Is ‘art’ still art if an AI makes it?

An interesting question. One could ask the same question as regards poetry. Is a poem produced by an AI a real poem? There exist programs which crawl the web and utilise existing poems to create AI generated poetry. The AI is not conscious of what it is doing, but does this mean it’s production does not count as poetry? Through the best poems we are brought to comprehend and feel in our very soul what the poet is saying. When an AI can create a poem of the power of Keats Ode to a Nightingale then, I think we can say that it is capable of true creativity. But, at present AI can not do this, and I think the jury is still out as regards whether it will ever be capable of doing so.

Meeka's Mind

The picture above was generated by an AI [Futurism].

“The artwork, titled “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” depicts a scifi-inspired scene of an opera performance. But Jason Allen, who submitted the artwork, used AI image generator Midjourney to create it.”

Further along in the article, Jason Allen talks about how he set up the parameters for Midjourney [the software/AI] to use. Then he chose what he considered to be the best from three outcomes. And it won first prize at the Colorado State Fair.

When I first read this article, my initial reaction was horror. How could a piece of software, no matter how sophisticated, produce something this…beautiful? But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was the parameters set by Jason Allen that had created an image of great beauty, so in that sense, Midjourney was simply another tool.

I admit an AI…

View original post 34 more words

15 thoughts on “Is ‘art’ still art if an AI makes it?

  1. mirandatellsworth

    people say art can inspire thoughts, feelings, and a picture can do that. but it does hit differently knowing there is no consciousness behind the image. it feels cold. i’m not sure i would call it art in the cultural sense, but it’s a pretty picture. thanks for posting this!

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting. If you saw the picture (without the knowledge that it was AI generated) would it still “feel cold”? Perhaps it is the knowing of it’s origin which produces that feeling. I ask myself the same question concerning poetry. If I read a poem and was deeply moved by it (but then found it was created by an AI), would that make me reconsider my view as regards the worth of the composition? If you have not already done so, please do visit the original post and comment there. Best wishes. Kevin

      1. mirandatellsworth

        if i saw the image without knowing its origin, and i’m not sure what others do but i do start thinking about the artist journey. i think i would feel like it was art but i think it’s because i would have assumed a human created it.

        will do, thanks.

    2. K Morris Poet Post author

      I also think of the poet’s journey when reading a poem. Due to being blind, I can’t appreciate visual art directly, so can only go via the descriptions of sighted friends which, of course may differ as each person perceives an artistic creation (whether painting, poetry or otherwise) in his or her own unique way. Thanks for visiting the original post. Best. Kevin

  2. acflory

    Thanks so much for the reblog! I keep thinking of that old saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. I think the art just is. We are the ones who find meaning in it.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      You are welcome for the reblog. I agree with you that there is subjectivity in how we perceive art. However, I do feel that some art is possessed of greater value than other creations. For example, if I arrange a selection of ripped newspapers and rusty cans and call it “Wasteland” and say that it is art, I would feel a fraud for (in my heart of hearts) I would feel that it did not constitute true art. Best wishes. Kevin

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting, Michael. A computer (unlike we humans) does not possess intentionality. So, if we view art as the intentional creation of something beautiful, we could argue that computer generated images are not art. However, the artist is not always fully cognisant of what he/she is creating, so do we then say that what he/she creates is not art? Humans are conscious whilst computers are not. So, again does an entity have to be conscious of what it is creating for the creation to be called art? Its all fascinating stuff, and I certainly don’t have a definitive answer!


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