AI Replacing Artist?

May 2, 2023

Artists everywhere are panicking. Over what you ask? Over the fear that Artificial Intelligence, or AI, will replace them!

In the past year, AI art has picked up in popularity. What is AI art you ask? AI art is when people use chatbots and other AI programs to “draw” an image that can look either life-like or like a drawing that a human actually drew. So, what’s the problem?

AI art isn’t truly original. It copies already existing art on the internet, filters it, and then copy-pastes it into ‘its own’ image. What this means is that AI art copies existing art, changes it a little, and then passes it off as original works. This concept scares artists for a number of reasons. One reason is that this will take away jobs from artists. Because using AI art is free, (or at the very least cheap) companies will likely try to use AI art for their products so that they don’t have to pay hardworking artists to use their original works. This can affect books, comics, advertisements, and even animation (if AI becomes advanced enough to do this), possibly putting thousands of people out of jobs. 

The other reason artists are scared of AI art is art theft. Even without the fear of AI, the idea that an artist could have their work stolen from them is very real. Online, art is very easy to steal. All you have to do is take a screenshot of a piece and post it as your own. This is a very big problem across multiple platforms and social media, as the true owner and artist of a work won’t get the credit that they rightfully deserve. Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFT’s, also add to this problem, as people can take someone’s art, put it on a NFT card, and then sell the card for a profit. As NFT’s are a new type of crypto-currency, this means people are stealing art, and then selling it into crypto-currency, giving zero credit to the artist of the art.

There’s also the fact that AI art isn’t even that good. Part of what makes art seem more human (and real) are the tiny flaws in art. Humans are full of flaws, and so it’s only natural that our works reflect that. But AI art doesn’t have such flaws. Which makes it seem… soulless and life less… until you look at AI art’s version of hands.

Yeah… AI art can’t draw hands. I have seen multiple images of AI art hands that just look… unnatural, creepy, and straight up nightmare fuel. One image was an anime drawing of two girls holding hands. What’s the problem? Oh, well, one of the girl’s hands was connected to her leg, meaning she had two arms with hands, but was holding her friend’s hand with a hand one that replaced her foot on her leg! It was unsettling to look at…

This flaw does give people an advantage against AI art, as you can tell if art was artificially made just by looking at the hands. I remember seeing a photo of two political figures kissing and I didn’t realize it was fake until I looked at the hand of one of the men and realized it was AI art.

In history, there are many things that humanity wishes we could un-invent, the biggest and most well-known of these things being the Atomic Bomb. I feel like we might want to think about adding AI, NFTs, and AI art programs to this list, as I can easily see people wish that AI art never came into creation.

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