AI gives normal people creative privilege and outlets


Isaac Hsu

While people respect traditional artists for their work and personal styles, the reality is that as times change, so will artistic tools. For example, DALL-E is an AI art generation engine that uses a text encoder to read a text prompt which translates the prompt into an image. And while it is true AI like DALL-E can never completely replace human work, it is a cool tool that can make art faster and cheaper. 

While I don’t think AI artists are traditional artists, since they only insert prompts to make an image instead of drawing it themselves, what they produce is still an amazing innovation. Some people think AI art stifles creativity, but it can also allow people to project their vision. 

People don’t have to think so much about what they want to express. People can still create traditional art, but others who lack those skills can now create their own “art”. They can spend less time and money than they would on a commission. I, for one, have enjoyed using AI to create some memes, like creating pictures of superheroes at a KFC. Without AI, I would never have thought of creating this image, nor have had the tools to make it. 

But the issue some people believe their jobs at stake. People who use AI to create art are not bad, but profiting off of it is just distasteful. People who pretend to be digital artists taking commissions and then use AI to produce their work and sell it to clients who are being misled, or winning awards in traditional art is where I can agree it should be banned. There are also those who make the software and sell subscription services to people using AI for art, which also seems ethically gray to me. Still, in many ways, using AI is a lot like artists taking inspiration from other artists or giving lessons on drawing, imitating and taking from existing artworks has been happening for ages. 

Traditional realism painters, for example, could have made many of the arguments against AI against early photography. Photography allows for the everyday person to capture realism in an instant, instead of dedicating their lives to understanding artistic realism. Cameras hundreds of years ago were giant and of low quality, yet cameras today have become a 12MP photographic device that everyone has access to and can fit in their pockets. Although AI art usually messes up generating hands in pictures, AI will become more and more perfect. 

While knowing this mechanization has been present throughout history, we should also acknowledge that it is different. This progression is not limited to art. Any non-physical activity will likely be replaced by AI in the very near future. The question is when will laws be made to restrict it, and what will be restricted?