With the Bill Gates' take on AI doing rounds on the internet a few days back, I am here with my 2 cents on AI art.
Midjourney was the first AI art platform that I meddled with(I think), and right from the get - blown away!
You could type any prompt on Midjourney's discord panel & it would bring out those very words into a set of digital art, pictures.
An 'artist' friend was sitting right beside me as I was exploring Midjourney for the first time & I could see a sense of uneasiness in his face. Well, that was my cue to take the piss out of him, I said to him "This is going to replace all you artists sooner rather than later", he was quick to defend & said "creativity is a human trait & no amount of data feeding or tech advancement can replace human creativity (by that he meant sensibility, insight, receptivity), AI can only emulate what humans do". "Fair enough" I nodded - as I thought to myself, "Let's see".
Then, there was this whole uproar against AI art - artists going up in arms saying AI generated art isn't original art as it replicates existing artists' work so much. As someone who runs a T-shirt business & T-shirts being one of the easier products that can be knocked off, all I could think of was, "Tell me about it". Besides, I have also heard artists themselves say "good artists copy, but great artists steal", I have seen them copy & steal ideas from each other in the name of inspiration. So, I fail to understand how it is different just because technology is involved.
For a person who cannot draw even if someone took an emasculator to the scrotum, however, has the need to work with artists & designers on a regular basis, I think AI art platforms like Midjourney, Dall-E are a blessing. How?
For starters, instead of giving an oral design brief to the artists & designers, I can now make samples/references of what I want the design to look like - by just typing down the prompts. I can rephrase the prompts to add elements, take away effects, place the art work in different backgrounds/worlds and basically get as close to what I have imagined the artwork to be as possible & then give that as a reference point to the artist as something to work on.
Having a prototype design would infact make the artist's life easier, if anything. I'd like to argue that it helps in effective communication, in a way.
But the real question is, would AI prompts make an artistically handicapped specimen like me into an absolute artist?!
Not really, I think an AI tool would replace an artist as much as autopilot in planes/cars have replaced pilots or drivers, or a kindle has replaced books. AI would most probably play a significant role in the field of arts. I do not think it is a real cause for concern for the artists.
I am sure few artists think "If this carries on, every random layabout that can put together a decent sentence(as prompt), can claim to be artists themselves", which is understandable.
Making art - drawing, sketching, designing is a unique skill mastered with massive amounts of practice, creativity, thoughtfulness & hard work. Not everyone can put graphite to paper and create something that wasn't ever there before.
Having said that, fighting technology - just as fighting nature(oh the irony!) , hasn't done any good to anyone. I'd rather see artists figure a way to use it to their advantage & get things done.
And like Gates in his article said "Any new technology is initially met with resistance", I would like to add, then the technology finds its way around, or just kicks right in the teeth of said resistance.