The Age of Industrialized Plagiarism is Here

Kitanya Harrison
3 min readMar 24, 2023
Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

The explosion in the use and discussion of ChatGPT, Midjourney and similar tools has stormed across an ethical Rubicon, and the breaches that are occurring aren’t getting enough attention, in my opinion. If you’ve been living under a rock, a slew of so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools have been brought online, and have captured the zeitgeist. The programs respond to prompts from users and produce responses that mimic human language and art.

I preface the term AI with "so-called" because these machines do not think. For example, ChatGPT and its competitors are large language models that provide the statistically most likely responses to the questions they are posed. The results can seem impressive for a machine. The prose can even be witty and clever. The images Midjourney and similar programs create are notoriously terrible at drawing hands, but crop the grotesque appendages out, and the programs produce what looks to untrained eyes like high-quality, time-intensive "art." How are these machines at least somewhat convincingly aping human creativity?

The phrase "statistically most likely" is a key breadcrumb on the trail. Statistically most likely compared to what? Let’s phrase the question another way: If I ask ChatGPT to write me a speech in the oratory style of Barack Obama and it provides a close approximation, what were the…

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Kitanya Harrison

Upcoming essay collection: WELCOME TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: NOTES ON COLLAPSE FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC | Rep: Deirdre Mullane