I have been thinking lately about the impact of generative AI on the future of the internet. One aspect I am particularly intrigued about is how our world of media and entertainment will look like with AI. If you have been reading the articles of my partner Eze on generative AI (here, here or here), you know how easy it is to create content these days, from text to images to video. No camera needed – every pixel is created by the AI and is artificial. Tips and tricks of how to use ChatGPT to create catchy headlines and social media posts are popping up in lots of places.
When everyone can write content, create images from text, generate code or videos, it opens up a range of possibilities for creating visual content. People will be able to quickly and easily produce highly detailed graphics, illustrations, and other types of visuals, saving time and effort that would otherwise be spent creating visuals from scratch. I recommend you check out what people are creating using Midjourney on discord, see below for an example.
The content explosion fueled by generative AI is just beginning. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, we can expect to see even higher quality and formats. From interactive stories to entire slide decks or even games and eventually movies. For example, our portfolio company Hour One allows you to create videos straight from text featuring virtual presenters, driving the cost of video creation down.
The long term impact could erode trust and turn us into cynical human beings
There are plentiful advantages to list here, chiefly among them the potential to increase our productivity by 10x or more. It’s a bit like every worker all of a sudden is getting a “super power”, which will hopefully be deflationary (as productivity increases usually are) and also help mostly western societies with the threat of shrinking populations. Maybe this jump in productivity is also going to reignite the creator economy. Making a living as a creator is really tough and only very few can actually earn a living from their digital tradecraft. Daily content creation is exhausting, as it takes up a lot of time and other resources. A recent report by Convertik showed that 61% of creators surveyed experienced burn-out syndromes over the past year. Generative technologies are going to significantly reduce the time and cost of creating content and hopefully enable more creators to earn a living.
That said, when looking ahead 5-10 years I also see tremendous challenges that Gen AI will create, especially in our media and entertainment driven world. In the near-term we will have to figure out copyright, proper accreditation and IP issues. Trust in the media is already at an all time low. But with the rise of deep fake technology this trend will only grow stronger. Troll farms are going to have a field day with this technology. This is already a problem today, but nothing compared to what is coming. Think ahead 10 years and it’s easy to imagine a world where most of the images and videos are not real. That will become the default assumption. Everything is fake.
Will the evolution of Gen AI trigger the turning point for blockchain technology?
How will we recognize reality and rebuild trust in this world? Sure, in-person meetings and personal relationships will become more important again. But that is not very scalable. One potential answer could be blockchain.
In the most simplest terms, blockchain technology offers the opportunity to build a new internet. An internet that is trustless, transparent, safe, decentralized and cheaper way to transfer value from A to B. Blockchain can help us verify what’s real and what is fake in the future.
Real pictures and videos will be shot and immediately stored on the blockchain, including by whom, when and where. If these images are shared on social media, everyone will be able to verify the source. News organizations should think about this asap, as they have a lot to benefit from regaining the public’s trust – in a world where content is fake, cheap and plentiful, people will value real and thoughtful information at a premium (I really hope so).
Zero knowledge proofs can be used to authenticate the identity of users on a blockchain network without revealing a lot of personal information, allowing for secure and private transactions. And blockchain technology can also help clarify ownership and governance if done right.
Web3 is at a low-point right now, it’s the wild-wild-west. But the evolution of Gen AI might bring blockchain back to the forefront to solve some of the biggest challenges of our future. If you are a founder thinking about how Gen AI will change our digital future and have ideas, we would love to hear from you!