A few gold figurines imagined by me and Midjourney. Several of these are imagined as part of shamanic rituals. For instance, the sculls represent our connection with the rest of nature. Our bones and bodies are intimately connected with all life, as is all of us.
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A FEW AI THOUGHTS
And a few more thoughts on AI-generated images:
Do AI image generators steal people’s art? Not really. It learns from existing images, just like any human artist does. It scans millions of images and learns patterns, and that’s about it. It doesn’t store or steal or use parts of images. (One exception may be if it learns the style of a living artist very well and is able to generate images that are as good as what they make. That’s something laws and the legal system need to catch up with.)
Will AI-generated images replace human artists? It will never replace good artists. It cannot match the best of human-created art, and there will always be a good market for good human art – whether it’s world-class or charming or fascinating in other ways. It may replace some illustrators or less-skilled artists. And in the process, it generates new jobs for people skilled in making AI-generated images.
Who is the artist behind AI images? When I generate images, I am tapping into a vast ocean of (AI) potential to see what comes out of it. I am definitely not the one “creating” the images, although I play a role in coming up with the idea, refining the text prompt, evaluating the outcome, and selecting a few of the many images generated. It’s a partnership between me, the AI, the ones creating and training the AI, and the millions of images it is trained on and the millions of humans creating these images. Just like any art, the real artist is all of us and all of existence.
Will it lead to a new renaissance? I don’t know. The outcome of these kinds of shifts is usually not as terrible as some fear and not as amazing as some hope. That said, yes, it is obviously a kind of revolution. It is already giving a large number of people the possibility to generate images they otherwise would never be able to produce. It will replace some illustrators and stock photographers. It will give work to people skilled in generating AI images. It will inspire many artists to new types of creations. And as anything new that’s dropped into society, it will likely lead to much we cannot easily foresee. (Which is not bad or a problem, that’s just life.)
Is it art? That depends on what you mean by art. I like to say “AI-generated images” for what I dream up with Midjourney, and I mainly consider it fun explorations, similar to exploring dreams.