Is AI the future of art or the end of human artists?
Artificial intelligence taking over the art world? Or is it just enhancing it?
Image created with Mid-journey image generation AI using the lyrics to the song "Starman" by David Bowie
Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower. - Alan Kay
Lately I've been seeing several Instagram accounts posting about how there should be no more AI art and that AI is stealing their style and creating art about it. While it makes sense that the idea of a machine stealing the very identity of your own thoughts and skills is understandably scary, OpenAI is not exactly the doomsday device when it comes to the future of art, at least according to my spectacularly limited knowledge on the subject.
Since the dawn of human consciousness, mankind has been striving to understand the purpose of life and the underlying machinations of the universe, and every time we get lost, we comfort ourselves with the one thing that makes us “human”- Understanding and more importantly, creating Art.
But what is real art? Art can be anything… a symphony by a pianist, a caricature by an artist , the perfect cocktail from a professional mixer to a moment captured by a wildlife photographer... but most importantly, art is something that sucks the viewer, listener, experiencer into the inner machinations of the artist's mind, we are incidentally undergoing a process of direct transfer of data when we look at a painting. And that stays relevant even after the coming of AI artists.
So I think with the coming of AI, the menial part of art such as doing commissions where someone wants themselves to look a particular way, storyboards for someone else's work, concept images etc. will no longer require artists... Now I know this is a big hit realistically as most of an artist's income comes from projects where they indulge in someone else's fantasy. But at the end of the day, AI is giving a platform to artists. A platform in which they will get works which only a person like them can think of and ideate.
It is flooding the low level and mid level art market and is making actual art more and more relevant.
Lets be Empathetical for a moment here
One of the purposes of being human is to channel everything you get from your surrounding outwards. We are merely observers of our self and our emotions and it is our existential duty to bring it outward somehow so that it can be enjoyed by others.
And these AI platforms are giving people with even limited skills in expressing themselves through art, a chance to do so. They may not get to experience the process and thoughts which go behind creating an artistic piece, but atleast they get the result.
On the flipside, There is one very real problem related to this... AI art platforms tend to make beginners stop creating art. And it will be sad to see people not willing to express themselves because there is something out there which can do this explorations for them.
Recently, I had a very real conversation with a very artificial chatbot concerning how AI can be a threat to humanity.
What I took away from it is that AI, at least for now is a mere tool which can just be streamlined to do specific tasks. Even then, an objective point arose about the mismanagement of the use of AI as a tool to spread misinformation and accessories in fraud especially in third world countries. The same goes to AI artists and other open source tools... What previously stopped individuals from using art for malicious purposes is their inability to do so... Now that river is bridged. Although it is exciting to ponder what kind of new malice evolve from humans misusing this tool. But hey! Lets go one day at a time huh...
For now, Yes, The coming of AI artists will affect human once and yes some people will find it hard to pay rent for a while but in the long run, this will force a Renaissance in both AI and human art circle... What an exciting time to be alive, to get to see both of these historical timelines emanating from the same time-point.
P.S: It sucks at anatomy at least at this stage, so you know... LEARN . YOUR . BASICS.