Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Artists often use cutting-edge technology to create their work, but technology tends to change the art world only slowly and infrequently. Right now could be one of those times.
Why it matters: AI technology has created a serious debate in the art world around issues of authorship and ownership — a debate that feels much more consequential than, say, arguments over monkey copyright.
Driving the news: In San Francisco, an art show curated by a venture capital firm — in partnership with an AI company valued at $20 billion — is making the case for AI-generated art as "legitimate work" by serious artists.
Between the lines: Both shows seem to be predicated on the assumption that there's something transgressive about exhibiting AI art.
The intrigue: What changed is the arrival of a new generation of AIs, like Dall-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and DreamBooth. These AIs can output images indistinguishable from those of professional illustrators — just because they have learned to copy the work of those humans.
The bottom line: Art is getting dumber (see: Beeple, KAWS, TikTok, etc) just as AIs are getting smarter. Right around now, we're reaching the point at which the lines are beginning to cross.