Can AI Replace Artists?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) programs and tools to generate images and other pieces of art has revolutionized the art industry, allowing both professional and amateur artists to take their creativity to the next level. But it has also elicited various reactions, with some people claiming that AI art generators are meant to replace creativity. Can AI, such as the DALL-E AI image generator replace artists? 

Can AI Art Generators Replace Human Artists?

Before you claim that AI art generators will replace artists, you need to know how AI images and pieces of art are generated. 

So, how are AI paintings made? With an AI program like DALL-E, you can generate images from simple text–just provide the program with a text description of what you want and it will generate a corresponding image. The DALL-E AI text-to-image art generator uses algorithms that can be trained and commanded to generate the desired images.

The truth is that the use of AI art generators like DALL-E from OpenAI doesn’t in any way substitute the work done by artists. According to Anne Ploin, a researcher at Oxford Internet Institute and a member of a team of researchers analyzing the potential implications of artificial intelligence on creative work, AI art generators won’t replace human artists. Instead, these programs will supplement their work by enabling them to produce high-quality pieces within a short period of time.

In a recent report titled AI and the Arts: How Machine Learning is Changing Artistic Work, Ploin adds that the human element in the creative processes won’t be going away anytime soon, arguing that although some areas of the creative processes may be replaced by artificial intelligence, the creative decision-making part, which is critical in art, can’t be replicated by current AI technology. Artistic creativity involves choosing the materials needed for the project, coming up with an idea of what to create, and deciding the message intended to reach an audience. No AI machine can make these decisions without the help of a person.

Additionally, art is a response to different situations, including politics, the environment, and the world at large. So, these contexts can’t be replicated using an AI machine without the assistance of a human artist. For instance, you’ll need to train DALL-E on a dataset with thousands of images and videos of what you desire to create, and you’ll also have to use your creativity to come up with the right text prompts that will help the AI art generator create these assets.

Conclusion

Although AI machines can analyze data unpredictably and attract attention to different factors that might escape the human eye, they aren’t autonomous. Therefore, they won’t generate new creative movements and styles on their own, and artists are able to devise new ways of using AI machines to create art. While these AI models can produce variations of an existing image, they can’t replace artists, because they do not give images an artistic context and purpose.   

Lastly, the relationship between artists and their work remains unchanged despite the increasing number of AI art models–mainly because artists work to answer human questions rather than technical questions.