Late last year, Lensa-generated images of online users were trending in the social media space. His Lensa, a subscription app, uses user-uploaded selfies to create graphic portraits called “magic avatar” images. Celebrities from all over the world attended to show how perfect their avatars could look in ‘Lensa’s World’. However, a few days later, hundreds of female netizens around the world began reporting issues with Avatar. They noted how their avatar images show waist-snatched and sultry poses. generated a nice image. As AI gains a strong foothold in the art realm, do we have the mechanisms to define what is right and wrong in this realm in the first place?
AI art is an art form generated using artificial intelligence. It uses an algorithm that learns a particular aesthetic based on text prompts, and then examines the vast amount of data available in the form of images as a first step. Attempts to generate a new matching image. Here, the artist becomes like a curator, inputting appropriate prompts to develop an aesthetically rich output. Artists use brushes her strokes in other digital platforms such as Adobe Photoshop, while programs like Dall-E and Midjourney require only keystrokes. For example, consider generating artwork like “Starry Night” in the digital age. Van Gogh would have taken days of effort to conceptualize and get the right strokes and paints, but in the age of AI art, it’s simply a matter of “correct text his prompts.”
The question of whether AI art is causing the “death of artistry” was raised last year by Jason M Allen’s Midjourney-generated entry, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” at the Colorado State Fair. AI artists like Allen believe that finding the right prompts to create artwork equates to creativity and qualifies AI art as real or authentic. In June 2022, Cosmopolitan magazine released a special report containing the world’s first AI-generated cover from Dall-E2 and his collaboration with digital his artist Karen X Cheng. But Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water sees AI art as an affront to life. When asked about his AI art by the media, he replied: At its best, it envelops you all. Therefore, I consume and love human-made art. “
Artwork generated by AI is derived from a database of pre-existing artwork, which can lead to copyright infringement. Artwork generated by AI may benefit from open artwork to generate new AI art that may be copyrightable in the long term. AI artwork may also make contemporary artists more vulnerable within the existing framework of low-paid artists. Will art become a mass-produced product that is cheaply available on the market?
Art is one of the few pursuits that make life meaningful. It remains to be seen whether AI-generated art alienates the masses from experiencing art. AI-generated art dehumanizes artwork. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of generating artwork is creating it. I also question whether AI art can capture the most nuanced human emotions. How much humor is “humorous” for AI? Can AI express sadness and pain in the deepest way, as our poet described it? Is it possible for AI to capture the mysterious smile of
As a technology, AI works on the promise that the more data you give an AI platform, the better it will perform. Due to the lack of representatives from less privileged communities (women, people of color, and other marginalized groups), this data available for AI input is biased. Currently, most AI art training data is produced in the Global North and is often haunted by disabilityist, racist, and sexist stereotypes. Historically, art has served a political function as a forum for dissent. Can AI art overcome these inherent biases in data to extract meaningful political engagement?
Some artists believe AI art can democratize the art world by eliminating gatekeepers. They believe AI will open the door to new art forms and limitless possibilities. AI, combined with technologies such as 3D printing, can produce a myriad of derivatives that could be considered “sculptures” and “art installations” of the future. History says that from the beginning there was a chaotic relationship between art and technology. But despite the threat of digital art, fine art has survived for generations. We need to see if AI art can break free from that bias.
The author is a Senior IAS Officer in Kerala and currently serves as District Development Commissioner in Kozhikode.