The Impact of A.I. Art on Real Artists

How the A.I. art that’s sweeping the internet could negatively affect real jobs.

A.I. art hurts human artists.


A.I. art hurts human artists.

Sierra Perlmutter, Columnist

According to American Scientist, A.I. art is created when algorithms are trained to analyze thousands of images in order to “learn” an aesthetic or art style. Then, the algorithm tries to create new images based on the art styles it has observed. This process has been around for a little while, but recently it’s been becoming more and more popular because of A.I. art filters, primarily used on photo editing apps such as Fotor or Canva, as well as on TikTok. Users can upload pictures of themselves and watch as the filter turns them into a stylized image.

It may seem like a harmless idea at first, but people are speaking out against it. Many artists feel that their art is being plagiarized or stolen by these programs, saying that their art style is being copied. According to ScienceFriday, If anyone could make a painting in just a few seconds, why would someone need to commission an artist to produce an illustration, or even bother spending years learning art at all?” When people choose to spend money on these filters over real life people with actual jobs who can be commissioned to make the same thing, it has a financial impact. Real artists have opportunities stolen by robots.

One more issue is the inaccuracy of some images. As stated by Christian Behler on Medium, “… the algorithm will generate a lot of images for you. Some of them may look a bit weird, but you are almost guaranteed to get a few that are indistinguishable from a real photo.” For example, if you feed the generator ten pictures of classic paintings from the same art period, in relatively similar art styles, and there’s no guarantee you’re going to get a beautiful masterpiece. You could end up with a few new pictures, but they’re blurry, or something about the faces just isn’t right. This just isn’t an issue that occurs when real artists are deliberately making art.

However, it’s not just about the money. In the end, it’s about dignity and plagiarism. Even if their art style isn’t being completely stolen or copied, it still hurts to see hard work and passion recreated in a couple of seconds.