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This topic has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. While I could spend literal hours writing down my thoughts and explicit reasoning behind it, I am only going to “briefly” say some thoughts and then state my stance on AI art.

My stance mostly applies to visual art [at this time], but it will heavily affect the future of all major art forms: Literature, Music, Film, Theater, Dance, etc. It will also affect the artists who work day in and day out to bring these works to the world. To you. To us. To each other. This means that it will affect humanity. The Arts are the creative outlets WE use express our thoughts and emotions.

WE = Human Beings.

As a music artist, I know entirely how difficult it is to create a work of art. It takes patience, concentration, dedication, frustration, overcoming self-doubt, and lots of decision making. Ultimately, it usually ends in pride and joy. Then that work is put out into the world. As a result it is subject to public criticism, and the artist’s emotional roller coaster begins again. But the connections that are made are worth the exposure.

One work of art causes the artist to be abused at least twice. But it’s worth it for the emotions that were released, the expression that was captured, the stories that can be told, the lives that the art will touch, and most importantly- the human connection that can be made through the art.

Perhaps AI art can touch someone, in a way. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve seen some impressive AI stuff. It’s an amazing feat of technology. But when I start wondering about the story behind it, the meaning, the joy, the suffering, the work that was put in, and wanting to reach out to the artist about their work, I’m left feeling cold and empty. There’s no one to connect to. The art is just a heartless mini-puke of 1s and 0s derived from real art that was stolen from real artists who put real time and emotion into it. It’s a complete travesty, in the most potent form of the word.

I’ll also admit that I had some fun with AI art generators initially. But then I began to think about the implications. I learned of countless artists whose works were illegally used to fuel the craze. This gave me a much different outlook. And the illegalities are even beside my main point, but they make my stance so much stronger.

My stance on AI art:

I do not support AI art. I don’t support its commercialization or ability to be copyrighted. True art is not simply a surface level source of visual or aural spectacle and stimulation, or even a source of inspiration. Those are only powerful side effects of true art. At its core, true art is founded in the human experience, expression, and connection. I support real, human artists whose art reflects the human experience. I support artists with whom a meaningful connection can be made. If there’s no one to connect to on the other side of the canvas/film/sheet music/stage, I don’t want it.

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Current court cases on the copyright of AI art will inform the future of ALL ART FORMS. Please consider the implications of AI art- not just for artists, but for our human experience and connection.

Thanks for your consideration.

– Josiah Austin

A Stance on AI Art
Image credit: Daniel Korpai, Unsplash