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The Quad

AI Art: Its Effects on Artists


The first form of AI art was created in the late 1960s and was discovered by most of the public in the early 1970s with the creation of the Aaron System, which allowed the AI to make black and white drawings. But only in 2022 and just recently towards the beginning of 2023 has AI art gained massive popularity with its newfound strengths. At first, it was pretty fun. It was new, exciting, and people were only just starting to experiment with it, marveling at its quickness and ability to create somewhat decent, and at times, beautiful images. 

But as the different systems began to learn and progress, more and more artists began to notice AI’s negative impacts, too, particularly around how it affects creativity. One of our own art teachers, Ms. Vanessa Woods, who teaches photography, has observed a few troubling issues surrounding the increase in AI art as well. 

“In short, it narrows creativity,” she said. “The majority of art these AI systems are referencing and building off of are primarily western, male work, so it’s not a very wide range of cultures or genres. Additionally, it’s worrying that at its roots, the systems are all capitalist ventures created for the sole purpose of making more money for already wealthy individuals, again, mostly men, putting them in a higher place of power because of art they did not really come up with themselves. But, the pattern still works and it’s making them profit, so they’ll continue producing more generic, unoriginal art online that doesn’t have the personal, moving touch of a true artist’s work.” 

Even though artists probably won’t be replaced by AI (or at least, not in the near future), and AI art is far from perfect, it’s getting harder and harder to maintain originality and personal style, and we won’t know what we’ve taken for granted until it’s gone. Is all AI art bad? No, but there seems to be increasingly more negative factors within the systems, from copyright claims to annoying inaccuracies and flaws. So what do you think: is it hurting or inspiring us? Is AI art the future, just or a trend?

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