In an in-depth exploration of the AI revolution, Maclean’s, named Best News & Business Magazine at the 2023 National Magazine Awards, is releasing today its November AI-themed issue with a cover generated entirely by AI–the first magazine in Canada to do so.
The striking cover features an image generated by the AI software Imagine. Like other AI image-making tools including DALL-E and Midjourney, Imagine takes prompts from users and through its knowledge of hundreds of millions of images across the centuries, outputs its own new images.
Maclean’s art director Anna Minzhulina–an artist herself and a firm believer in the power of human-made art–was surprised by how much she enjoyed the process, which involved experimenting with multiple AI design programs, prompts and cultural references.
“I find the final result haunting and creepy,” says editor-in-chief Sarah Fulford. “The robot holds the skull tenderly, as if it has complex emotions about being humanity’s overlord. Does AI have feelings? Of course not. But sometimes it feels that way. And that’s the central theme of this issue: what will it mean to live in an AI-powered world that blurs computer-generated output and human thought and creativity?”
The November issue features essays by 14 Canadian thinkers on how AI will change everything:
- Canada has been the spawning ground for the most important innovation of the 21st century by author and columnist Stephen Marche
- We’ll develop new drugs in months, not decades by Jonathan Stokes, assistant professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University
- AI-related scams will proliferate by Jeff Clune, associate professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia and Canada CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute
- The university essay will die out by Rahul Kumar, assistant professor of educational studies at Brock University
- Political deepfakes will spread confusion and disinformation by Robert W. Gehl, associate professor of communication and media studies at York University and Ontario Research Chair in Digital Governance for Social Justice
- AI will transform the labour market by Joel Blit, associate professor of economics at the University of Waterloo
- Autonomous weapons will threaten humanity by Yoshua Bengio, professor of computer science at University of Montreal
- Machines will read our minds by Yalda Mohsenzadeh, professor of computer science at Western University
- Machines will make our food tastier and healthier by Nestor Gomez, chief technology officer at the Canadian Food Innovation Network
- Personalized, preventive medicine is on its way by Roxana Sultan, chief data officer at the Vector Institute
- Robots will help cure loneliness by Amir Shabani, assistant professor of computing at the University of the Fraser Valley
- Hackers will use AI to orchestrate worldwide cyberattacks by Deepa Kundur, chair of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto
- Studios will steal artists’ faces and voices by Jim Parker, professor of computer science and art at the University of Calgary
- The sexbots are coming by Neil McArthur, professor of philosophy and ethics at the University of Manitoba
- AI avatars will be the new customer service reps by Jackie C.K. Cheung
The illustrations that accompany the essays were also generated by Imagine, each based on a prompt inspired by the idea the author lays out in its writing.
“Every facet of business and society is already seeing the impacts of AI,” says Fulford. “We wanted to cover the issue not only by our storytelling, but by experimenting with the technology itself. As with the predictions expressed across the essays, we are equally chilled and inspired by what will come next.”
To read the special AI issue, pick if up on newsstands now or you can access the digital articles on macleans.ca.