Why Artists Can’t Be Replaced By AI

AI art is any artwork created through machine learning that mimics human intelligence or works like the human brain, thanks to preset algorithms. The artwork can be created autonomously by AI or feature a human collaboration.

Even a few years back, people wouldn’t have imagined that AI could create art. Now that it’s a reality, most artists are wondering if AI can replace human artists and to what extent. My guide tries to find the answer to these questions and highlights unique features in human art that help distinguish it from AI art.

Can AI Art Replace Human Creativity?

Cute and friendly robot artist in the studio next to his easel, painting and paints while working - neural network generated art, picture produced with ai in 2022

When people used to ask me, even a couple of years back, whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) could take over from human artists, my answer was a firm no. But now, I’m not so sure, and let me tell you why. 

I learned about an AI, Midjourney, that can create art and decided to give it a go to see how the creative process has evolved over the years. But I wasn’t going to make it easy for the AI art generators, so I typed in something completely at random – 

“Tom Cruise walking a lion in a national park, wearing a wrestling outfit, sunglasses, and holding a stick.” The results were staggering and delivered in only 60 seconds, which a human artist would have taken much longer to produce.

Midjourney generated 4 digital art pieces, all different from the others, with further options to enhance the images per my requirements. But there were 2 things that stood out – 

Firstly, any person would fail to differentiate that it’s not human-created art but AI-generated art. But the second point is more important in the context of this article. The results produced by the AI art were brilliant but needed more attention to detail. Remember how I mentioned Tom Cruise is wearing a wrestler’s costume?

Midjourney failed to understand or register that information and portrayed Tom Cruise in normal clothes. And based on this point, I will explain other aspects of why artists can’t be replaced by AI. 

The Rise Of AI Art

Anthropomorphic robot artist in the studio next to the easel, painting and paints while working - neural network generated art, picture produced with ai in 2022. The rise of ai art

The talk of the town right now is ChatGPT and how it’s traversing the boundaries of human and machine creativity. But it’s just a teaser of sorts, and the true power of AI will be clear in the coming years.

However, will the art created by AI models have the same value as contemporary artists? For instance, an original Picasso should fetch more than an original Midjourney painting, right? 

Well, times are changing, and AI art is revolutionizing the art industry, much like other creative spaces. What works in its favor is that computer-generated art is affordable and easily accessible, which has given rise to the fear that AI art might replace artists.

On that note, here’s another interesting anecdote. Recently, AI-generated art from Obvious fetched a huge sum of $430K from a French art collective at one of the most famous AI art auctions. 

Even more astonishing is that AI art is not limited to the visual creative process; being used in multiple ways to replace artists. Modern AI can develop unique designs and even compose music, making it a necessary tool as the world grows.

That said, is AI more powerful than the human brain? I don’t believe so, and let me explain why.

How Are Creative Professionals Using Artificial Intelligence?

How are creative professionals using artificial intelligence?

Here are some ways AI art generators influence creative decision-making in the art world. In more ways than one, these tools can mimic human creativity and make the artistic process more efficient. 

1. Human Experience + AI-Generated Images

An interesting impact of AI art is that it can use human inputs to develop creative arts that earlier only human beings could. In fact, many professional artists have started using artificial intelligence for artistic creativity instead of spending hours on one painting. 

By combining the power of the human brain and machine learning, digital artists can reimagine the creative process on a new level. 

2. Unique Ideas

Albert Einstein – “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

All these years, the uniqueness of human intelligence prevented AI from replacing artists. But even the great scientist would have admitted that now artificial intelligence can at least mimic the creative spark, which humans had considered a treasure. 

Artificial intelligence systems use ever-changing and evolving algorithms to use the hidden patterns within data to produce original art. These are accurate images developed after processing huge amounts of information within seconds.

In fact, thanks to current AI technology, many digital art concepts are being explored that would otherwise have remained unearthed. Given their efficiency, many people think it’s only a matter of time before AI art can replace human artists.

3. Art Exhibitions

While human artists bring the art, the collection is usually organized and held by an art school or other agency. But artificial intelligence can curate entire exhibitions, thanks to detailed algorithms and analytical data, further helping piece the collections together.

Let me explain – unlike human artists who fight over their artwork, artificial intelligence analyses the paintings, decides if they should be included, and suggests a suitable spot.

