Thought as a Commodity

Let's explore an intriguing concept: thought as a commodity. This idea is especially relevant given the current buzz around AI, art, and music. So, where does the creation process truly begin? Is it with the initial thought, or somewhere else?
There are two types of creation: digital and analog. Digital creations, like MP3s and CDs, are clear and precise but often lack the warmth and imperfections of analog formats, like vinyl. Personally, I prefer vinyl, but I do appreciate the convenience of digital.
When it comes to art, a digital representation—whether digitized from a hand-crafted piece or created entirely by AI—is not the same as the physical artwork. Behind every AI-generated piece is a human with an idea. So, what is the true source of creation? I recently visited the Dali Museum, where the collection is arranged chronologically. The early pieces resembled works by other artists, with glimpses of what would become Dali's unique style. There is a clear point where “Dali” emerged, and his style became unmistakable. He was experimenting with various influences before developing his distinct style.  Would you consider the pieces he did that resembled others not his?  
We live in a world with three realms: physical, digital, and thought. Each realm produces different kinds of creations. If you believe, as I do, that thought is primary, then how you channel that thought—into the digital or physical world—determines the nature of the product.
Creating music is easier than ever thanks to algorithms. As a guitar player with a collection of instruments, I see my kids using loop programs and thinking they're creating music. While I might disagree, this reflects a shift that started with sampling in the '90s. This is the next level. I believe the decline in live instrument playing and music learning is a direct result of digital technologies. Why spend time and effort to learn an instrument when you can just find a loop or sample? It's unfortunate because that discipline is crucial for growth. However, once you’ve developed those skills, there’s nothing wrong with using technology to save time.
So, what's the takeaway? You can either completely avoid digital (a digital detox) or find a way to coexist with it. There are intellectual property issues to consider, but this is a gray area. The real question is whether technology is making life better or worse. Right now, it seems to be improving things.
In the end, it comes down to perspective. All artists borrow, consciously or unconsciously. The key is deciding whether the source of creation is the original thought, the detailed human input guiding AI, or the final digital product. This isn't an argument—just food for thought. Make your own decision.

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