Artists have mixed feelings about the new AI art era

Feb 1, 2023 | Arts, Biz/Tech

Artists and designers have been growing wary as AI art generators grow in popularity among social media and internet users.

They’re accessible and work extremely fast. AI generators are becoming more pervasive and users have realized that any art they want could be made for free, and in a matter of minutes.

While the idea might seem alarming to some, not all designers see this surge of artificial intelligence as a detrimental moment for the industry.

Canadian media agency Paper Crane stated in a blog that various graphic designers came forward to share their opinions on how AI will affect art in a positive way.

Adam Bunn, founder of Graphite Digital, expects AI to be used more frequently in content creation.

“AI can make it easier for people to create content quickly and efficiently, so that the focus can be on creating engaging experiences instead,” he said.

Andrew Chiu, an artist and director based in Toronto, also shares the belief that AI can become helpful for designers.

“There’s going to be things that are helpful,” Chiu said “You know, I’m sure I could never draw a lot of these things that I’ve seen online, and then maybe now I can incorporate them without having to go and hire a painter or an illustrator that maybe the budget wouldn’t be able to afford.”

This idea does not seem as exciting to some artists and designers, some worry about the stability of their jobs, and others don’t see a reason to use AI.

A class action lawsuit was launched last month in the U.S. against collage tool Stable Diffusion, claiming it violates the rights of artists, arguing that the application of AI in art needs to be ethical and fair.

In response to the fear some artists are feeling, Paper Crane Media stated AI doesn’t replace human creativity, “but it can be used to assist with tasks that are repetitive and time consuming.

“AI can also be used to generate ideas and concepts,” the agency said.

However, artists are worried about the integrity of art, rather than how it affects their business.

Daniel Cordero, a Toronto-based graphic designer and artist, says he’s had some mixed thoughts about AI art.

“On one hand, I’m excited about the technology because it’s a new step in what the technology can do, and I’m sure we can apply it in many ways, which can be very interesting and helpful,” Cordero said.

“At the same time, with the process of how AI art is made, we basically train machines through thousands of images, then the machines learn what an apple looks like, or what a certain style looks like, and then they kind of apply all this knowledge to make new images.” he said.

Cordero told Humber News the art created through AI comes from previous artwork produced by artists.

“But all those images that the AI is generating, they come from artwork that has been done by other artists, and maybe those artists didn’t agree to have the word being scrutinized and being fed into the machines,” he said.

“I think art is something which is very human. It’s a human expression, it’s not just about scale. It’s about human involvement and how humans express their inner self, or how you might express with each other,” Cordero said.

Cordero said AI generated artwork is very impressive, but does not reflect the same meaning as if the artwork was made by a person.

“The art made by machines is very impressive on a technical level, it’s very convenient, because it’s very quick,” he said. “But my question is, is it really worth it to take humanity out of it?”

“To take an expression that humans do is very precious, interesting and unique, and we just commercialize it to make something that is not very important, something that we can just make very quickly and throw it away,” Cordero said.