4. Machine Learning

So, what about existing art? Will that be affected in any way? As AI models are further refined, it’s become increasingly clear that they can enhance existing projects in creative industries. In other words, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing people’s outlook on art and how we interact with the art world.

5. Damaged Work

One of the major points in favor of AI and why it might replace artists is the ability to restore damaged artwork. Moreover, it can create great art from nothing without compromising on the human element in many situations. 

Some people even believe AI can fully replace artists and triumph over human creativity. That’s why it won’t be surprising if AI-generated art is valued more than traditional art in the long run. 

6. Lifelike Creations

The point in favor of human ingenuity is that AI-generated art can’t be as lifelike. But nowadays, the art market is flooded with examples of the artistic process becoming similar to human art due to its ability to create 3D models that are almost indistinguishable. 

Thus, human creators can deliver incredible artworks that are authentic, without having to work on their artistic skills for months. 

Comparing AI-Generated Art With Human Creativity

Comparing ai-generated art with human creativity

If AI art can truly replace artists, we must know how computer-generated art compares to the creative decision-making of human artists. So, what exactly does creativity in art mean? In most cases, people are looking for ingenuity and the ability to produce something unique. 

But modern artists producing AI-generated artworks have taken creativity to a new level by reimagining old traditions, designing new ideas, using innovative techniques to resolve issues, and reinterpreting art forms to find new connections. Long story short, AI art focuses more on out-of-the-box techniques for artistic creativity. 

What Are The Main Points In Favor Of AI?

What are the main points in favor of ai?

The main points in favor of AI art compared to a human artist are that – 

  • It doesn’t take much time
  • Much more cost-effective
  • Even more detailed and efficient in some cases
  • Ability to be more ingenious and creative

Research shows humans can use only a portion of the true potential of their brains, and this is where AI has a clear edge. While human beings need to look for inspiration and might find it tough to remember a creative thought they had, modern image generators have large swathes of data.

Since an AI tool can filter through millions of data points in seconds, it can draw connections that many artists will fail to make. Moreover, unlike humans, AI isn’t constrained by biases or prejudices and can more readily generate fresh ideas.  

Where Does AI Lack While Producing Works Of Art?

Where does ai lack while producing works of art?

So far, the answer to the question – “will AI art replace artists?” – seems to be in the affirmative. But there’s no reason to lose hope because I have shortlisted certain aspects where human artists still hold sway. 

1. Ability To Adapt

Despite its versatility, the ability of AI technology to adapt has been found wanting in many areas, especially in processing real-time updates. Almost all AI is currently constrained by coding and other limitations, meaning they aren’t in tune with modern concepts or worldviews like humans. 

So, when you input natural stimuli, the AI will likely not respond appropriately. 

2. Subversion

One of the attractive aspects of art is that it surpasses boundaries and defies conventions through imaginative possibilities. On the other hand, written codes for the AI are preset and have to be continually upgraded to prevent the machine-generated images from becoming rigid. 

This is where the human condition scores one on the AI and helps artists do well in the creative sector.

3. Imagination

It’s not that AI art is unimaginative, but the tool needs help to break the barriers and biases in its models. Therefore, it must overcome the boundaries of programming, data points, and other parameters to be truly original. Otherwise, it will fail to devise novel concepts or pursue new ideas.

4. Artsy Flair

Human creatives use multiple emotions, irony, feelings, etc., to produce eye-catching artwork. But AI-generated images don’t have that luxury and often deliver mundane pieces and calculated creativity like just another tool. 

5. Intent

The main problem for AI art is to convey the artwork’s purpose, intention, or message for the portrait to be attractive. Despite AI getting updated and delivering more realistic content than before, it still needs to be infused with human creativity for the best results. 

That’s why AI might not be able to replace artists soon. 

What Changes Will AI Art Bring To The Professional World?

Deviating slightly from the world of art, let me offer the example of an AI that can compose entire songs. Not all of these are original tracks, and if you want, it’s possible to tune the songs along the lines of Eminem, Beyonce, etc. 

Understandably, music directors and creators have been left sweating by this fast development in artificial intelligence. And if the same thing were to happen in the art world, what changes can you expect? 

