How Do Artists Feel About AI Art?


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AI art has been taken with mixed feelings. Some enjoy the creation of AI art, while others see it as a machine that stole their artwork and craft. The majority of the concerns are focused on the datasets that are used to create the AI art. Datasets use copyrighted images, and generally, artists don’t like that their artwork is used without their consent.

In this article, we’ll be elaborating a bit more on how AI impacts the art world and the response from artists and businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • Artists can benefit from AI art by using the material as a reference or as an inspiration.
  • AI art can benefit the ones who have not been able to create art previously.
  • AI art can potentially replace some of the work artists do, like concept art.
  • AI art can’t ever replace human imagination or innovation.

How Artists Benefit From AI Art

AI can still offer unique opportunities for artists amid its glaring faults. The way we see AI art is that it can serve as a reference image or as an inspiration for your own artwork.

Let’s say, for example, that you wish to draw a kangaroo wearing a cowboy hat. In a nutshell, this is what you would do:

  • Go over to your AI art generator of choice
  • On the corresponding text box, type the words “kangaroo wearing a cowboy hat”
  • Click “generate” (or similar)
  • Download the AI-generated image and start using it as a “blueprint” for your own art.

We also can’t forget that there are a lot of people who have either lost the ability to create art or have always wanted to create art but just haven’t had the needed skills or resources available for them.

There have been stories on Instagram about people that lost their ability to draw, and with the rise of AI art, they are once again able to create art, albeit AI art.

Why AI Art is Bad for Artists

We’d have to mention AI’s potential to deprive artists of their career opportunities. Simply put, a person who wants to put an idea into a “visual punchline” could go to any AI art generator site and create something with little effort or money on the line.

Needless to say, this severely downplays the travail that artists usually have to go through to craft their precious pieces. It also impacts their market value, as artists will have to fight a losing battle against a literal machine, profiting only from extremely unique artwork.

But, as hinted at earlier, it gets even worse, for AI doesn’t render its output out of thin air. Instead, the machine “learns” or feeds itself using datasets with actual images ripped from other artists without their consent.

Sometimes, it might be challenging to detect where an asset or element in an AI art comes from. Some machines do little to conceal signatures or watermarks. Still, it can become an uphill battle whenever the machine successfully masks the image to pass it off as original artwork.

For privacy purposes, we’ve removed the information and details of who created the AI art poll on YouTube

It’s also a little discouraging to see polls on YouTube about the ethicality of AI art and see how people see that AI art is ethically ok. This could happen in part because people don’t honestly know how AI art generators work and how the generator compiles the image from copyrighted works.

How AI Affects Artists

AI affects artists in ways that go beyond the mere ripping off of their precious artwork. The other predicament artists now deal with relates to how project leaders and clients scrutinize their work more severely than usual.

This has been occurring quite a lot recently, to the point where it’s now difficult to craft a flawless illustration without the artist getting their integrity questioned. Furthermore, this is happening not only with art but with other strains of creative work, such as writing.

This gives rise to uncomfortable situations wherein you’ll eventually be asked to perform extra steps to ensure your artwork is original before you submit it for publication or review.

Helpfully, the emergence of AI art has fostered strict policing on the part of image-hosting platforms like Getty Images and Artstation or social platforms like Reddit. Nevertheless, this policing can get out of hand very quickly, as has happened recently on Reddit with an original image that was banned for looking “suspiciously AI-made.”

Regardless, this situation could have been avoided had people not tried to pass AI creations as original or had AI machine managers not tried to capitalize on other people’s hard work.

Is AI Art Going to Replace Artists?

There’s no indication of whether this would happen soon (or ever). We reckon it’ll be too hard or nearly impossible to replace human inventiveness and imagination, especially in light of humans’ irreplaceable way of interpreting their surroundings. This won’t mean that AI could not force artists to relinquish some of their market share or even a great bulk of it.

That said, a similar question was asked when photography was invented in the 19th century, leading various oil/water painters to question the sustainability of their trade and consider “closing shop.” To their benefit, many people started to embrace handcrafted images with even greater devotion than ever before.

The same thing can happen on this occasion, as AI art may not be capable of capturing the subtleties and nuances that artists grace their drawings and paintings with. On top of that, AI would still have to rely on material fed by real artists, at least at its current stage. Composite AI material could create a snowballing effect whereby the product could feed other AI content, but this can only go so far.

In any event, regulatory bodies may also have to step in and place more hedges on AI machines and those who take advantage of the technology to the detriment of human crafters, if only because they could strip dozens of talented creators of their living.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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