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Is AI Threatening Art?

We are on the verge of a new age, brought to us with the evolution of Artificial Intelligence. AI has the promise to make life better for everyone, and it can also be used to serve people's greed. Are the merits of art created by AI good, bad, or both?

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Damaging Creativity

Independent artists have seen a rise in popularity in recent years with the increase in support of small businesses and social media commissions. Owning unique art from local creators is a special experience. Diverse voices in all kinds of media like paintings, novels, and films are essential for the success and betterment of a creative and educational society. 

Recent trends in artificial intelligence are threatening that. 

While the technology behind AI is undoubtedly ingenious and useful on small scales, the rapid growth and commodification of AI art are dangerous. You may have seen trends on social media about creating AI art in the style of a certain artist; and while these artists tend to be dead old men from a hundred years ago, the ability to steal unique art styles is threatening to artists in the modern day. Everything that AI programs are trained on in order to make their products so realistic is stolen art. The only way AI can create is by copying art already made by someone else. 


This brings up thoughts about the ethics and even legality of AI. Not only are aspects of the art stolen but they can also be used to create false images or sounds that implicate real people. A recent trend on TikTok uses AI to mimic celebrities’ voices, making it possible to make people say anything without their consent. The same idea can be used with images, making it possible for potentially inappropriate photos of real people to be created. 

You may think that simple online trends are essentially harmless, and many are, but the use of AI by big corporations to avoid having to pay artists is already a reality and is likely to increase. Businesses may look to AI in order to avoid hiring artists or writers, which will not only make their products less inspired but creates a society where creatives are not paid for their work. Oftentimes you can tell when art is AI-generated. Not only are human hands and teeth infamously mangled, but it lacks the heart and genuine creativity that comes from the minds of real people. 

Having a platform that allows for art to be inexpensive and accessible to all should be a good thing. Being able to generate free or inexpensive art for personal uses can be understood when it comes to people who can’t afford anything else. However, when this comes at the cost of real people who also need to make money–whose creativity is being capitalized on without them seeing any profit, and by big companies who can afford to hire artists–the cons outweigh the pros. 

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