How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Art World

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Art World

Artificial intelligence (AI), which refers to the simulation of human intelligence and behaviors in machines, is transforming the way we live. We see it in our homes, with Google Home or Alexa speakers responding to voice commands. We see in the music industry, with platforms like Spotify making song recommendations tailored to our previous listening activity. We see it in web development, with the growing prominence of chatbots and virtual assistants. Now, we’re even seeing it change the face of the art world.

What is the relationship between AI and art? What kind of shifts can we expect to see in coming years as the relationship grows increasingly intertwined? Let’s have a look at the effect artificial intelligence is having on the art industry.

How Artificial Intelligence Creates Art
For artificial intelligence to create art, artists must write algorithms that are designed to actually “learn” a particular aesthetic through the analysis of thousands of images. From there, the algorithm attempts to create new images that hold a similar aesthetic to the images it has studied.

Blurring the Definition of Artist
Given that the algorithm is creating the art itself, it begs the question: is the algorithm the artist or is the person who wrote the algorithm the artist? While the human being is responsible for the creation of the algorithm, they have next to no involvement in the creation of the piece itself; the AI does it autonomously. In fact, many people who create these algorithms are often surprised by certain components of the final image that the AI produces, making it clear that the individual’s artistic expression and vision isn’t necessarily conveyed in the execution. Hence, it’s clear that artificial intelligence is blurring the definition of what constitutes an artist.

AI May Help Human Creativity Reach New Heights
In 2020, Forbes made a few key predictions on the ways that artificial intelligence would likely continue to transform the worlds of art and design. One of them was the idea that AI could help surpass existing limitations on human creativity. Oftentimes, human beings become overwhelmed and indecisive when presented with too many options, which is extremely common in the art industry. However, AI presents a unique solution to that issue. Since intelligent machines are designed to come up with infinite possible solutions and subsequently narrow down to the most suitable options, they could easily do so in the art world. Theoretically, they could find solutions to the artist’s problem that best fit the artist’s “vision.” In other words, AI could help people discover new creative solutions that they could never have developed on their own.

The Growing Prominence of AI Art
Believe it or not, AI art is becoming increasingly prevalent. In 2018, Christie’s sold the first piece of AI art ever sold at a major art gallery. The portraits, "Edmond de Belamy," greatly resembled a standard 18th or 19th century portrait and sold for a whopping $432,500. There was also a fascinating exhibition hosted at The Barbican called AI: More than Human, which examined the ever-evolving relationship between humans and technology. In fact, there are even communities of artists dedicated to discussing the impact and evolution of AI art.

There’s no denying that artificial intelligence is drastically changing various sectors, including the art industry. In recent years, the relationship between AI and art has grown increasingly intertwined – and this trend is expected to continue well into the future. The exact implications that AI will have on artists and human creativity? That remains to be seen.

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