Inbreeding refers to genomic corruption when members of a population reproduce with other members who are too genetically similar
In the world of generative AI, a similar problem exists, potentially threatening the long-term effectiveness of AI systems and the diversity of human culture.
But as the internet gets flooded with AI-generated artifacts, there is a significant risk that new AI systems will train on datasets that include large quantities of AI-created content
there is the potential degradation of gen AI systems, as inbreeding reduces their ability to accurately represent human language, culture and artifacts.
there is the distortion of human culture by inbred AI systems that increasingly introduce “deformities” into our cultural gene pool that don’t actually represent our collective sensibilities
On the first issue, recent studies suggest that generative inbreeding could break AI systems, causing them to produce worse and worse artifacts over time, like making a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy. This is sometimes referred to as “model collapse” due to “data poisoning,
One potential solution to inbreeding is the use of AI systems designed to distinguish generative content from human content.
Even if we solve the inbreeding problem, I fear widespread reliance on AI could be stifling to human culture. That’s because gen AI systems are explicitly trained to emulate the style and content of the past, introducing a strong backward-looking bias.
I know there are those who argue that human artists are also influenced by prior works, but human creators bring their own sensibilities and experiences to the process, thoughtfully creating new cultural directions.
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