A.I. art

I don’t like A.I. art.

Technology-wise, it’s extremely cool. Hard to believe it exists. (I’m aware of its shortcomings re: things like hands, faces, uncanny valley type things. I’m guessing these will improve with time and will no longer be easy points of criticism.)

Artistically, creatively, though, I’m uncomfortable with it. Art is nebulous to define, but the process of creating the art with written prompts feels wrong to me. Is prompt-writing a technical skill? Writing is a skill. Learning how to use a tool is a skill, and getting a result you want from a generator right now seems quite involved, with lots of iterating required. But reading a prompt list is, lol.

The idea of putting in artists’ works into a machine at this scale is gross. Trying to copy a specific artist’s style is gross, and the way it happens (by feeding their work, without their consent, into a system) feels especially dehumanizing and gross.

There are some things in digital art that I think technology advancements would be super cool for:

  • Automating the tedious parts of the process, like filling in colours
  • Drawing repetitive things (patterns, many of one thing…)
  • Fixing mistakes, like erasing stray lines or pixels
  • File and layer management

Some things that I think are inherent to the process of art that feel uncomfortable to have done by AI:

  • Drawing the actual lines
  • Painting the actual brushstrokes

Maybe this is part of why I’m uncomfortable with the current popular outputs of AI art generators right now—styles that look like a person painted everything you see. To me, part of the allure of illustration is studying the details and seeing the choices an artist made. They chose to make a brushstroke there, in that texture. They chose those colours. They drew an eye in this shape. All of this is part of their individual style. The artist behind the work, making these decisions, is important.

Anyway. Not into it. Please automate other parts of the art process.