ChatGPT, Copilot, Dall-E & Co.: from innovation to replication

Wolf Garbe
2 min readDec 18, 2022


Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

Yes, it is impressive, and it’s fun to play. But it comes at a price, we all have to pay in the long run.

Creative jobs like writers, graphic designer, and developers are dramatically changing. It is like going from an open-question exam to a multiple-choice test.

Instead of creating and innovating we are reduced to selecting and verificating proposed preexisting answers & solutions.

Technology seduces us to trade creativity for speed and convenience — the degrees of freedom, creativity, and innovation in our mental universe are shrinking.

Short-term productivity increases, but in the long term, the intellectual capacity of humankind will be harmed, accelerating the speed we are making ourselves dispensable. The intellectual challenges to deal with large degrees of freedom, and complexity, with comprehension and to come up with original solutions are removedpreventing true innovation.

There is no (artificial) intelligence involved — ChatGPT, Copilot, Dall-e & co are merely based on big data, similarity matching, and copy & paste.
There is no understanding, abstraction, reasoning, innovation, and creation — just replication, combination and variation. It amplifies common wisdom, but innovation is spurred from challenging it. We don’t paint the picture anymore ourselves — we just accept one proposed by a copyist.

The fascination of ChatGPT and alike is not their (presumed but not existing) intelligence, but that a software service without any intelligence sounds much smarter than what 90% of people produce 90% of the time. This is unsettlingly shaking the foundations of our self-conception of humankind as crown of creation. Humankind disappoints more, than AI currently impresses.

As productivity spikes — we will be flooded with derivative work.
The few new original ideas will be buried by this flood, taking away both the incentive for time-consuming deep thinking and original creativity and the chance to spot the few gems in an ocean of shallow content. Derivative works of derivative works of unknown origin, credibility and purpose.

Of course, the creation of ChatGPT, Copilot, Dall-e is awe inspiring creative — and it spurred a wave of ideas how to use and integrate it. But still, there is a risk that comes with convenience food — especially for the brain.

Don’t become a passive consumer of pre-processed solutions — stay creative, think out of the box, challenge conventional wisdom!