Call me a Luddite, but not on your nelly.
I don't think AI could ever replace or compete with human artists because it lacks the most important aspect of an artist - their vision - which requires a unique personality and soul.
Within the VFX film world AI is being used quite extensively in 'concept' art. Some companies have an entire department dedicated to it as it may point the way to a different approach to filmmaking - I'm talking the sci-fi , fantasy world more than yer basic drama obviously. Maybe even taking over the process at some juncture.It requires a different skill set -of course, need art direction but execution maybe a different story.
We get nervous when we see how well AI compiles art at a moments notice but I always think that it requires human input to do so. Machine learning is only as good as the designer and while we have very impressive results so far, we feed the machine and there is a limit to its abilities. Advancement and overtaking real artists, oddly enough, requires more artists.
Also, since we are the consumers of what they produce, while we may be entertained for a time, we often pine for the real thing. We have so many digital resources and people still love the smell and feel of pages. The promise of obsolescence is rarely fulfilled. There will alway be (in the near term) something off kilter about AI, something that’s a clever but not complete approximation since it’s returning an image of ourselves we’ve fed to it.
As an artform- ai generated art is like wallpaper or more akin to ambient music generators today. Tomorrow it could be ground breaking building “worlds”
Thank you Victoria for the opportunity to touch this theme. We'll make of it the theme of our next article this Tuesday. We hope you don't mind to see your article referred there. It will be the starting point of the conversation.
The main point we have to address is how much central are these new technologies to the choices we are doing in our artistic work. Senses over Reason! And here we have the title. Just like that. Will the machine be able to come up with such titles. Maybe but not with the emotions and feelings and perceptions we are getting at this exact moment. It will always be a very cold and sterile "sEnSeS oVeR rEaSoN" full of 0000s and 11111s. Is art reduced to 0s and 1s because we know reasoned logic is since a very long time.
The short answer is hell no. Although what is being produced by AI is provocative, there is a universally chilly, tech feel about it. It could insert itself into the lexicon of art but won’t take it over. There’s no substitute for thickly applied paint creating an energetic scene. Human art includes mistakes, which either move the maker in another direction or wind up the genius part of a piece. Don’t get me started on what’s ‘good’ art. That seems to be left up to grand entities with a need to sustain premium marketable reputations and monster bank accounts.
Thanks! Having a great time with stablediffusion. I've been feeding it sets of Mayan glyphs such as "Lord Shield Jaguar with the Fish-Capture Glyph." No worse than most scientific interpretations. And a lot more entertaining.
Yikes! I have to say I haven't ever given AI any real thought. I'll be looking out for it now. I'm not sure what I think. Like Billie says there's good and bad, and that's just the reality of our life, with everything.
I LOVE the project by Mario Klingemann you shared, the way he uses words and phrases generated by his AI dataset to see how we respond. We are so programmed to make meaning from what we're given. I like how he describes it as fortune telling. And the sound of the board as it shuffles, takes me right back to railway stations, waiting for informatino to come to you. Love it. Wonderful stuff. I'm going to be thinking about this post all day I can tell. So much to think about, thanks Victoria
If things weren't already complicated enough! This article makes me fear slightly how reliant we may have become on AI, as you say, without our even being aware of it. How can we know how much the powers-that-be base their propaganda on AI information, and therefore how it may be trickling down into our individual decision-making? Perhaps we're becoming part-robot at the same time as we're becoming part-plastic! I think there's enough of us out here battling, though, to keep humanity human and as Jeffrey mentioned once you unplug the machine it dies. So once again it's down to individual choice (which I'm not sure exists in bigger institutions) and how much we're each willing to sacrifice ourselves to convenience, shunning responsibility, discarding self-consciousness etc. The same millennia-old battles for we still haven't found resolution. AI is just another thing to add to the already 'delightful' mix.
Juts wanted to add, as an artist I don't feel threatened because my work is completely analog and much of it is the process of preparing natural materials, cutting paper, assembling, the smell, the feel, etc. So much of the art world is not remotely touched by this fad.
