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Is AI Art Still Art

Can Images Produced By An AI Be Considered Art

By Duncan AinsworthPublished about a year ago 3 min read
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Image created by the AI Midjourney using the prompt "Calm, Bliss, Relaxing"

In a previous post, I wrote about whether or not video games could be considered art, based on the various components that make up the game itself. Now I present to you perhaps a more interesting question and one that may or may not be more challenging to answer.

Can images created by Artificial Intelligence (AI) be considered art?

Having written about whether or not the different components that go into making video games can make games pieces of art, in the eyes of those who have a more traditional view of art, I felt that this is also a question worth asking. Given that people can have such strong opinions on the subject and purists will want to make sure that art is all about expressing what it is like to be human, I feel like this could be a really interesting topic to open a discussion on. As I say some people may feel like art is about the human experience and technology gets in the way of that by acting as a middleman between a person and "true" expression.

In my post questioning, if video games could be art, I started by asking "what is art?". I felt that by exploring that question first I or others might be able to come to a conclusion on the matter, or at least start an interesting discussion on the topic. Myself, I was curious about what people felt about the idea of whether or not modern technology could be used to create art and if it had a place in the discussion on art and the more traditional realms of expressionism. I argued that gaming is a much broader tapestry than people realise and that there is so much more to it than first-person shooters and sports games, or just pixels on a screen. this article can be found here if that interests you:

https://vocal.media/gamers/gaming-as-art

When most people think of art, they think of mediums that make them "feel" whether it be paintings, theatre, literature or music, these more traditional forms of art are more about exploring and explaining the human experience and the world around a particular person or artist.

A gently flowing river, early in the morning, a little bit of mist hovering above the water, with autumnal trees on the river banks. Photorealistic, 8K, Octane Rendering

One definition of art is as follows "The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

With that being said what could possibly be an argument for "art", created by an AI, not to be considered art? Is it a lack of "humanness" in the creation of an image, that rules it out as an art piece? What if a person gives prompts to an AI which then uses that prompt to create an image, could be art then if it's a collaboration between humans and computers?

A portal to another world

For example, if I were to use one of many applications that now exist and give it various prompts over time or any other references in order to help it create an image to my liking; is it still art? Is the AI in this instance like a paintbrush in the hands of a painter or a violin in the hands of a violinist? Can AI be considered a tool for a person trying to create certain imagery in order to invoke a certain response from an audience?

Something else worth considering, are the "artists" themselves. Some people might feel like having a computer produce an image is "cheating" or requires no talent. Or could having access to an art-producing AI be improving access to art itself? By allowing people to create images with the AI that they wouldn't have necessarily been able to produce solely by themselves, can the art world be more accessible to people who wouldn't normally have access to it?

An alien solar system with multiple planets orbiting a star. 8K, photorealistic

In my personal and humble opinion, as someone who would not describe themselves as an artist in any shape or form, I believe that these images could and should be considered art; on the basis that it still requires human input to create these images. A human might not have drawn or painted the image, but they will have a message they wanted to convey through the image they wanted the AI to build, but also in the prompt words that they chose to use. I believe the images can still be considered art as they can be created with human input in order to invoke feelings and reactions in people. They can take people to new worlds and stir their imaginations. if you think about it, is that not what art is about?

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About the Creator

Duncan Ainsworth

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