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AI ‘Art’ vs. Human-Created Art?

I’ve been getting into arguments with those people I know who are ‘creating’ AI-generated ‘Art,’ who want to claim that they are the ‘originator’ of that ‘art,’ and that it should be taken ‘seriously.’

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that for one nanosecond (one-thousandth of a second — computer time). I have heated back and forth’s with several of these, who insist that They are Artists. (And perhaps some of them are.)

Baby Steps (and “Oh, that’s Nice! Good [Baby]!)

As a human artist, I began ‘creating’ art — exploring with implements/mediums such as crayons, pencils and paint (oh, my!) — since I was… Well, since I was just out of my crib and my hands could hold things like paintbrushes and crayons.

Exploring putting ‘something’ on paper (or floors, or walls, or merely ourselves [gleefully screaming at the joy of it]), is what we as children did as part of our ‘childhood’ phase.

That is what human children do. They Play. They ‘create.’ They explore their (our) world. They ‘make pretty things.’ You know? The Stuff that parents put on the Fridge (whether they like it or not — “Oh, That’s Pretty!”) so they can encourage their children to be children.

But this is supposed to be “just a phase.” Something that children, once they get our of early childhood education, are supposed to “leave behind.” (Unless they/we are “Gifted.”)

Learning the Craft

But this is merely for that “early childhood development,” until such time as we “get practical” (“Oh, you’re never going to earn a living doing that. What do you really want to do when you grow up?”)

But for those of us that persist in this ‘crazy’ idea that we are actually Artists (or Writers; or Dancers; or… Puppeteers)… We continue to insist, and then, “develop our Craft.” Craft meaning whatever skills we need to acquire/refine in order to Create what we feel compelled to Create.

This can start in childhood, but it has to continue throughout that childhood and continue to develop… Well, for the rest of our lives.

“We spend the next sixty years working to unlearn what we knew at three.” —Pablo Picasso

But, Wait! There’s More!

Even if you feel compelled to Create (Whatever you Create), it takes dedication, perseverance and continuing to refine that Craft for years, to get to the point where you are taken seriously. (Unless you’re a “prodigy,” and you find strong mentorship and driven teachers to help guide you along.)

I have created over fourteen hundred (yes, 1,400) pieces of original Art over the course of my now almost fifty year+ career. Many of those are older works that I keep out of sentimentality and to show the course and direction that my development has taken, but are not ‘salable’ pieces of art. More for “retrospectives” should I ever have one, than for any real viewing.

I now have probably 700 pieces of what are called my “mature” work. Works that show that I have developed skill and dexterity with my mediums (yes, I have drawings to paintings to mixed media to sculpture) over the years. They show the “throughline” of my “body of work.”

As the Writer Malcom Gladwell (in his 2008 book “Outliers”) has formulated, it takes 10 thousand hours (of practice) to become truly expert in whatever craft of skill that you do to reach that “expert” level of proficiency.

Over the last fifty years, I have probably worked on my art for over 20 thousand hours. That was how I came about with that 1,400 pieces of artwork over my career.

But Wait!

Unfortunately, if that was all it took to be successful, I’d be making several hundred thousands of dollars each year Doing My Art. But that isn’t the case.

I put all of those hours (and years of my life) into Creating that work. But the problem is, then you have to Sell It. And that, takes a whole lot of other skills that most artists were not taught.

And then comes AI

So, humans create. What then does an AI do?

An AI can’t “create,” but only “aggregate.” IT (and yes, IT is not human) does not have to go through all of those hours and hours and hours learning a craft. It merely scans the Internet (where it lives) and sees what HUMANS create, and then IT takes from HUMAN sources have created, making ‘art’ out of it. IT spits is out, and the human writing the “prompts” (computer commands really) pulls the finished Aggregate out of the printer and says, “I Created This!”

[Hear those loud Fire Sirens Coming yet?]

AI STEALS from Human sources in order to ‘create’ a semblance of Real Life, created by Real Humans. But it does Not ‘create’ anything. IT makes ‘replications’ of actual work, without it being “actual work.”

The AI ‘Artist’ writes the prompts. They do not Create the Work. The AI Generative ‘Engine’ does. Almost like…Magic! (Which in essence it is.)

The same goes for ‘Writers’ who write Prompts in order to ‘write’ ‘books’ (that they then pummel Amazon with) saying proudly, “Look what I Wrote!” [See Above.]

AI’s are not ‘human’

They do not have to ‘develop’ Anything. They merely “Scrape” from the collected resources of those of us Humans that have spent Years/Decades developing the Skills necessary to Create the Work that we Create.

I call this “Grand Theft IP.” You might know it as “Piracy.” You would get upset if someone stole money from you, but many people think that it is just fine for AI to Steal “Intellectual Property” — our Creative Output from all of those Decades of toil, struggle and effort — and ‘create’ it in some other form so that someone who learns how to modify the (created) English computer language to create the “prompts” that dive that ‘engine.’

This is why there are Titans in all of the various Industries like Stephen King (for just one) who are Suing to have ‘monsters’ ‘created’ from Their(Our) Work. There are humans who are taking ‘prompts’ like “write a book like The Stand” and ‘creating’ that ‘book’ to flood Amazon.

This is the (literal) Cutting Edge where The Law has yet to go. Piracy is taking on ways that, with technology, surpass the ability of us poor humans to counteract. It was hard enough to stop piracy before AI came along. Now it’s almost next to impossible.

Where To Now?

Quite frankly, I don’t have a clue. I know that there are ‘people’ Pirating my work on Amazon, and I can’t stop it and Amazon won’t do anything about it. Because… It’s making Amazon (and Jeff Bozos) money.

But I’m here to dissuade anyone from thinking that, because they can write short prompts and then refine those prompts, that they are ‘creating art’ (or ‘writing’).

Is AI coming to take over Your Job next?

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