I don't believe for a second AI will ever reach the human levels of reflection and creativity. To believe that you'd have to have an overly simplistic mechanistic view of the world and no insight at all into the psyche (sadly such people exist). The machines would have to develop a consciousness first, and a rich ferment of feelings and emotions to work from, and then the term AI would no longer apply, we'd have a different problem on our hands!
This whole business is still a huge problem for the livelihood of many, and also a threat in a more insidious fake news kind of way – the idea the general public, and powers that be, may internalise the belief that creativity is nothing more than what AI is doing sends a chill down my spine.
2 considerations on something I've been thinking about for a while now.
Imho the greatest impact of AI will be felt in pop culture, where mass production catering to the common denominator is key. Feed enough to the machine, and it will reproduce based on what you fed it.
Second, an AI is a machine, for the time being without consciousness, so in terms of "developing as an artist" it has a flat curve. An artist knows stages in his/her/its development, and isn't that what (also) triggers our interest?
The day AI develops a consciousness it's no longer an AI, but we're still not there yet. Not that I believe that human souls are enlightened by a divine spark or so which is missing in AI. AI is "perfect", while humans are flawed (as machines that think) and that might be our greatest trump card in the creation of art, which comes forth from our human drive, based on our flawed existence.
Anyway, a nice book on the topic imho is T-minus AI by Michael Kanaan.
In answer to the question, I see human thought as fuel for algorithms, so I don’t see a future where humans are completely absent from art (unless we are extinct)
I’ve been following a London based artist who is using Ai generated images on Instagram, she’s doing some pieces around childbirth /maternal experiences that caught my eye. I love the caption with this one which also highlights how ‘flippin slippery’ human nuance and language is to the digital world.
Another perspective I have is from my career in analytics and AI and working with teams of coders (who are data artists in their own right). Ai is wrapped by human experience, when we enter key words into an Ai tool /algorithm, a human has thought about the purpose, direction and output of that process. There are also limitations that developers have to sit with when accessing personal and commercial data sets, but the lines feel blurred here under the artistic banner and the way images are displayed front and centre in our digital landscape rather than behind the scenes in a database.
I don’t worry that Ai will take autonomy and creative thought from our world, im excited for the possibilities, how digital aided art can be used by more people to express ideas, from an accessibility perspective ... now that’s pretty awesome.
I think the worries I have lend themselves to the privacy and ethics of how the data has been scraped, and how individual artists are paid (more often not/not credited) for that contribution.
More info here https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2022/09/have-ai-image-generators-assimilated-your-art-new-tool-lets-you-check/
Good article here. I disagree with one sentence. That of (para) “…when we stop being interested in … etc….then we won’t need artists”. IMO, that is exactly when we DO need artists.
The populace is influenced by governments, corporations, advertising, and literally everything else. Perhaps graphic illustrators and product photographers and most copywriters will be gone, but a work of art from the artist can distract many people from their slumbering lives to help us think of life differently.
In addition, most of what is written here has many of us associating “art” with 2D work. Painting, graphic design, drawing and photography. AI will learn to replicate and interpret words and images and spit them out into a new image. But an ‘image’ isn’t art. The original can be art. The copies are reproductions. Art is made by humans. The origin of ‘art’ refers to ‘skill’. An action or product made by a human being that is both: 1) skillful and 2) expressive is considered art. Many artists differ with me on this. I am old school, and I prefer to use the word from it’s original meaning.
Humans program computers, and computers can rewrite the software as it learns new pieces of information. They are like human beings in this regard. But let us remember that when the software gathers it’s data to begin making the art, how does it make:
• It’s mark?
• The sound? The notes of music?
• Print the image?
• Use the 3D printer?
Artists have been using AI. But AI needs the human. Turn off, unplug, delete files, remove software. Oh! Where did the AI go? When we don’t give the AI any power, there is no AI. There is no art.