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Thread: Thinking about A.I. Art

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    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
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    Default Thinking about A.I. Art

    As some people here may know, I've been trying, rather late in life, to learn to draw and paint. This is not uncommon among older people, and I won't speculate about psychological explanations for that. I'll just say that it can be both frustrating and rewarding. Frustrating because my results never come close to what I would like to accomplish, rewarding because I have noted actual improvement. Sometimes, too, I come up with something that is interesting despite being completely different from what I intended. Regardless of results, I think that trying to create art for myself has made me look at the world in a new way, and has given me an increased appreciation for the skills of more accomplished artists.

    Besides dumping a lot of what I do on my Flickr page, I select some of the better drawings and paintings to show on Deviant Art (and a few here, as well). An advantage of frequenting the latter site is seeing what others, both amateurs and professionals, are up to. Seeing what other people can do with my selected media (mostly pencil, ink, and watercolors) gives me plenty of reason to be humble, but also provides inspiration and instruction. Being a small fish in a large pond has its advantages.

    But within the past year I've become aware of something that has been around longer than that (but then, I'm always well behind the curve these days), AI art. I noticed a user on D-A who was posting some very interesting digital art. Only, when I read his descriptions, I found that he was not painting or drawing anything for himself. He was using an A.I. system called Midjourney AI; he would type in a text description, and the software would produce something to match that. To be clear, he was totally honest about this, and was describing exactly what he did.

    This raises a number of interesting questions, for which I don't necessarily have good answers. Of course, one aspect of this is how it affects professional artists. For commercial purposes, at least, it may be harder to make a living when one is competing with bots who work much more cheaply. This doesn't affect me directly, as there is little chance that I'd ever sell any of my work, but it can have a wider influence on the art world in general. Will younger people be less likely to take up art as a career if they think they will be unable to sell any of their work? And how would having fewer professionals affect the amateur artist?

    But there is also the question of accepting AI art as "real art". I could use words to describe it such as "derivative", "soulless", or "meaningless",but am I sure what I mean by that? Is there some quality to a painting done by a human, on physical media, that is easily distinguishable from a similar digital work done by a computer? Is it distinguishable only for those with an advanced appreciation of art, or can anyone see it? After looking at some samples of AI works, I have to confess that I, at least, can be fooled. I could talk myself into admiring the skill of the nonexistent human artist, and even into finding some sort of meaning or message in a particular work.

    I'd also have to concede that there is human skill and creativity involved regardless. Only, it is the skill of those who designed the software. Or if the software itself was written by an AI, then there is the skill of whoever wrote that.

    AIs depend on large databases of existing art. Human artists study what other human artists have done, and try to learn from that. What is the difference? Mind you, I feel rather strongly that there is a difference, but I am not sure that I can explain it. And I'm not sure that I'm right. And where is the line drawn between copying a particular style or theme, and outright plagiarism?

    Questions, all I have are questions, not answers. For now, I just mark anything I post on the Internet as "all rights reserved", and where I can, add a tag that I don't want it included in any AI databases. But the world changes, and we can't always tell whether its for better, worse, or a bit of both.


    Last edited by Kaputnik; February 15th, 2023 at 03:54 PM.
    "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
    G.K. Chesterton

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    Senior Member usk15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about A.I. Art

    Well, art is art, no matter who made it. Nature made a lot of artistic landscapes...All come down to the personal opinions if you like or not that art.

    I think that using AI to create art in your name, without mention that, it is wrong, a scam.

    The professional artist will not disappear, as some have own style/perspective of doing art; nor the amateurs, as they just want to create.

    When I am sketching something, I am trying to leave mistakes, just to show is man-made, not copy-paste from somewhere. I have managed to sell some commissions to couple of friends, but I'm not considering myself an artist, or making money from that.

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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about A.I. Art

    your questions are all valid regardless of your ability to articulate them
    AI art will be of use. I've used it for tasks I'd never burden a real artist with.

    it's going to be disruptive.
    Artists are going to catch the brunt of it.
    But people will always pursue their own art, and artists will always seek each other, if only to see what other real people are doing.

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    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about A.I. Art

    Reviving my own thread, not really with anything important to say; it's just that something reminded me of the subject.

    I was leafing through a collection of B. Kliban's cartoons, The Biggest Tongue in Tunisia, and came across this on the next to last page. I went web searching until I found it.

    https://www.gocomics.com/kliban/2014...t=v&cti=649237

    The book was published in 1986, and Kliban died in 1990. He had no idea what was coming.
    Last edited by Kaputnik; November 4th, 2023 at 07:41 AM.
    "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
    G.K. Chesterton

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    catbert (November 4th, 2023), Lloyd (November 4th, 2023), usk15 (November 4th, 2023), Yazeh (November 5th, 2023)

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