Recently, there has been a considerable debate on the role of Artificial Intelligence in the art world. In films, digital paintings, and even extending to written works. Resources like chatGPT or paid applications that create stylized pieces of artwork based on a picture submitted by the buyer have gone viral and many artists have taken notice.
There is a new Tiktok, YouTube, and Instagram niche that some creators have adopted, where they place the face of a famous person on top of their body in order to appear to be them and say and do things that the artist has never said before. A very popular example of this was actually done and promoted with the model, Paris Hilton, and to many, the quality of the artwork is so well done, that they perceived it to be real, and this can be either really dangerous or really exciting depending on what side of the argument you fall on.
There are sites created with the same idea in mind, but it puts famous people onto sex worker’s body to simulate them doing things they have never consented too. Artworks formulated by AI even have remnants of the original artist signatures on them, which leads people to think its a crime against the artist because they have no say in the use of their style, and they get no money out of it, even though for them, to create an artwork of significant quality could take them up to years.
Mnay artists have actually submitted a class action lawsuit against creators of these systems because they use their art without the consent of the artist. In literal terms the artwork that AI systems create are just mimics and are greatly influenced by the thousands of artist that came before it, and isn’t this just what art is? All artist take influence from those who came before, so theoretically you can make the argument that these artist suing for the lack of recognition should be sued by the artist that influenced them to create their art, and its a slippery slope when you actually think about it.
It would be best if artist saw these resources as what they where intended for… resources! I just imagine what extremely talented artist could do if they collaborated with these systems, and also if it is so easy to create an image of an artwork, wouldn’t it cause original pieces to increase in value because of how rare they would become. In the end, art is about sharing and interacting with those around us through all the senses, and there is no machine that has feelings. It can mimic emotions, but only a human can give the artwork the life and significance that it intends to portray.
2 thoughts on “The Age of AI Art”
At a surface level, I agree with the argument that all art is just the result of the influence of all other art a person has seen in their life, but I don’t think this is exactly comparable to what an AI art tool does. AI are not people; they do not take inspiration from art, but instead strip and consume information to learn what ‘makes’ art appealing. This is a completely different thing and it is extremely vulnerable to bad-faith actors. We cannot blame an AI for stealing artists’ work, of course, as AI are not human and have neither rights nor responsibilities. But we CAN blame the individuals who steal art to feed to these machines. AI art as it currently exists does not in my opinion deserve to be seen as “art”, as it is not created from any human or animal inspiration, skill, labor, or emotion. Imho. Your argument about how artists could see such tools as a resource could work in theory, as many extremely skilled artists make use of complex tools like photoshop. I just think if there’s a way for humans to use a technology to do bad things, they absolutely will, because that’s kind of what humans historically do.
I agree with the ending statement that AI can “mimic emotions”, but only people can truly give the piece the meaning It sets out to portray. From my understanding, AI can create pretty much any famous artist’s artwork or more work in their style in minutes, but the AI itself does not understand what and why it is creating. In the same way that DeepBlue managed to beat the best Go player in the world without actually knowing what Go is and why they are playing. It only knows all the possible moves, in order to achieve its goal: winning. When AI make art, they make art with the goal of completing a piece. But when humans make art, we have much more layers and diversity to our motivation and expression, which will always remain unrivaled, at least until AI develops consciousness and chooses to take up art.