AI Technology Prevents Creativity

Beautiful fantasy landscape  that was generated by AI. Images are becoming more frequent in our day to day lifes.

Beautiful fantasy landscape that was generated by AI. Images are becoming more frequent in our day to day lifes.

Artificial intelligence is the use of computers and machines to demonstrate intelligence. For example, speech recognition, translation, mapping inputs, and other various tasks. However, recently there has been a boom of AI that has exceeded everything it was before: combining art made by real people to create its own. How has this advancement changed how people create art? And how have artists needed to adapt?

I won, and I didn’t break any rules.

— Jason Allen

In early September of 2022, Colorado held its annual State Fair art competition, where an artist can submit their art for the chance to win a prize. This can vary from sculptures to paintings, and apparently AI generated art as well. The winner of this competition was none other than Jason M. Allen, who used Midjourney, a program that turns text into hyper-realistic art. This upset artists who also participated in the competition and accused Allen of cheating.

Because Jason M. Allen took the grand prize with ease, artists soon realized they were faced with a new challenge in their career: who would want to pay or commission for their artwork when anyone can simply type in a few words and receive masterpieces in return?

Many artists complained that the AI art generator was plagiarizing other artists because of the algorithm. The algorithm starts by reading the words you input, combines images and art that are related to the words imputed, and creates a piece of art. Although taking inspiration from artists is common, a computer who copies and pastes images together would not be considered inspiration, especially towards hard-working artists.

These AIs will take art from artists without permission. For example, Greg Rutkowski, a fantasy landscape artist well known for his illustrations in Sony’s Horizon Forbidden West, Ubisofts’ Anno, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering. His art has been heavily recognized in AI generated art, especially on Stable Diffusion, an open-sourced generator. This made Rutkowski rightfully upset, as strangers from the internet claim art that is suspiciously close to his own with no credit.

There are, however, artists who are ok with this, saying how it’s no different than photoshop. They claim that there is an element of creativity when coming up with a prompt to create the art. AI can also present an opportunity to those without the artistic talent to express themselves in ways like never before.

Although the camera is known as “art’s most mortal enemy” according to Charles Baudelaire, what can AI generated art be compared to? Will the careers of traditional artists be ruined in the future?