Over the past few months, the evolution of artificial intelligence has been immense. In particular, the access and use of AI has been incredibly fascinating, yet concerning at the same time. On the one hand, people are able to create ideas and images at lightning-fast speeds and it has admittedly even led to some great meme-worthy posts on social media. However, the joke becomes less funny when people begin to realize that this type of technology not only becomes a security risk, but could also be dangerous for artists worldwide. AI Art is incredibly dangerous to the art community. Not only is art being stolen from the artists who create it, but AI Art takes away from what art is.
AI art detracts from the entire reason why art is meaningful: to observe someone's (a real person) perspective and creative visual interpretation through various mediums. It's astounding that technology has come so far that it is able to mimic a centuries-old form of human expression, but it becomes concerning that it has grown to rival its human counterpart--especially when real people rely on their art to make a living.
It also devalues real artists, who society already doesn’t care about. People do not understand the amount of effort that goes into making art, and it is often overlooked as not being something important because its purpose is not solely to make money. AI only makes it worse by cheaply replicating and making the creative process take two seconds.
AI art is a tool that can be used wisely or unwisely. AI in general is a field that has a lot of potential, and a lot of dangers. If an AI can pass a Wharton exam, what does that say about business school for example? There's plenty of issues with AI art, from stealing others' art, to artists already being undervalued. But it can also be used in an ethical way I think.
A lot of people interested in fantasy or RPGs have used AI art programs to generate images for their characters. It should be a tool used for fun, not to steal others' work or put artists out of a job. We're mostly talking about visual art, but AI can also be used for writing, and I think that's an interesting angle to look at it from as well. Do the same criticisms apply to AI poetry as well?
The reason why AI in general is thriving is because most people would rather deal with a robot than a real person. Social interaction isn’t something that comes very naturally to many people (especially after Covid) and people would much rather take an automated approach rather than an in-depth interaction (mobile ordering rather than telling your order, speaking to an automated response on the phone rather than a real person, etc.) In some cases, speaking to a real person can be more engaging and helpful (I love thanking someone for their help at the end of a phone call!) but in a day and age where people dread the thought of a FaceTime or a phone call, AI is bound to flourish.
In some cases, it could cause millions to lose their jobs. The problem there is more to do with capitalism than automation, but it's still a concern. Technology is going to advance, AI is going to get better, and more things are going to be automated. Ideally, that should be to the benefit of people, but often it comes at someone's expense. We shouldn't turn into luddites just because something new threatens us – we should find new ways to interact with a world that thing exists in.