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Understanding AI-Generated Art

What is it? How does it work? What does this mean for the future workforce?

What is it?

AI-generated artwork is legitimate art. Christie’s recently sold an AI-generated painting for $432,500. This is why investors are losing their minds over the possibilities for this growing tech and why they are anticipating a cluster of trillion-dollar companies arising from it.

How does it work?

There are different flavors of AI, just like there are different flavors of ice cream. This uses machine learning and a natural language processing technique.


So, let’s use an analogy to understand this more. AI is like your car engine

  • Your car engine needs fuel. The better quality of fuel, the better the outcome. And you need plenty of fuel to reach your destination. Algorithms need data.

  • Just as an engine is designed to power a car, an AI/ML model is designed to power a specific outcome - like creating cool and unique artwork!

What can it show?

Imagine yourself sitting down and typing in a keyword phrase, the turkey is running from the cook, and seeing artwork depicting that pop up on the screen! As a matter of fact, there are 4 versions, and you can pick the one that you like and further edit it. That’s the power of what’s happening with tools like DallE2.


Why now?

It’s important to note that this technology has been around since the 1990s. The excitement about it today is due to its democratization – it’s now available to the masses. DallE2 was released on September 28, 2022, and it already has over 1.5 million users!


Who benefits?

Ah, this is a sticky question today! The US courts have already ruled that AI cannot be an inventor. So, who is the owner of art that is generated by a computer? An artist recently won an art contest using generative AI - and the other artists were livid. Should that artist get to claim ownership of artwork that was simply spawned by his key phrase? Or should it require him to somehow manipulate the result to own the outcome? Or does the engineer who made the algorithm own it? Or the company who employs the engineer? These are the sticky questions that beg to be answered.


Validity/Legitimacy?

Generative AI also has the potential to be used unethically to spread disinformation and to create deep fakes, a term for deceptive photos and videos that are digitally altered. With the growth of this particular AI technology, whenever you’re online, remember that you may not want to believe your eyes.


What does a world with regular AI art usage look like?

People are often suspicious of technologies that are new to them. So, it’s important to remember that we’ve had this tech around us for years and it’s following a fairly common evolutional path.

The same trajectory was followed by technology such as mobile phones. Early on, only the wealthy and professionals who needed mobile communication enjoyed this luxury. Now, nearly everyone has their own phone.


Although this technology is following an expected path, I do have an unexpected prediction for 2023. An emerging job will be the “AI Whisperer”. This is someone so skilled in using words to create art, that they are highly sought-after creative talent.

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