints, and it is unsustainable.

I’m not sure who the corporations think will buy their products once humanity is too poor to feed ourselves, but I have a sneaking suspicion that companies not providing basic necessities will be the first to go out of business, like dominoes falling until we are all slaves to the remaining companies that provide as little as they can get away with, while funneling their profits to the top .1%. There’s a reason Bill Gates is invested heavily in farmland.

This isn’t about politics, it’s class warfare, only the lower classes doesn’t even realize they are supposed to be fighting back. I did say it was a bleak outlook, right? As an economist, governments poor handling of finances along with corporations abilities to get away with anything is a concerning combo that doesn’t bode well for our future.

Will governments step in and save the people when unemployment and under employment rates skyrocket? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. So far, the homeless population has only grown while prosperity seems to be reserved for fewer and fewer individuals at the top of the food chain.

Isn’t AI fun?! Well, at least it helped me make better book covers. The technology lowered the cost of entry for publishing a quality book. I no longer have to rely on any other artist but myself, which I appreciate as a recluse, frantically typing away on my laptop about the end of civilization as we know it. I guess there is a reason I was drawn to create a post-apocalyptic world in my novels.

Until next time, stay safe out there!

Freebie: Into the Beyond - Part 1: Fated - A Fantasy Horror Series


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