Ai- is it art?

September 19, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

AI - Is it Art?

There are a growing number of AI generators in the net with some requiring only a text prompt to generate an image. Some generators like "Altair" are quite literal and allows you to enter an image if you wish to start the project. Other Ai generators such as "Orion" will create abstract images from your initial prompt. The question may be asked are these actually art? Well most certainly they fall into the category of Art. But the real question is that are they YOUR art?

Consider that you contact a chef to make you a bowl of potato soup. You go to your local grocery store and purchase the potatoes and possibly even the broth. You have certainly contributed to the creation of the soup but...

  • You did not peal the potatoes
  • You did not cook the potatoes
  • You did not decide if the potatoes were to be crunchy or soft 
  • You did not decide what, if any thing else was in the soup
  • You did not add or decide what if any spices or salt was to be added to the soup

In terms of art, lets say you want a picture of your dog painted. You go to your local art store and purchase a paint brush and give it to an artist to paint an image of your dog.  Once again, you have contributed to the artwork since the artist is somewhat limited in painting the image based on the type of brush that you have purchased. It is your dog, so hopefully the artist will paint the same breed and color of your dog.  But in the end, did you create the image?  No, the artist painted the image even though you gave him the brush and subject to work from.

The Ai generator is referring to a massive database of images and effects that it tries to match to your typed input. In reality, you have no idea how an image will turn out until the generator has rendered the image. To be honest, you really don't even need to know how the Ai generator is working. You are not manipulating the image in any manner except to tell the program is general terms what you would like to see.  Some people might say " I used presets, actions, and filters in photoshop, and create my own work!

Not quite the same thing. "Presets" simply move sliders in one direction or another. You may select a brightness preset and a program such as Lightroom will change the brightness level of an image. You can control how much or how little brightness is added or cancel the preset entirely. Nearly every "Action" in Photoshop uses a function already built into Photoshop. Using the soup example above, you are telling Photoshop to peel the potatoes, and the program is just doing it a little faster than you may have done it manually. 

Clearly, there is nothing wrong by presenting a piece of artwork with a subtitle such as "Created using xyz Ai generator". This lets your audience know that certainly had a hand in creating that piece of artwork.  Since Ai generators are new, the legal system will eventually have to rule on things like copyright. But in the meantime, there are very practical implications to claiming that the work is entirely yours with help from the generator.  Suppose you are selling the artwork and someone asks you to create something similar? If you a professionally employed, you may be asked to create something without the aide of Ai generators (could be blocked). Is it really an original piece of art when nearly anyone could log onto the Ai generator and create the same or very similar piece of work?

Some things to think about as you move forward.

 

 


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