In a world of AI & Art, where exactly do the brush and canvas meet?

The rise of co-creation, blending human ingenuity with AI's capabilities, offers a new frontier. Yet, the question lingers: Will traditional art maintain its allure in this brave new world?

October 27, 2023

In a world of AI & Art, where exactly do the brush and canvas meet?

In the kaleidoscopic world of art and technology, the age-old question persists: What is the essence of true art? With AI now holding the brush, the canvas of creativity is evolving, compelling us to ponder upon Picasso’s famous words: “In art, there is neither past nor future. The art that is not in the present will never be”.

This thought, reminiscent of the seismic shift photography once brought to art, nudges us towards a future where authenticity and meaning become the North Stars of artistic pursuit.

The craft of art, once a bastion of skill and dexterity, is undergoing a digital renaissance. The emergence of AI in art creation is like opening Pandora’s box – overflowing with questions about creativity’s nature. Is our imagination expanding, or are we entranced by the glow of screens, becoming numb to the core of creativity? Michelangelo once said, “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” Today, anyone can be an artist; the challenge lies not in the craft but in the power of imagination. The canvas is endless, and so are the possibilities.

The artistic debate: Legal and ethical

In the evolving tapestry of art and AI, one must ponder: Are artists facing unprecedented harm in this digital age? There’s a growing concern over the widespread ‘scraping’ of artists’ works from the vast expanses of the web, a practice that moulds AI’s artistic styles. What was once a clear-cut case of imitation is now a murky, often untraceable act in the digital realm. The controversy around AI art isn’t just about aesthetic; it’s a legal and ethical maze. Recent debates, including those involving Adobe, Midjourney and OpenAI, highlight the slippery slope of copyright infringement and originality in the AI domain. As Salvador Dali aptly put it, “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” But where do we draw the line between inspiration and imitation in the age of AI?

A poignant example lies in the recent uproar over AI-generated art that echoes the styles of Indigenous Australian artists. Far from a mere legal conundrum, this act of training AI without consent is a ghost of colonialism reborn, casting shadows over the livelihoods and sacred traditions of these communities. This dilemma is a reflection of a broader crisis in the AI art sphere, where questions of authenticity and ownership interweave with concerns about cultural appropriation and the rights of marginalised groups.

Can AI replicate human emotion?

Moreover, the enigma of depth and soul in AI-generated art beckons contemplation. There is more than meets the eye, quite literally, when you look at Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci wove hidden messages into his strokes, crafting layers of meaning beyond the apparent. Art is an odyssey and infinite learning experience; not just a destination for the eyes. In this context, AI art, with its digital precision and aesthetic appeal, ignites a discourse on the potential eclipse of these layered messages and the rich tapestry of emotional depth – attributes that are the heartbeat of human-crafted art.

When we walk the streets of Europe and hear beautiful music by a violinist or singer busking away, we are moved by their souls and beings, and not just the sounds we hear. If the same music were to play from a machine, would we feel the same way? 

The film “Her” poignantly encapsulates the emerging AI-human dynamic. Theodore Twombly, a professional letter writer, represents a future where genuine human expression, whether through words or art, is at risk of being overshadowed by technology. This narrative subtly warns of a world increasingly reliant on AI, potentially eroding the essence of personal, heartfelt communication and us humans needing a professional ghostwriter for our most personal letters or holiday greeting cards.

It raises a profound query: Can AI, in its algorithmic essence, truly capture and replicate the intricate nuances of human emotions and experiences that artists have long infused into their creations? And, in turn, will AI reduce our capabilities to think and feel for ourselves, while we grow with our reliance on it.

The future of art lies in co-creation

Looking ahead, the art world stands at a crossroads. The rise of co-creation, blending human ingenuity with AI’s capabilities, offers a new frontier. Yet, the question lingers: Will traditional art maintain its allure in this brave new world? The future may see a synergy between the brush and the pixel, where AI aids in uncovering new artistic realms while preserving the irreplaceable human touch. Creative individuals can create art, without necessarily having the skill to do so. I at least hope so. 

This has always been my passion: enabling the creator in each of us, even if we lack traditional artistic skills. This is the main reason I founded Dreame; a global collective of artists. Ten years ago, we launched the platform’s first version, allowing anyone with a dream or idea to describe it in words and see their thoughts transformed into a stunning piece of art. The goal was to cultivate an experience of co-creation, to extend the commissioning of art beyond mere portraits, and to empower the non-artist to display on their wall an artwork born from their imagination.

 

Sharonna Karni Cohen

Sharonna Karni Cohen

CEO Dreame

Bio

Sharonna is an entrepreneur focused on the intersection of art and technology.

Sharonna Karni Cohen

CEO Dreame

Bio

Sharonna is an entrepreneur focused on the intersection of art and technology.

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