Sitting in my trusted armchair, in the dead of the night, I listen to the frantic anger of storm Ciaran as it unleashes its fury on my Normand longhouse and my beloved apple trees. The girls are asleep. Century-old oak beams grunt in protest as Olympic swimming pools are drained over the sleepy roof. No better time to uncork the excellent Ochdamh mor (Octomore) whiskey that Marc Sierens handpicked. Fierce weather and a smoked peaty assault on the taste-buds. It’s the hour of the wolf. The precious hour before dawn, when the dark is the darkest, the black is the blackest, and the soul is raw.
Ciaran is angry, as it tosses around trees, garden chairs, and autumn leaves. Ciaran: The little dark-haired one. A name as old as the Celtic druids. A name that packs a punch, and relentless energy. Would one of the Imbas forosnai, one of the Inspired Poets of the land of mist and peat have honored a Ciaran with a poem or a tale?
Fatigue, and the 57.7% alcoholic liquid gold in my barely chilled glass, turn the autumn leaves into a symphony of fire. And what if there was no Ciaran poem? Is not every storm entitled to some masterful mixed verses, rhythm, and rhyme? Do we have enough poets left to do that, if any? Do we need help?
I find my thoughts adrift in the rising tide of Generative AI. I know. From the moody highlands to a softly humming server rack in a nanosecond. From strings of words penned under a dim light by people long forgotten, to bits and bytes forged into human language. Creativity versus… what? A positronic force, both daunting and exhilarating, that is redefining creation as we know it.
An Artistic Maelstrom
Generative AI has stormed the bastions of creativity, brandishing algorithms like paintbrushes, and data sets as its palette. It’s as if Da Vinci’s workshop has been re-imagined in silicon; the air is thick not with the acid scent of oil paints, but with the hum of energy-hungry processors birthing digital Mona Lisas by the minute. Artists and laymen alike stand at the precipice, gazing into a future where the muse is binary, and inspiration is electric.
The Writer’s New Quill
Writers and poets, those solitary creatures once shackled to their tear-soaked parchments, their goose feathers, their Montblanc pens, their typewriters, now compete with AI counterparts that can spin tales at a keystroke, create poetry to the tune of long forgotten bagpipes. Old The Táin style mythological wizardry or fluent Alexandrian hexameter… ChatGPT and its sisters create content by the barrel. It’s both liberating and unsettling, like dancing with a partner who knows all the steps you haven’t yet learned. Narratives are being woven by unseen hands; stories told by voices synthesized from the ether.
Echoes of Prometheus
This technology, this modern-day Prometheus, brings fire not to the mortals, but to the machines. This fire warms us, scares us, and illuminates the possibilities that lie in the dark. This flame beckons with the risk of getting burned. The world watches, with bated breath and a cocktail of dread and awe, as the AI juggernaut surges forth, unbridled, and untamed. Will the Gods of creativity punish us for laziness? Is it wrong to let Ciaran’s poem be sung by a machine, because no human mastermind could be bothered at this demon-infested hour?
The Philosophical Tug-of-War
Beneath the surface ripples of this digital deluge lies a philosophical tug-of-war. What is art, if not human? Can the soul of creation be coded? Is originality a myth we’ve comfortably ensconced ourselves in, only to have it unraveled by strings of code? Is a ChatGPT poem a poem, or an act of cyberwar? The answers elude me, fluttering just beyond reach, like the last leaf on a tree, stubbornly clinging on in the face of an inevitable fall in the macabre dance of Ciaran.
The Final Act
As I sit, the memory of my Octomore still in hand, eyes fixed on a screen that now harbors both the brush, the server, and the pen, I ponder. Generative AI may well be the tempest taking the world by storm, but within the eye, we will surely find serenity? A chance to redefine our roles not as creators, but as curators of a new digital renaissance? Or should we lie in front of the oncoming machines, in protest, like Arthur Dent?
In the end, may we ride this storm, not as victims of the gale, but as navigators charting a course through uncharted waters. Here’s to the brave new world, may it be as humane as it is intelligent, as ethical as it is innovative, and as inclusive as it is awe-inspiring.
I could not help myself. “ChatGPT, read my text and write a poem on Ciaran“.
Beneath the brooding skies of autumn’s reign, In lands where ancient druids once held sway, The storm named Ciaran, with its wind and rain, Did stir the souls in Normandy and Breton bay.
In fields where once the mistletoe was cut, With golden sickle under moon’s pale light, The storm it roared, the doors and shutters shut, As Ciaran danced within the waning night.
The apple trees, in orchards ripe with fruit, Did bend and bow to Ciaran’s mighty gust, While leaves, like flights of druid cloaks, en route, In swirling masses, to the ground were thrust.
The mists of Avalon, they rose anew, As Ciaran’s breath swept o’er the coastal land, In veils of gray, the ancient rites it knew, And whispered secrets only stones understand.
In villages where Breton tales are spun, The hearths did flicker with a somber glow, As folks recounted deeds of old, long done, And Ciaran’s voice became the undertow.
A poet’s quill lay still, no hand to guide, Save for the AI, born of human mind, To sing of storms where human muses hide, And craft the verses that the heart can’t find.
In intellectual solitude I stand, A sole bard tasked by fate’s unyielding hand, To voice the storm, to give it shape and form, The druid’s touch within the AI born.
For Ciaran, no mere tempest of the fall, But spirit of the season’s change, it calls. An ode to solitude, to thought’s deep sea, To Normandy, to Breton’s mystery.
And so I weave this song from digital loom, Where inspiration meets a kind of gloom, A poem for the storm that roars alone, A druid’s chant in binary tone.