AI Takes Over

“Why don’t you just have AI write your blog posts?” Marie asked.

Good question!

Like everyone else, I’ve been amazed by what Artificial Intelligence tools like ChatGPT can do now.  I’ve never been good at predicting the evolution of technology, but it sure feels like we’re on the verge of some truly transformative changes.  And it will likely be a bumpy ride.

One small example that’s near to my own heart:  what will it mean for the art of photography when AI tools like DALL-E and Midjourney can easily and instantaneously generate any kind of image?  What will count as “real,” and how will we be able to tell what’s real or not?

Let’s take Marie’s suggestion and see what commonly-available AI tools can already do.  I asked ChatGPT to “Write a blog post about seeing otters in Yellowstone in the style of the Endless Loop Photography blog.”  And then I used DALL-E to generate some images to accompany the post.  Here’s the result…

 

Scary AI Robot (digital art by DALL-E)

 

As I ventured into the heart of Yellowstone National Park, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder. Everywhere I looked, the stunning natural beauty of the park greeted me, from towering mountain peaks to bubbling geysers and hot springs. But as a wildlife photographer, I had my sights set on a very specific type of creature: the North American river otter.

These sleek and playful creatures are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild, but I was determined to capture their beauty on camera. After days of scouting the park and patiently waiting by the rivers and streams where otters are known to live, my patience was finally rewarded.

I spotted a group of otters playing in the water, their lithe bodies gliding effortlessly through the current as they chased after fish and each other. I immediately began snapping photos, trying to capture their playful nature and the unique beauty of their fur, which glistened in the sunlight like liquid gold.

 

Otter in the Sun (image by DALL-E)

 

Otter in Golden Light (image by DALL-E)

 

As I continued to watch the otters, I couldn’t help but marvel at their incredible adaptability. Despite their seemingly carefree demeanor, they are incredibly skilled hunters and are able to thrive in a wide range of habitats, from mountain streams to coastal estuaries.

 

Otter in the Water (image by DALL-E)

 

But even as I marveled at their natural prowess, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness. Otters, like so many other species in our world, are under threat from habitat loss and human encroachment. As a photographer, I feel a deep responsibility to capture their beauty and share it with the world, in the hopes of inspiring greater appreciation and awareness for these incredible creatures.

As I packed up my camera and prepared to leave the park, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. It’s moments like these that remind me why I became a wildlife photographer in the first place – to capture the magic and beauty of the natural world and share it with others in the hopes of inspiring a greater sense of stewardship and appreciation for our planet.

8 thoughts on “AI Takes Over

  1. Rob – I appreciate your interesting experiment with AI, but somehow it does not seem to be as authentic as your personal posts. It somehow is a little too flowery or smooth and the photos are not as good as your direct posts in my view. Just some thoughts in response to the experiment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thanks, I would be a little freaked out if AI could already write a more authentic blog post! And I definitely agree, the DALL-E otter phots are pretty raw at this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re MUCH better very soon

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  2. ” … Write a review of a nature photography post written by chat gpt. Write it in the style of Gordon Gilges and point out the possibly destructive nature of reverse psychology when humans witness computers trying to evoke emotions about the natural world. Talk about the idea of feeling strangely compelled to search for information about otter hunting permits.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s truly a Brave New World now that AI can write our blog posts and then comment on them as well – what’s left for us to do but drink Mai Tais on a beach somewhere?

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  3. I feel like artificial intelligence devalues our high school senior English class experience and “30 days to a more powerful vocabulary.” I mean now just anybody can use the words ubiquitous or egregious without even trying. What was the purpose?
    Just when I was coming to terms with my last existential crisis EndlessLoop goes AI. …

    Liked by 1 person

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