Some people are calling the emergence of AI artwork a cultural movement, aptly labeling it “GAN-ism” after the software used to create the original, artistic algorithm that made “Portrait of Edmond De Belamy.” Others, however, are skeptical of the capabilities of AI, thus far, saying that people are attracted to the mere novelty of art created by a computer.
Could this be one of the first steps to a virtual takeover by artificial intelligence? Researchers think not, considering this step in the history of AI somewhere between a clumsy, developing a child and an intelligent pet. The installation of a more general intelligence is still far in the future, so there’s really nothing to worry about. The technology used to make “Portrait of Edmond De Belamy” can’t even be used to create a different style of painting, such as a landscape. It is highly unlikely that the plots of The Terminator or I, Robot will become a reality anytime soon.
Furthermore, the controversy surrounding art created by artificial intelligence can be destroyed by simply considering the AI software an extension of the human artist’s set of tools. Artificial intelligence allows artists to break new grounds when it comes to conceptualizing and visualizing new pieces of art and visual concepts.
Some have compared the use of AI in art to how Sol LeWitt cooperated with others while created his “Wall Drawings.” In this case, the artist set rules for installers to follow. The only difference is that LeWitt’s assistants were actual human beings, who could interpret his rules, using their best judgment. Artificial intelligence is currently limited to the human opinions embedded in coding and machine learning efforts. There is really no comparison between human-made artwork and that of artificial intelligence. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.