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Why Is AI Art So Revolting?

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's perspective on the current state of AI-generated art and why they believe it does not qualify as true art. The key points made are:

  • The author believes AI-generated art is not capable of producing successful or compelling art, and that the layperson interacts with it out of ignorance or against their will.
  • The article examines the arguments around photography's initial struggles for acceptance as an art form, and draws parallels to the current debates around AI art.
  • The author argues that the biggest proponents of AI art are not artists themselves, but rather those motivated by financial gain, such as crypto enthusiasts and tech companies.
  • The article suggests that for AI art to be considered true art, it needs to be used by artists to make sense of the world, rather than as a replacement for human creativity.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Hands

1. What is the author's view on the current state of AI models in creating images that can pass as photographs? The author states that AI models have now crossed the threshold where they can create images that convincingly pass as photographs. However, the author notes that even when the AI-generated images are noticeably artificial, it is often difficult to tell whether it is a failing of the generative model or of the operator's taste.

2. Why does the author believe the discovery that an image was made using AI feels like a "betrayal"? The author suggests that the "utopic selling point" of AI art is that it allows artistically-minded people to conjure images directly from their imagination. However, the author argues that current AI models fail to achieve this, and that all an AI artwork can successfully do is trick the viewer into thinking it is a different, more honestly rendered work of art.

[02] A Token of the Real

1. Who are the biggest proponents of AI art according to the author, and what is their motivation? The author states that the biggest fans of AI art are the "crypto crowd, tech bros, and hedge funds". The author argues that these "capital obsessed personalities" are interested in art only in the ways the art market and its exploits might represent an increase in their personal wealth, rather than for the inherent creative value of art.

2. How does the author view the relationship between AI art and the liberatory promises of NFTs? The author suggests that the "liberatory promises of NFTs" have "eaten their own tail", as the AI art market has been flooded with work, undermining the proposition that NFTs could benefit artists. The author argues that this has instead led to "accelerationist capitalists" who aim to exploit the system for their own financial gain.

3. What does the author say is needed for the conversation around whether AI can create art to continue? The author states that they would need to find "a real artist experimenting with AI rather than a hypercapitalist happy to fit anything into their grindset" in order to have a meaningful discussion about whether AI can create art.

[03] Real artists experimenting with AI

1. What is the author's perspective on the AI-generated work of their favorite wedding photographer, Emin Kuliyev? The author acknowledges that they enjoy some of Emin Kuliyev's AI-generated imagery, and that it matches the tonality of his photography. However, the author states that they have still found themselves "repulsed" by these images upon discovering they were AI-generated, as the sense of thrill and creativity they associate with Kuliyev's work is diminished by the knowledge that the images were not fully crafted by the artist.

2. How does the author relate the arguments around AI art to the historical debates around photography's place in the art world? The author draws parallels between the arguments used to justify photography's entrance into the art world, and what artists who employ AI will have to prove in order to demonstrate the artistic value of their work. The author suggests that just as photographers had to justify the art value of a photograph beyond its literal recording of the world, AI artists will have to imbue their work with something more than just the technical capabilities of the AI model.

[04] Democratising Art

1. How does the author view the claim that AI art is democratizing art? The author argues that the "sales pitch of democratising art" only appeals to those who have felt shut out by art institutions, and who confuse the high prices of public art sales with the actual accessibility of art-making. The author contends that art can be made with basic materials, and that the push for AI art is more about legitimizing venture capital investments than truly democratizing the creative process.

2. How does the author differentiate the position of photography in the art world compared to the current push for AI art? The author suggests that while photography's tenuous position in the art world was advocated for by photographers themselves, the push for AI art is being driven by those who aim to replace real artists for their skillsets, rather than to use AI as a tool for creative expression. The author argues that until AI art is used to make sense of the world, rather than to replace human artists, it will not feel like real art.

Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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