Is AI The Next Big Driver of Art?


Wai Hlaing, Contributor

To understand how AI is being used in  art we first have to define what AI is. Artificial Intelligence is a field in computer science in which machines try to emulate intelligence. This does indeed sound hard, but through neural networks we can train the AI using methods that mimic our own human brains.

How do these neural networks make art? The developers train these networks by inserting paintings that the AI would emulate aesthetically. This would influence how the AI outputs the images and learns from the many artworks that the developers have trained it on. This is a very basic explanation in how these works of art are made.

How do the artworks look? It would depend on your taste. However, there also has to be the novelty factor, that has lead to websites like “AI Art Shop” to make a business selling  AI art. This is not to say that the artwork does not look good, they look stunning, and you may just past right by at an art museum if you don’t look closely enough.

Even though the technology has come far enough to buy some AI art off the internet, I believe there still is work to be done. The AI generated portraits of a person looks hellish to say the least, the essence is in the artwork, but the anatomy and many other factors does not shine through. However, there is a very apparent style and aesthetics when it comes to AI art. This is very apparent if you stare long enough at multiple artworks generated by the artificial intelligence. It can be described as a dream like state of art, where not everything makes sense- but there is a clear attempt to emulate something. This is one of the aspects of AI generated art that I find very interesting.

The meddling of both art and sciences have existed before artificial intelligence’s use in art. We use machines to streamline our creative process, tablets to control the finer details and a lot more programs to optimize and expand how art is to be perceived. This mingling of artificial intelligence, however, is a big leap forward in this area. Humans play a minimal part in how new artworks are made, which means most of the works are of the AI themselves. The entire process is done by an AI, but it is important to know that the training does involve some human oversight. This technology is still in its infancy, in the future there may be artworks that are indistinguishable between humans and robots. However, we just have to wait until they get a little bit better.