Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Poised to Replace Artists?

THE RISE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Replace Artists? Since Steven Spielberg first introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI), its rise […]

THE RISE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Replace Artists? Since Steven Spielberg first introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI), its rise has gained momentum and exploded all over the world.

From Siri to Alexa, AI is leading the way to tectonic changes in how we produce goods and services on a scale never seen before since the Industrial Revolution.

Not only has AI become a critical component of the business industry, but it has also added a lot to the world of art and entertainment.

While AI has undoubtedly added a lot of enrichment to our personal lives, there is a question that often tends to pop up in regards to the use of this technology in art: is AI poised to replace artists soon? Should artists worry about this technology?

People often sensationalize the actual impact that AI has in reality but one can reason that it may be an actual threat to artists. Why is that? Let’s take a look at the events at play to have AI poised to replace artists:

AI with young man in the night

MACHINE LEARNING IN AI ART

Machine learning in AI art took off in 2014 after the introduction of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). GANs consist of two architectural networks playing a tug-of-war between generating data and discriminating the output of the data. This machine learning approach gives GANs the ability to create a new image.

How does this machine learning work? The GANs generator arm creates a new image from multiple images given to it by developers. Next, the discriminator’s arm tries to find differences between the human-made and generator-made images.

Machine Deep learning algorithms, Artificial intelligence, AI, Automation and modern technology in business as concept.

The generator tries to fool the discriminator into thinking the image is an original rather than a synthetically made fake. The most famous image using AI technology in the art world came when Christie’s sold a portrait entitled, ‘Portrait of Edmond de Belamy’.

In 2015, Google wanted to push the technology further with its own DeepDream software. DeepDream uses a convolutional neural network to identify image patterns to produce its art images. However, GANs capacity is greater because it mimics what it learns and creates new dramatic images, unlike DeepDream.

HOW DOES AI ARTWORK?

AI artworks by feeding input files of images already created by other artists for the algorithm to register. Then it creates output files to produce a new image. It’s up to the artist to choose pre-curated images and tweak the inputs to make the outputs more visually appealing.

The artist keeps most of the art-making control because of the ability to choose which images to use in the output, post curation phase.

Recent technology has moved a step further and even allows people to use text prompts to create AI-generated art and images. Take the infamous DALL-E platform, for example. It is a GPT-3 trained program that allows users to put in some text descriptions as input and receive pictorial output.

AI, Artificial Intelligence concept,3d rendering, conceptual image.

The program works by utilizing a dataset of text-image pairs. The AI connects the words to the images and transforms these existing images to create strikingly accurate renditions of written prompts. The fact that AI can now use language to modify visual media and generate transformative art makes the threat even more ominous.

In the same vein, you have MidJourney, which is quickly gaining popularity alongside DALL-E. This is another AI-powered text-to-image generator, however, it is more focused on creating ‘realistic’ images, venturing into a different subgenre of art.

MidJourney adds a certain flair and style to its creations, often generating very detailed and hyper-realistic pieces as a response to specific prompts. At first glance, an average individual may be hard-pressed to ascertain that it is just a repurposed image generated by an AI program and not an actual art piece painted or drawn by a human artist.

ART BY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE- IS THE HYPE ARTIFICIAL?

While AI-created art is garnering attention from sophisticated auction houses in the art world. Its appeal and practicality among artists and routine collectors are lagging.

Art produced by GANs is a gross over distortion of the beauty typical of painterly portraits. Unless you’re a fan of famed British artist, Francis Bacon, you may not find AI-created art appealing.

GANs art production limits come from the current machine learning algorithm it uses to create. The current algorithms aren’t advanced enough in learning what people consider beautiful and noteworthy art. This may change with developments in programming using evolutionary and genetic algorithms.

These new algorithms may provide the tools for independent analysis GANs need to create their own images. So, what we can say is that AI-created art is gaining popularity among art collectors, but is still in its infancy.

Funny octopus wearing sunglasses in studio with a colorful and bright background. Generative AI

WILL ART CREATED BY AI REPLACE ART CREATED BY HUMANS?

AI-generated art is causing a buzz in the art world. Will AI machine learning reach a point where it surpasses art created by humans? Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Replace Artists? For a long period of time, artists maintained the view that this is just a buzz that will fade away with time.

However, in all honesty, recent developments in neural networks and image generation technology have truly started to change the way we indulge in creativity and art.

Programs like DALL-E and its already improving pro version in DALL-E 2 are incredible improvements on what passed for AI “art” in the past. These programs can create pieces that incorporate a variety of genres and styles, playing with unique textures and colors to often produce very fascinating and specific results that appeal to the consumer.

An image of a beautiful outdoor seating area, with several luxurious chairs arranged around a fire pit. AI Generated

But when it comes to determining whether AI is on the verge of replacing human artists altogether, my answer would still be no. While the AI algorithms have improved leaps and bounds in quick time, they are still not a replacement for the vision that a human being’s intuition brings to the table.

The results may appear aesthetically appealing, but the lack of emotion and experience is still noticeable in AI-generated art. Not to mention, it can take the algorithm tens or hundreds of attempts to get it right which can be off-putting for users.

CONCLUSION:

It is an exciting time for art and science alike. AI is driving critical innovation but lags in emotional expression. Recent developments have made the idea of AI-generated art even more exciting but we are still not at the point of replacement.

If we look at the history of contemporary and computer-generated art, it seems unlikely that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will Replace Artists. However, we are at the cusp of an artistic transition.

If anything, these programs will probably prove to be great assistance to actual artists. Until AI can think independently and create new works, it will continue as a set of tools to aid artists in their own art creations.

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