Suddenly and very quickly, such a term as ‘A.I. art’ began to promptly spread and become popular. People all around the world were thrilled by the quality and beauty of artificial intelligence creations. The general rush to try and generate one’s own picture was unavoidable, considering the fact that it could be done by merely describing the wished-for picture in the text. I myself am not an exception. However, in this article, I would like to dive a bit deeper into understanding what art means to me and share my thoughts on why A.I.-generated art is NOT art at all.
To begin with, here is an example of A.I. artwork:
Looks amazing to me. The colours, the composition, the world depicted in this image… Fantastic. Though, it carries no artistic value. Read further if you want to know why.
First of all, let’s figure out what is A.I. and what A.I. art could possibly mean. As stated in the Artland article by Adam Hencz: “AI art refers to art generated with the assistance of artificial intelligence. AI is a field of computer science that focuses on building machines that mimic human intelligence or even simulate the human brain through a set of algorithms.” (Hencz, 2022). In other words, artificial intelligence is a set of complex algorithms that, by crawling the internet, are capable of computing a piece of imagery based on and assembled from thousands of thousands of already pre-existing creations produced by nothing else but human beings. Now, let’s look at what visual art means. Mentioned in the Britannica encyclopedia as follows: visual arts – “These are the arts that meet the eye and evoke an emotion through an expression of skill and imagination.” (Visual Arts Portal, n.d.). To put it another way, the visual arts are images that are created using imagination and creativity. It is crucial that a given artwork is expressing an idea and carries a certain emotional component.
Thus, the phrase ‘A.I. art’ is wrong in its essence. The pictures created using algorithms are indeed capable of being nice looking and are capable of evoking emotion in one viewing them. Nonetheless, the image generated in such a way does not represent any idea, it does not possess creative value and is, in a way, not unique. Moreover, art does not only refer to the end result from a technical standpoint. It refers to the process of creation, to the story of one image, which A.I. doesn’t have. It is the way in which the picture was made, the style, the idea behind it, that makes a picture – your picture. While an artificially computed image is random…
Whatsoever, humans are prone to misapply the A.I.’s imagery by referring to the images made with its use as ‘their’ creations. This brings a large threat to the whole digital artists’ community and to the jobs of people devoting their time to the passion of visual arts. The fact that spectacular images can be ‘constructed’ in a matter of seconds and without virtually any effort, or imagination either, deprives the world of digitally created imagery a huge worth. Now anyone without any particular skills or fantasy may assign a beautiful, though meaningless piece to himself.
Therefore, one of the ways to preserve the value of human-made digital art is to embed some kind of reminder in the image itself or oblige those who use this image to refer to it as the creation of algorithms. It doesn’t sully solve the issue, no. But it might help to lower the level of discouragement among digital artists.
The aim of this article was to shine a light on the misconception of calling AI computed imagery – art. It is not. And never will be. No matter how similarly a set of algorithms can simulate human brain or the product of its function, it is and will forever remain a simulation. Just like the copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ will never be worth any close to the actual masterpiece, the so called A.I. art is carrying little to no value in the world of true creativity.
Share your thoughts on this in the comments below 😉 I will be very glad to hear from you!
Hencz, A. (2022, June 27). Agents Of Change: Artificial Intelligence – AI Art and How Machines Have Expanded Human Creativity. Artland Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://magazine.artland.com/ai-art/
Visual Arts Portal. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/browse/Visual-Arts