Art media

AI-generated imagery: democratizing art or demolishing aspirations?

Dystopian Buriganga river with alien fish flying – generated using Midjourney

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Dystopian Buriganga river with alien fish flying - generated using Midjourney

Dystopian Buriganga river with alien fish flying – generated using Midjourney

The limits of artificial intelligence seem to be disappearing before our eyes. What started as a tool to automate hard work seems to have entered science fiction territory, except it has permeated the big screen and moved beyond the realm of fiction. Ideas that would take hours to execute and years of know-how to master are condensed by a computer into minutes. With the launch of Dall-E and Midjourney, what we know about creativity and AI has changed in leaps and bounds.

According to OpenAI, the developers of Dall-E, the key is that it “starts with a bag of dots and fills in an increasingly detailed pattern.” The process is very different from what artists practice. This begs the question: if the creative process is ripped off, can it still really be considered a “work of art”? The intention behind what is created is important. It is the fusion of many artistic techniques, expertly designed to send a message that makes art. Yet the AI ​​seems to have no problem replicating such artistic feats.

Tamzid Farhan Mogno, architect and motion designer, reflects on the value of feeling in art: “I think the most valuable aspect of art is human emotion. quickly become soulless trends and lose value very quickly as the novelty wears off.”

Football match between humans and aliens at Wembley Stadium – generated using Midjourney

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Football match between humans and aliens at Wembley Stadium - generated using Midjourney

Football match between humans and aliens at Wembley Stadium – generated using Midjourney

He continues, “There are online marketplaces for selling prompts, such as promptbase.com, which is both absurd and logical since Dall-E now charges money to generate images for each prompt. You can find an already generated Dall-E. image in this market that matches your style and spend money to discover the keywords used on this prompt. This knowledge of “prompt engineering” now becomes a kind of expertise for Dall-E users.

While almost anyone can write a prompt and the tool conjures up images, those with technical expertise and knowledge of art history will have an advantage. The conversation then turns to property laws and copyright issues. With questions arising mainly on the intellectual property of the generated image. In the case of Dall-E, they recently granted full copyright to individual users.

Junaid Iqbal Ishmam, animator at Mighty Punch Studios, says: “The AI-generated footage cannot be claimed as their own. Instead, they can make the idea their own. The way I see it, when a comic is published, the story belongs to the author and the credit for the work goes to the artist.”

At this time, neither Dall-E nor Midjourney creates images that can be used commercially. Both fabricate results that are always consistent with the strange valley theory. Close inspection reveals underlying flaws in the output. The AI ​​can’t get the text right, the fingers look jagged, and most obviously it doesn’t bode well with the positions mentioned in the prompt. But with research advancing at an unprecedented rate, these shortcomings will inevitably be corrected.

Asifur Rahman, concept and comic artist, stresses the limitations of AI-generated images: “The ability to produce new images depends on other artists’ existing libraries, which indicates that these tools are devoid of thought independent.”

Nonetheless, it has sparked discussions about how AI can help artists in their workflow, helping to brainstorm ideas, create reference images, or visualize products. Tamzid believes the true power of these AI tools lies in the nearly endless possibility of never-before-seen images that can be produced at terrifying speed.

Nawab Sirajuddaula winning the Battle of Plassey against the British – generated using Midjourney

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Nawab Sirajuddaula winning the Battle of Plassey against the British - generated using Midjourney

Nawab Sirajuddaula winning the Battle of Plassey against the British – generated using Midjourney

Asif adds, “I have personally used AI tools to speed up my workflow and find rough blocks for my paintings. I think most of the AI ​​will be used in conceptualization and brainstorming rather than creation of finished parts.”

As heartbreaking as this tool is, artists are here to stay. Whether they use it to improve their work is up to them, but given time and resources, a human who has spent years honing their skills will create something superior to Dall-E or Midjourney.

Junaid reaffirms that works of art created by people will always have a demand. He claims that “AI-generated art could become its own genre or medium. Generating a well-composed piece requires an understanding of the fundamental basics of art, for which we will always need artists .”

There are, of course, ethical implications of the tool. The data that Dall-E and Midnourney draw on has an inclination towards Eurocentric norms and perpetuates dated biases. an earlier study by Dall-E generated images of exclusively white men when prompted by “CEO”.

With every new technology that was introduced to artists, they coped. This tool testifies to the fact that human creativity knows no bounds. Without the work of the many engineers who created it and the artists who provided data, such an achievement could not even be envisaged.