Is AI art the end to art as we know it?

Is AI art the end to art as we know it?

Others that have been caught up with online media around the end of 2022 have been coming across a trend of people putting themselves through a filter to become a drawn image. This is known as AI art. These programs have invaded the online space due to how easy it is for them to produce art. This program has sparked lots of controversy with artists due to this innovative technology making art so easy to obtain. Artists are afraid of this AI taking over and causing them to lose their jobs and be unable to compete, but will that happen?

AI art programs work by compiling previously created art into an algorithm capable of creating a new piece of work based on the previous image or words that are used to generate it. This brings up the issue of whether this generated art is truly the users due to the art being created with generators being taken from other artists that have not consented or given permission to use. This has caused an online protest against the use of AI art by artists who have gotten their art stolen and used in these generators. An example of this was when an artist was drawing on Twitch and a user on Twitter that goes by the username musaishh at the time put the unfinished piece into an AI generator, got a finished piece of art, and then posted it claiming that they made it.

A trending filter on Tiktok has been turning users into anime drawings using AI. It became a trend due to how strange a lot of the images came out. The majority of the images were inconsistent, and some images looked nothing like the user. Some Tiktokers would even use the AI on objects just for the AI to turn them into cute girls. Some generated images have come out well, but most have been made fun of in viral TikToks. If someone wanted a professionally done art piece they, with the current capabilities of AI art, would still have to go to a real artist for the best result.

An AI-generated comic has been produced called ‘Zarya of the Dawn.’ This comic’s illustrations were generated in an AI art program. This program being used is the reason this comic failed to get copyrighted. Section 306 of The Copyright Act stopped the comic from being copyrighted due to a property having to be created by a human. This means that anything created by an AI art generator cannot be copyrighted. This law could be what is protecting artists, but it continues to be threatened by many people trying to copyright their AI programs and art

“If my art has nothing to do with people’s pain and sorrow, what is ‘art’ for?”

— AI Weiwei

AI art still has a long way to go before it will ever be able to replace artists, but it may prevent people from taking up art as a hobby. The online space for artists is an ocean full of wonderful pieces of art and with these pieces of art, some cannot help but compare themselves to them. Now there are AI-generated pieces of art surfing the web that artists now compare themselves to. Why attempt to draw when a program can do it better and easier? We can not blame AI programs for this factor. It is not the programs’ fault that others are comparing their talents to it. With this thought, the online art community is extremely against the use of AI art out of the fear their talent will be seen as useless. If this fear became a reality over two million would be without use for their talent. AI art shouldn’t be the end of such a widespread talent so many people possess. 

AI art is only going to keep advancing and getting more used in society. With this, we must protect human art and creativity. If the ability to copyright is given to AI that takes from non-consenting sources to develop its creation, then the whole point of copyright will be ruined. We can only wait and hope that the copyright laws keep their stance and do not change their current laws to please the AI spectrum.

This article originally appeared in Athens Oracle.

Photo credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay