Can AI Make Art

Over the last few months, the art world has been rocked by 2
innocuous letters, “AI”. The buzz has been felt throughout the internet and the
photography community was one of the first to raise the alarm. AI or by its
official name Artificial Intelligence has and will definitely change how the
world interacts and values art and digital media in the future.  

AI or Artificial Intelligence is a concept that has been
around from the 1950s. Alan Turing is perhaps the scientist most associated
with it. It theorizes that computers have the capability to be self-aware, or
the ability to experience  consciousness. In the
past the execution of this theory was limited due to the lack of computing
power. In recent times the advances in technology have brought this concept back
to the fore. Can algorithms and mathematical equations breath consciousness
into a machine?

Open-source services like Dall-E AI Art Generator have
now come onstream stating that it has the ability to make art. When I saw this
statement, the first thing that came to mind was, where does art really come
from? How have human beings since the painting discovered on the cave walls been
able to produce or make art? Is it purely imagination, is it past experiences,
is it feeling, is it pain, is it joy. Where does the inspiration for art or any
type of creativity come from? Honestly, we still do not have the answers. Art has
always been seen as an extension of the human experiences. Something beyond the
scope of logic and science. It was something that could not be explained by
ones and zeros. Now, have we arrived at this pinnacle point in human existence
where all of those qualities to make art have been imbued into a machine?

From what I understand AI Art Generators “create” images
based on text . Key words are sumbitted and the AI Generator will generate or
create art. It will scour the internet or its data base of images and based on its
programming create a piece of art. In reality, the machine is taking works of art  that
have already been created and based on algorithms meld them in a novel way.
 Artwork has not been created.
Alterations of existing works of art have been created. Creation is an
extension of conscious and. purposeful thought. At its best AI Art Generators
mimic the efforts and creations of human beings without the pain, suffering, joy,
love, and humanity that was needed to birth that piece of art. 

“Much of the criticism has arisen due to perceived intellectual property theft by platforms like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, and OpenAI, which train their image-generating models using existing images scraped from the internet. “I think people have ethical concerns, because it’s like: OK, you’re creating art—but even though you’re not directly stealing an image, you’re using data from created artwork to source it,” said Zach Hillegas, a 31-year-old illustration artist from Colorado to Weekend. “Nobody wants to see people posturing themselves as a professional artist when they’re really just using a machine.” Rosa Cecilia, What AI in art is and music sampling have in common.

What is so troubling is how this piracy is so quickly embraced as art. If this travesty were to occur in the music industry there would be a worldwide uproar. Taking existing works  regardless how small in the creation of new music is called sampling - ”Sampling means reusing or combining elements of different tracks in order to create an original, brand new idea, which can be used as the melody behind the artist’s vocals. 

Is AI creating art ? AI has allowed human beings unlike before to analyze huge sets of data , to manipulate the data in astounding and novel ways. But no,  AI is not creating art. For now art and creativity still remain in the human domain. 

Montez Kerr is a renown landscape, portrait and sports photographer. His work can be viewed at Montez Kerr.

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