Clickbait or creativity? The art world wrestles with AI

By Joseph BOYLE

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There are plenty of fans of tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and DALL-E 2 who have proclaimed this as the democratization of art.

Like with previous waves of automation, the craftsmanship and skill is being removed from the equation.

Hopefully what is being left is a spark of creativity.

A standout practitioner, said Spratt, is German artist Mario Klingemann whose "Hyperdimensional Attraction Series, Bestiary" is a high point of the genre.

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Well, it’s not art at all, those pictures are only the result of complex mathematical calculations. The art is somewhere else, in the programming of those AI systems. Now one could think, the linguistic user inputs, the commands forcing the AI to produce the picture, that’s now some kind of art. No, not even that. Because the AI systems could produce those commands also by themselves, shuffling billions of billions of word instructions for picture creation, so that any one day in the future also your intended and described picture would be produced automatically. So it’s at maximum somehow skilled programming, which one can call an art or gifted ability, although also that could be made by not so nice or well-structured programming code lines of course , but surely everything else indeed isn’t art in the usual and common meaning of creativity.

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As someone who has terrible hand eye coordination, I can’t draw to save my life. Some of the things I’ve been able to generate messing with the AI services out there are fun but definitely are missing that extra specific thing(s) that make art unique and interesting.

I see why so many actual artists are annoyed or concerned. But for anyone who values the art or brand they want to create or have then human is the only way to go.

AI art has a weird limit and sure it will get better and better but I think those visual limits will get replaced by more mental ones nagging us something is odd about the picture

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People tend to overlook that this happened before, in the 1800s, by means of a newfangled technology called "photography". All of a sudden there was virtually no need anymore for realistic representation in paintings, one could simply take a photo. Many artists called it "banalization of art" and saw it as an imitation of "real art". All the while other artists realized that they couldn't compete with technology and really didn't have to, and moved to different styles. Romanticism and Neoclassism gave way to Impressionism, Expressionism or Modernism. Not because artists wanted to, but they were forced to, and it turned out to be a blessing for new art forms.

AI will have the same effect: Artists will need to rethink their position, and they will adapt and develop new ways to express themselves.

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