Artificial Intelligence is a remarkably new concept, yet it has already spread to numerous facets of our day-to-day life. With the usage of artificial intelligence models like ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney, AI has gone from a rare luxury utilized by a select few, to a tool available for any member of the public to use. With this rapidly-increasing commonality, however, has also come controversy, most notably lying within the usage of AI in order to generate “art”.
The most vocal detractors of AI-generated art are, as you might’ve guessed, artists. But why has it become such a tenuous problem within the online sphere? The most common answer to this would be that artists fear AI could potentially surpass them. But the truth is much more complicated. First, it needs to be noted that AI-generated art is inherently flawed; beyond the debate of what exactly constitutes ‘art’, and how human creation factors into that definition, it’s unable to fully create something of its own.
AI-generated art is, in a single word, derivative. It doesn’t so much create its own pieces, but instead cobble together a “new” one from a combination of countless different pieces of art already created by people. It then works using its understanding of what something should look like based off of both the user’s prompt, and the art it cannibalizes for its own creation. This is to say that AI-generated art more or less steals from real artists in order to create its own. In some cases, you can even see the approximation of a watermark over AI-generated art, because of how common it is for real artists to use one. This is the real reason why AI-generated art is an outrage to artists. The reason it could potentially surpass human artists in the future is not because of its ability to create, but instead theirs.
So why should you as a consumer care? For one, you won’t ever be guaranteed to get the result you want. AI can’t process and utilize feedback like a human can - to put it simply, they don’t speak the same language as us, and that inability to communicate and respond makes it impossible to get what you really want. Second, AI-generated art is a legal gray area. While technically it can in theory be copyrighted, the only reason that’s the case is because there’s been little consideration given towards AI by the federal government; the reason AI has been able to grow as much as it has in recent years is because no limitations have been put in place; a fact that’s likely to change in the upcoming years.
So to ensure your future, and ensure the legitimacy of your commissioned logos, drawings, and all other mediums, use a human artist.