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Let’s Chat (GPT) about the Performing Arts

These days, it’s hard to have a conversation about technology without stumbling upon the words ‘ChatGPT’. But this new open-source AI tool that produces text in human-like, conversational language has elicited mixed responses and questions across various industries: does ChatGPT threaten to replace human skill and creativity? Or can it be used as a supportive tool that handles specific tasks, leaving the human mind to invest in more creative work?

More specifically, what could be the impacts of ChatGPT on the performing arts?

The creative process

While it may be contentious, ChatGPT can support the creative process to a certain extent, helping artists get past the notorious ‘writer’s block’ during the initial phases of creation. For instance, a songwriter could use the AI tool to spark ideas for a composition. This could get them to think in a certain direction, which could then become a starting point for their creative work.

In the performing arts, ChatGPT could be used to generate ideas for scripts and help with character development. It can also be used for improvisational prompts, such as lines of dialogue or ideas on shaping a character. Performing artists can also use these prompts to fuel their creativity and develop new ideas for their performances.

Audience engagement

ChatGPT could have interesting implications for fundamental aspects surrounding audience engagement. With its natural human language, ChatGPT could help artists and arts professionals build audience engagement on various platforms, by responding to questions and comments in a personalized manner to engage with fans at a large scale. It could also be used to help in writing captions for social media and to create other types of promotional content, allowing artists to focus on more strategic development goals.

Performance experience

With its ability to disseminate a certain degree of knowledge about the performing arts, the AI chatbot could also make for more futuristic and interactive performing arts festivals that merge the ‘festival’ experience with the ‘museum’ experience. After watching a particularly mesmerizing Kathakali performance, for instance, audience members could interact with ChatGPT at a ‘technology space’ set up at the festival, to learn more about the dance form in an offbeat and engaging way. Such innovations could greatly add to the overall audience experience at arts festivals.

Collaborations across borders

ChatGPT could help performing artists communicate with fellow artists who speak different languages. This is particularly useful when artists explore international collaborations, and for touring performers who need to connect with local communities in different countries.

Although ChatGPT opens up exciting possibilities for the performing arts, it’s also important to acknowledge the flaws of the AI chatbot. ChatGPT has been known to sometimes generate biased answers that could have negative consequences. It has also been accused of conveying inaccurate facts in an extremely logical, convincing way, which could certainly have dangerous results. While it is evolving, as it currently stands, ChatGPT isn’t always reliable.

So, like any other piece of technology, the outcome of ChatGPT in our lives will eventually depend on how we use it, and how the information is filtered through the human mind. In the end, when it comes to the arts, nothing can truly replace human authenticity, genuine emotion and a sensitive perception.

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