Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Need for Artists?

As someone who likes to draw and does commissioned art, most people would think that I don’t approve of art created by Artificial Intelligence (AI), and they would be right. 

To create AI art, developers write algorithms not to follow a set of rules, but to β€œlearn” a specific aesthetic by analyzing thousands of images. The algorithm then tries to generate new images in adherence to the aesthetics it has learned. These images are taken from hard working artists without their consent or payment to form a certain style that the AI produces. 

β€œIf people can just pay a few bucks to get tons of professional looking paintings done, why would they ask me to draw something for them for over $20?” ponders senior AP Art and Drawing student Makayla Castillo. 

An AI generated art piece won first place Colorado State Fair’s fine arts competition, winning $300 under the digital art category. The artwork was created using Midjourney and AI GigaPixel, by typing in a series of prompts. The judges were not aware that the art was made by AI, leaving many artists angry that they didn’t technically create the art on their own.

The idea of typing in a prompt to produce artwork just seems lazy. Not only does it spit in the face of artists who spend years honing their craft, most of the popular platforms literally just steal art from online communities.Β 

AI art was invented to be used as a reference for actual artists that provides a tool to flesh out ideas. Unfortunately, now so many people and businesses are using it as a means to skip out on hiring artists entirely. 

Junior digital artist Jay Line says, β€œI think it’s cool to look at, but it’s taking things that it’s seen before and turning it into something that people claim is their own and original, when its other peoples’ art is put into it.” 

It’s easier for an online-newspaper or book publisher to just use AI when they don’t have an in-house artist to pay $120 for a piece that took 15 hours. To a certain point, I see where they are coming from. At the same time, it is taking an artist out of a job. As someone who enjoys coding, I can appreciate the technical aspect of AI art. 

As bleak as this may seem for aspiring artists, many feel that AI art poses little threat to the need for artists. Senior AP Art and Drawing student Luna Campbell feels β€œpeople will always value artwork made through practice and skill over an AI generated image. Physical copies of art will also always hold value to people.” 

At the end of the day, AI art can never replace the time and thought that goes into work created by actual artists. The precision and decision making required to make a specific piece will likely never be possible in the hands of anyone but an experienced artist.

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