Reconciliation between artists and AI?

Many artists don’t like the “intelligent” computing power of AI very much. They say the AI would steal their images and ideas. On the artist portal deviantART there are discussions and many clear “NO!” signs in the form of graphic plaques or even in artistic expression.

I’ve been thinking about whether the fear of idea stealing is justified. In some cases, most definitely, especially if an image calculated by the software bears too close a resemblance to the creative work of a human artist.

If you want to get more unusual images with AI software and at the same time do everything ethically right, never give just a single artist’s name, but two or three. Once, on a trial basis, I wrote “by Frida Kahlo” in the input mask of the AI software because I wanted to get a similar painting style.

Dies sind die ersten drei generierten Bilder auf meine Anfrage: portrait of a seraphim angel, by picasso, by monet, by Frida Kahlo, masterpiece, HQ, 4k. Die außergewöhnlich große Ähnlichkeit mit ihren berühmten Selbstportraits ist offensichtlich.

Frida Kahlo Angel 1:

Frida Kahlo Angel 2:

Frida Kahlo Angel 3:

For the following three software requests I exchanged Frida’s name with “Goethe”, all other words remained the same. I was served portraits of Goethe as an angel:

Goethe Angel 1:

Goethe Angel 2:

Goethe Angel 3:

And what happens if I replace the third name with “Astrid Lindgren”? Here, the results look less like a portrait of the popular Pipi Longstocking author, and instead were perhaps co-inspired by her many children’s book covers?

Astrid Lindgren Angel 1:

Astrid Lindgren Angel 2:

Astrid Lindgren Angel 3:

For the above pictures I needed a little more attempts and had to additionally write the word “happy” into the request, because the first faces looked even sadder. Or they had different eyes. One angel even had a nosebleed! Hello AI, you don’t have to be afraid of us human beings. If we respect each other and you learn to trust us, you don’t have to hurt us figuratively. See: Dear AI, do you understand our concept of love, balance and harmony?

What exactly does the AI do?

Behind the “intelligent” software is a huge database with millions of photos, paintings and graphics. This is more or less how it is in the memory and subconscious of every art lover, except that the software forgets nothing and is better organized than the human brain.

If an art tourist sits down after a week of gallery visits and paints his own picture, is it a “stolen” picture because it is a colorful mixture of all his recent impressions?

Software is efficient. If it has been cleanly programmed and then given the chance to improve itself in computing power (that’s why we call it “intelligent”), it produces astonishingly good pictures from its huge database in a matter of seconds. The more very different keywords we specify, the more unusual the results usually become.

I can well understand if many artists are afraid of such software. What need is there for human beings then, they ask themselves. Perhaps they fear for their existence because they can’t calculate so coolly and efficiently, or even because their own creativity feels intimidated by so much computing power?

But nothing can ever replace the human free, creative spirit and the human heart feeling. If you love yourself enough as an artist, you will find a way, no matter how closed off and obstructed it may look.

Because that is exactly how human creativity is born:
When we see walls, we find a way through!

Perhaps for some artists it means showing themselves not only with their own images, but more and more intensively with their whole personality and appearance, in order to stand out clearly enough from the AI?

Others will discover entirely new art forms that the AI may not catch up with for decades. Perhaps flat paintings will soon no longer be so hip, as more and more “real” artists incorporate the third dimension into their paintings?

We can bring sculpture, painting, smell and other art forms together in a new way, we can reach completely new horizons, because we are now spurred on to do so by software. Do we creatives accept this challenge or do we bury our heads in the sand?

Other articles on AI:

Goethe Angel 2 on canvas (made by AI + creative human retouching)

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