AI-generated artwork has already made its mark in the world of art. But how will it influence the future of art?
Art is subjective. It encompasses many points of view and can withstand just as many or more definitions. As a term, it's ever-evolving, and the boundaries for what can be deemed art continue to get pushed.
Artificial intelligence is not generally associated with art, and yet, AI has made its mark on the art industry. The question is, would that endure, or is AI art a fluke? Will AI carve itself a space in art, or will it be quickly forgotten as a failed experiment?
Let's examine some of the ways AI-generated art is redefining art and reshaping its future.
Art is such a broad term that you get stumped trying to define it clearly. What is art? It's visual, performative, and so much more. It can be music and dance, sculptures and literary works. Photography is a form of art, and so is architecture. There's also cinematic art. Art is more than an old painting in a museum.
Modern art is excellent at pushing the boundaries of what is considered art. Anything can be art as long as people perceive it as such. A banana duct-taped to a wall is considered modern art. The performative act of eating that banana, thus destroying the artwork, is also considered modern art.
With that in mind, isn't AI-generated art just another subsection of art? Or does it not deserve that title?
Every artist likes to imagine their creativity stands out and their work is as original as can be. Yet, when you devote your time and energy, you can discover that originality is a romantic notion that doesn't exist in the idealistic form people have of it. And there's a reason for that.
Most things have already been discovered, imagined, thought of, and done. Keeping that in mind, is it not terribly exciting to know that a brand-new avenue of art is flourishing?
Let's take AI-generated pictures as an example since there are quite a few AI art generators available that are free and easy to use. To create that type of art, you feed an AI generator with text prompts. It then develops an art concept that matches the prompts. And it usually even gives you options.
You can also feed these generator images and see what it creates with them. It's up to you to choose the photos you give it as well as the best end result. And that leads to the question, who's behind the artwork then? Is it the AI doing the work in generating the options? Or, is it you, the one who picks everything?
Yet another question to consider with AI art is originality. Aren't you just feeding it other people's work? Should they get the credit for your chosen AI-generated artwork, or should you?
If you use other people's art and AI to make your own, is that stealing, copying, or inspiration? And the biggest question remains: Who owns the AI-generated art after it's created?
The US Copyright Office has received a request for copyright protection on an AI-generated artwork but has denied it. Twice. The Office affirms a stance that AI-generated art cannot be granted a copyright registration since copyright law requires human authorship for copyright protection.
After giving out the second rejection, the Office released a statement that the work "lacks the human authorship necessary to support a copyright claim". Therefore, according to the current laws in the US, no human equals no protection. And, since AI generators aren't human, they don't benefit from copyright protections, at least for now.
Imagine the following. You've written a book. It's ready for publishing but has yet to get a cover design. So, who do you turn to for your cover art? Well, you can either pay a professional to do it, or you can use an AI art generator.
After all, why not? When you speak with a professional, you go through pretty much the same motions.
You give them a few prompts of the vibe you're going for, what you expect. For example, ''deep sea, shipwreck, monsters, myth come to life, prophecies, fantasy". The prompts help them get an idea of your book. You can even send them a few pictures of what you like in terms of concept and colors, how you imagine your characters, and so on.
Well, you can use the same things to feed to an AI generator. Even if it takes you many more tries to get the image exactly as you like it, you can try as many times as it takes. There's no limit, and unlike with a professional, it won't burn a hole in your pocket.
And AI doesn't only help with book covers. The same applies to album covers, posters, and anything, really.
Creating art makes for a wondrous hobby, an off-the-beaten-path career, and just a plain awesome way to express yourself. But art can get expensive. So, it's not always easy to see if a type of art is the right fit for you.
Once you add up all the supplies you need to try out an avenue, you can rack up quite the bill. That's especially true for visual arts, like photography, painting, and sculpting. Exploring your artistic streak can cost you an expensive education and a long learning curve.
Fact of the matter is most types of art are pricey. But when it comes to AI-generated art, all you need to explore it is access to the internet. It offers a pretty much free way to explore your artistic interests.
AI has the power to bridge simulation and reality. It's already used to create 3D spaces when designing rooms, houses, or anything of that sort. So it's a natural next step to use the same technology to create art experiences.
AI can easily make realistic 3D images and videos to construct virtual reality as art. You can find yourself in the metaverse exploring an exhibition of AI-generated art pieces—pictures framed and hung on walls that erect around you as you walk; or perhaps ones that change their image every time you look away, creating an illusion of movement.
AI can even be used to craft an art exhibition you can interact with as you experience it with a VR set. You'd be able to touch the image in front of you, feel the texture of the AI creation and imagine the paint beneath your fingers—something you can't do at a museum.
So, it's safe to say AI in art has infinite potential. The only limits it faces are the boundaries of people's imaginations.
By using AI generators, you can create different forms of art: music, poetry, stories, and so on. However, AI-crafted images remain the most consistently impressive.
You feed the generator prompts (lines of text, images, whatever it needs), and the AI gets cracking and creates art for you. You can feed the AI generator any prompt you can think of, from Spongebob as a Japanese samurai to a theatrical production of Othello in space. The sky is your limit.
And, though, some of the experiments with AI composing images leave much to be desired, the potential is clearly visible. What's more, as with anything that relies on AI, you know it will improve with time.
Artificial intelligence is already making strides in many fields. You could even apply AI to traditional violin making. AI is so much better now than it was a mere ten years ago or even five years ago.
Today, an AI-generated image won an art contest. Tomorrow, who knows?
Art is not just one thing; it can hold multitudes. So screaming off the rooftops that AI is replacing people in art is ridiculous. There's room for all when it comes to art, including AI.
AI-created art certainly blurs lines. And though its apparent novelty may be uncomfortable for some, it doesn't make it any less artistic in the grand scheme of what's art. Whether AI-generated or entirely handmade by a person, it's art nonetheless.
Artificial intelligence is immensely beneficial in healthcare, finances, education, and a ton more fields. It's in perpetual advancement and offers ongoing assistance. So the question is, why do we admire AI when it's mentioned in relation to those fields but tend to scoff at it when it enters the realm of art?
Simona is a Writer at MakeUseOf, covering various social media and Internet-related topics. She has worked as a professional writer for over seven years, creating content around IT news and cybersecurity. Writing full-time for her is a dream come true.
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