I have some good news for artists. There are some interesting and genuinely useful things that Generative AI art can do for a website developer today, and they will prove to be deeply empowering for artists. This may seem countintertuitive, but I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Many of us have lately been too focused on the immediate threat posed by generative AIs to their livelihood, but this time of rapid change may be one of the best things - economically - that has ever happened to the artist caste (and perhaps for everyone else as well). Let me explain how.
For just over a decade, I’ve been working entirely remotely. Some key personal benefits have been the lack of an hour-long drive to the office and back, plenty of cost savings due to that lack of a commute, reduced distractions, and an improved work-life balance. I’ve worked with colleagues and clients from across the world, exposing me to diverse perspectives and opportunities for professional growth.
For the majority of that time, one thing has been missing in implementing remote work: those key watercooler moments that spark creative ideas and solutions to problems. But no longer.
As marvelous as some of the images generated by the current crop of Stable Diffusion Generative AI models may be, there are subjects that it cannot render well. In this post, I will be visiting some of the nightmare fuel that Stable Diffusion can inadvertently produce. Specifically, I will be examining its inability to comprehend and generate bodies, heads, and hands. These are things that still need authorship by a human artist (at least for now).
ChatGPT, Dall-e2, and Midjourney (and ilk) are having a moment. Their user growth is explosive, news coverage is fawning, mind share is off the charts. Their generated text and images are everywhere. There is no doubt that the Stable Diffusion Generative AI models that underpin these systems are a powerful tool for communication. But this efflorescence of Generative AI models trained on large datasets has also led to at least one interesting orthogonal experience as well. I refer to the special evolution of the hyper-modern and fascinating “generative genie” shared user experience in Midjourney.
Building a good new agile team for a software development project requires more than just finding the right skills for a cross-functional team; it also needs governance, security, and an immune response cycle to maintain the wellness of team dynamics over time. What are the vulnerabilities for working teams, and how should you structure agile teams from the outset to promote and persist their healthy operation, and allow them to thrive over time?
The software team; that diverse mix of personalities, knowledge, skills, and experiences, is at the center of every project. It’s the stuff that makes your project tick. It’s more important than a great requirements document, more important than a perfect software architecture, and more important than funding. Well… maybe not that last one, but without an effective team, you probably won’t be able to deliver on the vision that got you the funding in the first place.
Agile methodology was largely organized as a reaction to the perceived disadvantages of the Waterfall model of project management, and the various kinds of impact (personal, professional) it had on software developers. But the landscape at the time was complicated, and the reaction has been an overreaction. Agile software development is really great, and it has become a necessary component for the industry, and we write about it a great deal here on this blog. But there is more to be said about the systems that came before, and the ways they might be blended with agile, the New Kid on the Block, to achieve even greater things.
The role of the Architect in an agile delivery group is a crucial one that is often misunderstood, with its importance understated. But architecture is critical to the success of any software project, and even more so in an Agile software team, as the Architect has additional key roles there.
The current crop of generative AI (ChatGPT, Dall-e 2, etc) may be a blessing for individuals, but they could prove a pestilence for our civilization in the short term. For every door they open, it seems to me they also threaten to wipe away whole towns of visual artists and copywriters. And as consumers of information, we are doomed to be overwhelmed, our attention span drowned in torrents of content. Our eyes and minds will be overfull. Our time will be drained away by too much being said too well, and sharing platforms that monopolize our attention too well.
There are many software systems that can help your business grow and succeed; many of these have undergone capitalization and become well-known Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, while some are open source software systems you can freely download, modify and host yourself. It is increasingly rare to commission and run software systems built to your specifications by software artisans. You might be asking yourself whether to pay the subscription costs for a SaaS product, or if you’re better off putting in some development and deployment work to host and support your own in-house systems. Well, there is a secret benefit to using SaaS solutions that makes it more appealing for nearly any use case, with one glaring exception where it makes more sense to run your own servers.