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AI and the Loss of Human Artistry

AI and the Loss of Human Artistry

Christopher Arndt |

In yesterday’s newsletter, AI Art: Copyright Concerns Addressed, I tackled part 1 in our 5-part series addressing the concerns of using AI-generated images.

Today we continue with Part 2: AI and the Loss of Human Artistry.

Some worry that AI-generated images are a loss of human artistry and do not qualify as art.

Let's begin today's discussion by defining what "art" is. According to the Oxford Dictionary, "art" is:

“The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

Using this definition as a guide, let's examine whether creating an image with the help of AI can be considered art.

- ILLUSTRATION IMAGINED WITH AI USING IDEOGRAM -

An artist begins by conceptualizing what they want to create. That may include considering the subject matter, style, emotional tone, material, composition, color palette, level of realism, scale, and other elements.

An artist uses various tools to realize their vision. They may use a paintbrush, their hands, or a computer. The tool helps them express their creativity.

When using the tool of AI, human input is equally required. The computer needs to know what the artist envisions to create.

It all begins with the prompt. By writing a clear and detailed description in the required format, the computer is guided in generating the desired image.

The way a prompt is written significantly impacts the resulting output. The artistry lies in clearly communicating the intended artistic direction, concept, and visual style to the computer.

For instance, the following prompt produces the image below:

A hedgehog dressed as a mail carrier delivering mail in the country

- IMAGINED WITH AI USING IDEOGRAM -

Through skill, experience, and the help of AI, writing a well-crafted prompt yields a completely different image.
A captivating ultra-realistic illustration embodying the essence of cottagecore, featuring a cute and adorable smirking hedgehog dressed as a United States Postal mailman, with intricate details like a blue uniform, red tie, blue baseball cap with the word 'MAIL' embroidered, small leather boots, and a charming red mailbox. The idyllic countryside backdrop showcases vibrant arrays of wildflowers in red, yellow, blue, and purple hues, complemented by a white fence, a rustic red barn, and a white farmhouse, creating a cozy and summery atmosphere. Sunlight adds warmth, immersing viewers in the rustic charm of rural life, where simplicity and nature harmoniously intertwine.

 This updated prompt produces this image:

- ILLUSTRATION IMAGINED WITH AI USING IDEOGRAM -

While AI-imaging has made rapid strides, it still faces serious challenges with realism, particularly with anatomy and essential details—as seen in the image above.

In my experience, the first, second, tenth—even thirtieth generation rarely produces a usable image without some type of issue.

The tedious process of refining the prompt and regenerating the output is required, involving dozens upon dozens of attempts to achieve usable elements within the image.

It's only when each of the elements are combined in Photoshop that a usable image is ready for print.

Several hours later, here is the outcome:

- ILLUSTRATION IMAGINED WITH AI USING IDEOGRAM AND PHOTOSHOP -

To sum it up, creating with the assistance of AI is a very hands-on process requiring human creativity, skill, and imagination. AI enriches the creative process and can work with, not against, human artistry.

Join me tomorrow for Part 3: AI and Soulless Images. Stay tuned!