A.I. Art

A short opinion.

Recently, I took up another side hustle. I began exploring the strange new realms of A.I.-generated art. There appears to be a large controversy utilizing this fascinating art tool and perhaps with good reason. But I still find it fascinating to explore and utilize.

Jason Allen, a graphic designer/artist won first prize and $300 with his A.I. art piece titled: “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” (French for “Space Opera Theater”). One would believe this was a great achievement but it all went up in flames when it was discovered the art piece was made with Midjourney — an artificial intelligence system that can produce astounding visual art pieces with written worded prompts. 

Jason Allen artwork titled: “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial”

Although winning should have been an exciting aspect of digital artwork, it ended up in a controversy that will continue to ring alarm bells far off into the years to follow. A tidal wave of anger and questions continues to surround the use of A.I. generated artwork. Some of the arguments can be valid, while others are not so much.

In the years that follow, as in all things in this new era of digital A.I. art and storytelling (automated story writing A.I.), there comes the issue of legal use. Currently, the U.S. Copyright Office will not copyright any A.I.-generated artwork.

Then there is the issue of plagiarism. One of the allegations is that most A.I.-generated material is ripped off from well-known artwork pieces. The vast army of current traditional pen/paper and brush/paint-canvas artist communities around the world also lay claim to this. Traditional artists are sharpening their pens to file a deluge of lawsuits that could tie up the courts for some time. I can imagine the courtroom dramas that are about to unfold.

And perhaps rightfully so. Where does A.I. gather the information to create these artworks? It is alleged the systems gather bits and pieces from internet images or images that are uploaded into the system. Some of the images used are alleged to be copyrighted material. At this moment I have yet to see any A.I. artwork that even looks suspiciously stolen from other known artists or photographers, but this doesn’t mean A.I. does not.

It will be ultimately up to the courts and laws of the land to decide in some cases but it is interesting to discuss the use of A.I. in the digital medium. There will be plenty of angry people stamping their feet and resisting this use of A.I., but I feel its use in the future will be commonplace.

Here’s to the future – adapt or die.

Exploring MidJourney

Exploring this new realm of art is fascinating. As a digital designer for e-zines and book covers, I can see a practical use for such a tool. On the book cover side, I will refrain from using A.I. until some of the legal dust settles. I need a valid legal explanation before using A.I.-generated artwork for profit. As far as A.I. art and its current use, I don’t see any issue with using the artwork for personal use or on one’s website. But this is my opinion and I could be wrong, but I’m not risking it either.

It is not difficult to use Midjourney. I do plan on looking into other A.I. art generators to see how they perform. Currently, I recommend using this platform.

With my Discord account and after setting one up with Midjourney, I was good to go in creating some basic digital art. I’ll give a few examples below.

Future World 2A, digital art by John L. Thompson

Future World 2A

Future World, digital art by John L. Thompson

Future World

As Real As It Gets, digital art by John L. Thompson

As Real As It Gets

Last Kiss before Eternity, digital art by John L. Thompson

Last Kiss before Eternity

The Devil is the Boss, digital art by John L. Thompson

The Devil’s the Boss in This World

Puzzle of the Universe, digital art by John l. Thompson

Puzzle of a Universe

Apocalypse Girl, digital art by John L. Thompson

Apocalyptic Girl

Temper Tantrum, digital art by John L. Thompson

Temper Tantrum

Although not spectacular in any sense, it is interesting to toy around with. Some of the images created by so many other people are just simply stunning. I will continue to explore this avenue in the following months and perhaps write a future article on my findings.

The drawbacks…

It appears A.I. is still in learning mode when it comes to creating certain parts of the human anatomy. I’m not sure why this is but it is one of the drawbacks of using this art medium.

AI and the human anatomy

A.I. seems to have an issue with manipulating the human finger.

A.I. art and some issues

And sometimes size ratio and character placement are way off.

Despite some issues in generating images to correct ratios or certain aspects of human anatomy problems, A.I. art can still generate some decent images if one learns to use the correct input prompts. That is the learning curve- learning input prompts to get what you need. I’m sure in the years that will follow, A.I. will ‘learn’ about our world as much as we are learning about A.I. world.

But for now, here is to the future.

Recommended Reading and Sources

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