Is ‘art’ still art if an AI makes it?

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 is a bit more high tech than a paintbrush, but the creativity still came from Allen.

What do you think? The beginning of the end for artists? Or just one more tool?


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

92 responses to “Is ‘art’ still art if an AI makes it?

  • thewritst

    Art created by AI is still an art cuz it worked according to your instructions. Sometimes artists often lag to express their imaginations on canvas or it didn’t go the way they wanted to.

    Liked by 1 person

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  • robbiesinspiration

    I came back to tell you, Meeks, that I discussed this picture with my son, Greg. He showed me close ups of the people in the picture and how weird they are when viewed up close. The computer obviously didn’t recognise certain features of a human being like a proper neck. I don’t know if you’ve tried enlarging it, but it is very interesting to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Oh! No, I haven’t looked close up…but I will. Thanks to you both. 😀


    • acflory

      Oh! No, I haven’t looked close up…but I will. Thanks to you both. 😀
      p.s. just had a look and you’re right, things that look almost ‘normal’ from a distance don’t look at all right close up.
      As I was looking, I realised that the odd looking ‘bustle’ in the central figure is actually the front of a female figure with the head and shoulders removed. Bizarre, but it kind of makes sense as the computer would be assembling ‘bits’ to create the suggestion of a whole. The thing that makes the whole thing work is the light source. It binds everything else together.

      Liked by 1 person

  • kiki

    So, apparently the AI works by turning text prompts into images (apologies if you already knew that). Now, how it knows what the text means to generate the correct imagery is way over my head at the moment, but I’m trying to find out. To me that gives Allen even more credit since if you’re typing prompt after prompt to develop a full artwork, that’s certainly very time-consuming and does rely on the creativity of the user. Ok, not the technical skill, and yes, I realise that would absolutely fray the nerves of traditional artists, but as an artist myself (hobby) I see it as a way more advanced type of Procreate.

    Liked by 1 person

  • kiki

    What an interesting post and question! On first glance at the title of your post, I was ready to say ‘it’s not art’ or ‘maybe it’s art but the AI must be cited as the artist’, but after reading the full story…let Mr Allen have his flowers. In this situation, I see the AI as another tool. Without Jason Allen’s input, Midjourney presumably wouldn’t have been able to produce this incredible piece of artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Pieter Dierckx

    As long as you can’t imitate consciousness and feeling I feel we are safe. Machines may become smarter than us but I doubt it that they will feel more than we do. Furthermore , they have difficulty with errors whereas that is essential to human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

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