1. Unique AI Art

AI can create diverse and interesting art with greater ease, especially with the algorithms becoming more sophisticated. Remember how AI art sold for a lot of money in France? In the future, the market might have more unique creations generated by artificial intelligence. 

As a result, the images produced are more similar to those created by human artists. But many of these pictures express a feeling or emotion that’s quite different or out of context since AI lacks the creative spark of humans. 

The bottom line is AI is creating unique art pieces, and though it may not replace artists, people are certainly willing to purchase machine-generated art.

2. Greater Supply

It may also be that AI disrupts the supply-demand balance, and the world is flooded with more art pieces but no buyers. In reality, many artists can now create multiple art pieces in much less time and reduced effort, thereby increasing supply. What would have taken years is now possible in a matter of minutes.

3. Copyright Issues

Another important aspect when I answer the question will AI replace artists is related to copyright issues. Artificial Intelligence is already having a major influence on copyright laws, and not in the right way. 

You must remember that AI-generated art draws inspiration from previous images, so the question arises: Who are the creators/owners of such artwork? It’s not uncommon for autonomous artists to claim artwork as their own just to get a chunk of the profits.

Thus, litigation and cases involving ownership rights are becoming more frequent, affecting the art world’s economy. In a few years, AI will further influence how people purchase and value art.

What Challenges Does AI Art Face Against Artists?

Although its impact is more noticeable, I can’t ignore that AI art has to overcome the following challenges in the years to come.

1. Due Importance

Many people still believe that art produced by only human beings is valuable and deserves recognition. They overlook artificial intelligence and don’t consider it natural creativity. 

2. Meaning

The meaning portrayed through art is important, and this is one area where human artists still have the advantage. Because you have to feed the preset algorithm rules, keywords, etc., to generate art, it’s limited by these prompts. That’s why it’s not surprising for AI art to lack meaning and context for people. 

Another thing to note in such a scenario is the lack of expressiveness, which can only be brought about by human emotions. 

3. Imitation Or Innovation?

At present, AI can imitate existing art to create new pieces, but developing unique art from nothing is something artificial intelligence hasn’t yet mastered. 

4. Ethical Conundrums

As AI improves, it pushes the boundaries of ethics in art, which means some people can abuse it. Just as the Internet revolutionized humankind forever but also put great power in the hands of the wrong people, AI can be misused without proper safeguarding measures.

Since the potential of AI is limitless, harmful products can be released into the world with disastrous consequences. 

Will AI Art Replace Artists?

It seems unlikely when it comes to the question of whether AI art will replace human artists. Human creativity is still valued more than AI-generated art, and originality is much sought-after in every sphere. 

The point is AI may very well generate the styles and complexities portrayed by famous artists in their work, but they can’t create completely original pieces. Most importantly, a major part of art is about self-expression rather than just technique, and it will take some time before AI can process emotions in real-time like humans.

How Should Artists Use AI? 

Just because AI can’t deliver truly original artwork doesn’t mean artists should not try it out. I believe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for artists to automate the production process and create unique pieces using the latest algorithms. 

AI can suggest automated visuals or assist with pattern recognition. Some image generators, like Deep Dream Generator, are ideal for suggesting alternative means of expression. Moreover, artificial intelligence can help with mundane and tedious tasks, allowing artists to focus more on the creative aspects.

This will also ensure artists can use their judgment and curate the art pieces according to their preferences. So, try out some of the leading AIs but use a VPN, or learn about what is a VPN beforehand to stay safe on the Internet.

White anthropomorphic robot artist near wall with its paintings, close portrait - neural network generated art, picture produced with ai in 2022. Why artists can't be replaced by ai conclusion.

Why Artists Can’t Be Replaced By AI Conclusion

Let me state some facts before wrapping up. AI has been around for a long time and is here to stay, and it will play an integral part in everyone’s lives in the coming years.

That said, the images generated are unlikely to replace human intelligence and thought despite being eye-catching. Humans can form a personal connection and use art to evoke feelings that AI has yet to master.

Most importantly, people still value paintings developed by artists, and there is something inspiring about artwork brought to fruition by skills developed throughout a person’s life. But people don’t feel the same about machine creativity because things are easier for a robot.

The struggles of everyday life, combined with a passion for influencing people, make human artists truly unique. 

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