By Mikayla Silcox
Elm Staff Writer
Since the 2015 creation of DreamDeep by Google, artificial intelligence artwork has become more present on social media. According to Statistica, there are over 20 AI art websites that allow users to take art into their hands with a simple concept and blurb of text.
In 2018, Christie’s auction house sold an AI art piece “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy,” for $432,500: an early indication toward how people would continue to regard AI art with the same status of physical art.
Artificial intelligence art is a cheap way for content creators and businesses to produce content without having to commission or credit artists for designs like thumbnails.
The artificial intelligence system takes from collective works of living and dead artists, so some artists are not even aware of the theft of their works.
Artificial intelligence art is not comparable to human-made art, backed with stories and emotions, but the real threat is the lack of compensation towards ill-credited artists.
Communication and Media Studies Professor Stephanie Brown noted that artists already struggle with making money in their industry, so to further take from that may restrict careers.
“We also have defunded arts to the point that artists have very few resources or opportunities to create” Professor Brown said.
AI creations are uncanny in multiple ways, and hopefully this realization will soon start to discredit this technology as art.
Usually, AI art takes from preexisting art, meaning a chunk of the art derives from historical and Eurocentric paintings. While the pieces may come off as unique, it lacks any diversity.
Luckily for artists, AI art lacks knowledge and emotion, incomparable to human creations.
“There’s a reason AI tends to generate emotionless faces and messed up hands – they’re the most expressive parts of the body, so of course those are the results a robot unfamiliar with the complexity of faces/hands are going to produce,” senior and digital artist Amara Sorosiak said.
AI art has the potential to overshadow creative careers. However, through some reformation of giving credit to inspired artists where due and training AI to latch onto more diverse pieces for inspiration, it could serve as a useful tool for creative endeavors.
“Seeing AI art as a potential tool in this way, drawing directly from an individual’s personal style to speed up and help the artistic process, makes it useful and meaningful enough to fight for its continuation,” sophomore and art major Rebekah McCreary said.
McCreary sees AI art as not something to fight, but embrace and use intentionally. She said that AI art could help creative minds – for example, small creators of comic stories who cannot afford the full extent of time and labor attributed to their craft.
Like Sorosiak, McCreary feels that human-made, storytelling, and emotional art is irreplaceable, and while the impending threat of technology may seem dire, there is no real need to fear for the future of art.
“Rather than hating on the technology or the people behind it, we need to recognize that it’s a powerful tool and use it for good so we can all move forward,” game designer Jason Allen said in a CNN article.
AI art needs regulations and control to aid the artists that the work is inspired by, but other than that concern, AI art is not the beginning of the end of creative human expression.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo Caption: Artificial intelligence (AI) art sometimes attempts to replicate the style of famous artists; for example, this AI portrait of Italian actress Ornella Muti mirrors Raphael’s style.