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The Emergence of AI & the New Fight for Art and Artists

First of all, I want to make some VERY clear: I am NOT interested in consuming any format of A.I. art. As an individual who took art, music, and dance classes growing up, and as an individual who has spent years learning and working on their writing, I am disgusted that there are some people who believe AI will produce “extraordinary” and “masterful” work. Not only is it an insult to both established and upcoming artists, but also it is a new form of what I want to call “plagiarize” work. For example, there have been posts and open discussions regarding tropes within fiction ranging from books to movies to video games. Artists and critics have expressed concern and praise for certain tropes being used constantly within narratives. Here is a breakdown of my concerns about AI for each field of creativity.

Books and literature. You all know that this is straight plagiarism right? Not to mention many of the stories that have been “written” by these AI generators contain more tropes than the average reader and book critic can handle within one story. Many of the stories produced by AI generators that I’ve heard about were “bland,” “flat,” and “generic”; additionally, just about all of them had “happy” endings. I don’t believe fans of dark fantasy, horror, and grimdark appreciate that lack of “reality within the fiction.” We’re living in a new golden age of fiction where we can consume as many stories as we want from diverse and multicultural individuals from various formats across all genres, and we’re supposed to “settle” on a machine that does the bare minimum? Young children produce better and more creative stories than these AI generators do! Don’t revert back to stories that fall short on our desires for storytelling. There is a reason why some narratives have been passed down over the course of millennia within humanity.

Art(work). Recently, whenever I come across artwork on social media, I find myself checking to make sure that the pieces were done by actual people and NOT by AI. Yes, the AI generated pieces are worth looking at, but they take away from the process an artist goes through in order to create the piece they’re working on while matching their expression in the art. Not to mention, when an artist presents their pieces of art, you want to be able to distinguish their pieces based on their personal style and not by which AI generator was used.

Music. Have people forgotten how the Marvin Gaye Estate has sued both Pharrell Williams–which, the former won–and Ed Sheeran–Sheeran won recently–by claiming their songs were “identical” to their those written and composed by Marvin Gaye? Anyone who took music classes, particularly music theory, will know that certain chords are used and reused constantly through music composition. From what I remember, based on the chords used, the melodies can and will sound similar, it doesn’t mean the song was plagiarized. That being said, does anyone really believe similar lawsuits won’t merge when someone uses AI for music composition without realizing that the AI could produce a piece that is too identical to another piece by another musician?

I hope AI doesn’t get to the point where it replicates movies, TV shows, animation, and video games. The amount of work and the length of the process that goes into creating and then presenting these visual narratives would end up killing these industries. And yes, I’m stating this because of the current Writers’ Strike. And, remember when a few companies (sorry, I don’t know which ones) believed holograms of dead celebrities performing at concerts would draw people to attend? Yes, it did work to an extent, but it didn’t last past a few attempts (i.e. Tupac) because the performance “wasn’t the same” as when the said performer was alive. As for video games…I’m NOT going there. Let’s NOT give certain gaming industries (i.e. Blizzard) additional reasons to mistreat and to abuse their (human) staff.

Now, I’m not saying AI is a “bad” thing overall; personally, AI has the potential to assist the (physically) disabled with their desire for creating art. However, you can’t deny that AI is “killing creativity” (or, was that schools?) because there are those who believe AI is an “easy” solution to writer’s block and writing a “bestselling” novel or the next “classic” piece of literature. Thankfully, writers and authors know how to distinguish AI Generated work with pieces written by a person of flesh and blood. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the former from submitting AI writings to magazines, to journals, and to contests as “the real thing.” I know of a few online magazines that had to halt their open submissions due to an influx of submissions, most of which were determined to be AI generated pieces.

So, before some of you complain that those within the publishing industry are complaining too much of a concern that’s “minor” and/or “won’t get to that stage,” please consider both the livelihood of the artists and the quality of work you’ve gotten used to and continue to expect from everyone who works within the industry (including critics). Beware that once AI generators and other forms of technology “kill creativity,” where do you believe that technology will strike next? Do you really believe the “technological takeover” will stop with just one aspect of human identity? Think about it.

Don’t let anything do away with your creativity. Reclaim it!

4 thoughts on “The Emergence of AI & the New Fight for Art and Artists

  1. I think art is meaningful because of the person behind it. What were they thinking? What were they inspired by? You don’t get that from an algorithm, which can’t think and doesn’t have experiences or preferences. As far as I can tell, AI is being celebrated mainly by businesses that don’t want to pay real people, or by individuals who want to make some quick money on a side hustle and who weren’t previously interested in creating art on their own. The people touting it the most actually seem the least interested in art or the artistic process, and I think that speaks volumes.

    I’m glad to see more bloggers discussing this! I have a post coming up, as well.

  2. Great post! It’s weird that these points even need to be made. I agree that it can kill creativity, and it’ll put people out of their hard-earned money.

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