More Thoughts on AI Art

People who hate the idea of AIs making all kinds of art clearly don’t have nearly as many EXTREMELY SPECIFIC types of art that they want to have exist in the world that are largely failing to do so.

I don’t have time to write and draw and compose all the art I want myself.

I spend my time writing the kind of fiction I want & occasionally trying to make the kind of music or visual art I want. I don’t have the skills to make the kind of shows and movies I want. Yet.

I spend my disposable income paying others to write the kind of fiction I want too…

And then people go and throw at me, “What if an AI wrote something like YOUR fiction?!?!?”


Because I’m already doing everything I can to make that kind of thing happen. And I want MORE.

And sure, there are a lot of artists out there who’d like to be paid for what they’ve created… but it’s not what I’m looking for, and you can’t make people pay for art just because you worked hard on it if it’s not something they want.

And sure, you can turn around and tell me I’m being selfish because I just want some new 60s style pop songs and stories about anthro space cats and YOU NEED TO EAT… but…

It’s gonna feel like a complete non-sequitur, because artists aren’t offering to make what I want.

So, yes, it’s a big problem that there are a lot of people (all kinds of people, not just artists) struggling to make ends meet and pay for basic necessities like food and shelter.

We need to fix that.

But there are holes in the world AI art has the potential (and already somewhat the reality) to help fill… and it’s just so damned frustrating that artists are trying to turn this into an either/or situation when the lack of AI art won’t actually solve any of their problems.

So, if you want to fight to get paid, go for it. If you simply don’t like the look of AI art, ignore it like you would ignore any art you don’t like.

But maybe have a little compassion for the people who just found something new they love, something that was missing before.

There is drudgery in the making of art, and while some people don’t mind that drudgery or even enjoy it, for others automating it away makes the difference between their artistic vision being achievable and not.

Similar lines and bits of shading get done over and over again. The comparison I haven’t seen for AI art yet but that seems worth thinking about is the word processor.

If I had to write by hand, I might not be a writer at all. It hurts my hand too much, too fast.

Word processors let me type my words, much faster than I could hand write them, but also drag whole chunks of text around, rearranging them as I go.

The word processor gives me power, aiding me in achieving my vision faster. It empowers me to create so much more.

AI art algorithms take things that people as a society have drawn over and over again so many times that there are standard, basic ways of drawing them and automates that.

There are standard strategies for drawing something that looks like a cat to other human beings…

Certainly there’s room for artistic flare and individual style even in something as simple as drawing a cat, but sometimes, that’s not the point… sometimes, you just want a basic cat, because you have a vision of what you want to do with that cat…

Maybe you want to show a cat decorating a cake or wearing a wedding dress or skiing or flying a spaceship, and each of those types of things is something you could spend a long time learning how to draw well, in addition to learning how to draw a cat effectively.

Some people enjoy taking the time to learn how to draw each type of thing. I think even more people, once they’ve taken that time, are offended by the idea that new artists might not have to… Some will still want to!

But AI art has the potential to unlock a lot of creativity.

It’s okay for some things to be easy. We don’t have to insist on keeping everything hard forever. And the fact that it’s hard isn’t what makes art valuable; it’s the fact that it touches our hearts and speaks to our experience of living and makes life feel meaningful.

AI art algorithms and models are transformative works of art in their own right.

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