More on AI Artwork

View fullsize I came across this OpEd the other day, sounding the AI alarm. Again.“More alarmingly, a spokesperson for Absolutely Ai, quoted elsewhere, said, ‘We didn’t need to wake up at sunrise, drive to the beach and send the drone up to capture the image. We created this image from our couch in Sydney by entering text into a computer program.’“I don’t know about you, but frankly that appalls me as it is the antithesis of everything that photography is about . . . namely the physical, technical and creative efforts that go into realising an idea or vision. It’s cheating on a breath-taking scale, and the potential for AI art to be deceptive or downright dishonest is immense.” Maybe so. I’ve run across at least one fellow over on FB explicitly selling his artwork as AI-generated. Nothing wrong with that; in fact, props to him for identifying his art that way. But perhaps the author above needs to be less protective of the toolkit. It’s only cheating if it breaks the rules of some artificial framework. Driving an electric car to break a quarter mile record isn’t cheating unless the competition is limited to ICE vehicles. How about an autonomous EV? Only if “the rules,” whatever they are, prohibit it. Is it cheating to use a photograph in a still life competition? Only if the rules say one must employ a camel hair brush and oils paint palette. But isn’t art about breaking rules?The image above was created in Midjourney; it took me about five minutes and several iterations to create something I liked that captured the dynamics of whiskey, ice ball, glass and lighting.So no, maybe not. For me, photography is an art tool, not the form of art itself. The emotional engagement is the making of art. The tool(s) the artist chooses are secondary. Those tools likely matter very much to the artist, and may also matter to the viewer or customer or the judge. But they don’t define whether one is engaged in making art or not. We don't use AI here at Hammond Raffetto Art for any of our artwork or products that we sell (other than to play around with it), but that’s our choice, and it doesn’t matter if it isn’t someone else’s. If the creator's tool matters to you, then ask. If you want a level playing field for photographers, then don't allow AI into the competition. But who is anyone to tell an artist what tool they must use?
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