Artificial Intelligence and Art
It’s just like we predicted. Robots are taking over. First, it was self-check-out at Wal-Mart and now they’re sending Banksy to an early retirement. You might think that’s hyperbole, but then you probably didn’t just lose a competition to an algorithm.
Colorado State Fair’s Annual Art Competition
Jason M. Allen won the Colorado State Fair annual art competition with an AI-generated piece of artwork called Théâtre D’opéra Spatial. He and his robot ally won the blue ribbon in the emerging artists’ category.
To the chagrin of the other artists, all he used was a prompt in a program called Midjourney, making him one of the first artists to win an art contest like this with an AI-generated piece of artwork. He defended his work by saying that he was upfront and honest about using this software and never lied about how he created the art.
As per usual, there was an uproar on Twitter
One user proclaiming, “This is the literal definition of “pressed a few buttons to make a digital art piece” AI artwork is the ‘banana taped to the wall’ of the digital world now.”
Another simply stating, “This is really not cool.”
But this does beg the question, where do we draw the line? AI artwork is the ‘banana taped to the wall’ of the digital world. Well, Maurizio Cattelan’s banana on the wall sold for $120k. Does the price alone make it art? Because if it’s me, I’m going to buy Space Opera Theater over a 6-figure banana that may last 7-10 days and tilt the scales in favor of the fruit flies in the battle between them and myself.
People are mad because Mr. Allen didn’t technically create anything, but he did create the prompt that he used in Midjourney, which he has chosen not to share with the world. Perhaps that’s where the money is, in the prompt, and not necessarily in the art.
AI Art Generators
AI art generators are popping up left and right. Some of the more well-known AI software companies with this capability are Midjourney, DALL-E, and Artbreeder. A person writes a prompt into the software and it spits out an image – or rather, a piece of artwork.
DALL-E offers some insight into how simple prompts can be. On their blog, they have several different prompts, one being, “an armchair in the shape of an avocado.” It then created several images, which are exactly what you would think an armchair shaped like an avocado looks like.
I like to believe that the prompt associated with Jason M. Allen’s artwork was slightly more complex than this, but we may never know.
Prompts for different artworks are being sold as opposed to the actual artwork itself. We don’t know what will truly hold the worth whether it be the prompt or the artwork. Mr. Allen only won a $300 prize in the contest but is the artwork or the prompt holding the future value of the first contest-winning AI-generated artwork?
With any product that has worth, a marketplace will follow. Websites like Promptbase are already selling prompts for different pieces of art. Some of their featured prompts included snow globes, spaceships, and even 3D Futuristic Animal Avatars. The designs are extremely unique and obviously hold value as people are purchasing them.
How the Prompts work
We took some of the language from MAi’s website and inserted it into one of these AI Art Generators. We used the following phrase and generated these images: a team of self thinkers, creativity and innovation, transparent, easy to work with, and consultative style.
These are really not half bad. It truly is going to suck being a visual artist in the next few years. But though this may not be great for visual artists around the world, it could benefit small and growing companies around the world.
How Does This Affect Companies?
AI-generated art may quickly become a cost-effective way for small companies to create logos or artwork when they can’t afford an artist.
These tools can make creating art and marketing content more accessible to companies that don’t have access to software or people who can create art for them. It’s also a way for companies to mock up ideas for art or marketing.
Artificial intelligence will always be considered in saving money for companies. Walmart didn’t install self-serve checkout for the benefit of the customer. Some grocery stores have robots that will roll around and clean up spills. “Clean up in aisle 12!” and here comes Rosie the Robot coming to sweep it up. Now, while a few of you are probably not familiar with the Jetsons, George Jetson was technically born in 2022! So, maybe we are catching up to the space age.
Plenty of companies use AI to improve customer experience, rather than to just save money. MAi Research spends plenty of time and money to improve our artificial intelligence, including its machine learning and natural language processing in our Text Science.