Sunday, January 07, 2024

Debating Artificial Intelligence

I have begun exploring the vast terrain of material available online, and the uncanny abilities of artificial intelligence to construct imagery according to my prompts.

I mean to explore possibilities and dilemmas infusing AI to produce artistic visual imagery. I have thrown myself into the AI world and published a few results online on Facebook in my feed and in group forums and immediately there has been great debate initiated. Reactions have been strikingly polar. Images I have posted have been met with surprise, love and glee. Also, vehemence, hatred and fear.  It seems I have been through this before during the course of my artistic journey in life. I am thinking of my HangUps series of paintings and more recently, my skeleton art.

Big Mac Hangup, oil on linen, 2004

Los Jugadores de Tarjeta, oil on canvas, 2023

If I were not to share the product of my pursuit, there would be no discussion. I am not going to quote some of the negative comments I have received after posting a few AI images I authored.
This is a succinct explanation offered by AI in response to my inquiry:

Why are people against AI artwork?

The attitudes toward AI-generated artwork vary, and not everyone is against it. However, some people express concerns or reservations for several reasons:
1. Authenticity and Creativity Concerns: Some argue that true creativity involves emotions, intuition, and personal experiences, elements that are considered unique to human beings. They may feel that AI lacks the genuine creativity and emotional depth found in human-generated art.
2. Job Displacement: There are concerns about the impact of AI on traditional artistic professions. If AI can generate artwork efficiently, some worry that it might replace human artists, leading to job displacement in the creative industries.
3. Ethical Considerations: There are ethical concerns related to ownership and attribution. For example, questions may arise about who owns the rights to AI-generated art, and how credit should be given when the creation involves both human and machine collaboration.
4. Loss of Human Touch: Some people appreciate the imperfections and personal touch in human-created art. AI-generated art, being algorithmically precise, might be perceived as lacking the warmth and unique touch that comes from the human hand.
5. Concerns about Bias: If the AI algorithms are trained on biased datasets, there is a risk that the generated artwork may reflect or perpetuate existing biases present in the training data.
6. Devaluation of Traditional Artistry: Critics argue that the ease with which AI can produce art might lead to a devaluation of traditional artistic skills and craftsmanship, as people may start to prioritize the convenience of AI-generated art over handmade or traditionally crafted pieces.
It's important to note that these concerns are not universally held, and many see the potential for AI to complement human creativity rather than replace it. AI-generated art has also been celebrated for its innovative and unique qualities. As technology continues to advance, ongoing discussions about the ethical, societal, and artistic implications of AI in various fields, including art, are likely to persist.

AI creation

I am of the opinion that AI can compliment human creativity rather than replace it. I will add it to my toolbox.
Someone might say, “Use this power wisely for the benefit of mankind and never be attached to it.” Another might likely say, “Let us explore these new lands and see what is there, then make use of our experiences.” Or, as an artist and sensualist, a person might say, “Bah, be gone with this trap. It lacks touch and feel. One cannot sculpt it into a thing of beauty that can be touched and perceived from every side.”

No matter for me, the intrepid explorer. I am seeing this phenomenal invention as a way to further explore the visual world in all of its infinite dimension.

AI creation

Here is a positive look at AI, produced by AI:

Why are people for AI artwork?
Many people support AI-generated artwork for several reasons:
1. Innovation and Creativity: AI can produce novel and unique artistic creations that may not be easily conceived by humans. This introduces a new dimension of creativity and expands the possibilities of artistic expression.
2. Collaboration with Humans: AI can be viewed as a tool for collaboration rather than a replacement for human artists. Many artists use AI as a creative tool, leveraging its capabilities to enhance their own artistic process and explore new ideas.
3. Efficiency and Productivity: AI can generate artwork quickly and efficiently, saving time for artists and allowing them to focus on other aspects of their creative process. This efficiency can be particularly beneficial in commercial and design contexts.
4. Accessibility: AI tools democratize art creation by making it more accessible to a broader audience. Individuals without traditional artistic skills can use AI platforms to create visually appealing designs, fostering a more inclusive and diverse art community.
5. Exploration of Styles and Techniques: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to learn various artistic styles and techniques. This allows artists to experiment with different artistic influences and create diverse works of art.
6. Assistance in Creative Process: AI can serve as a source of inspiration, helping artists overcome creative blocks or providing suggestions that can be integrated into their work. Some artists appreciate the challenge of incorporating AI-generated elements into their pieces.
7. Technological Advancement: Supporters of AI-generated art believe that embracing technological advancements is a natural progression in the art world. They see AI as a tool that can coexist with traditional artistic practices, leading to new and exciting possibilities.
8. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: The intersection of art and technology allows for interdisciplinary collaboration between artists, engineers, and researchers. This collaborative approach can lead to the development of innovative projects that push the boundaries of traditional artistic mediums.

Ultimately, the support for AI-generated artwork is rooted in the belief that technology can be harnessed to enhance and complement human creativity, leading to a richer and more diverse artistic landscape. The integration of AI into the art world is seen by many as an opportunity for exploration, experimentation, and the evolution of artistic expression.

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