AI vs. the artist, the economics of the art market

With the introduction of many different advanced AI technologies, there has been a divide between creative minds and the creators of the technology. Many of the creators of these digital technologies have started to get into conflicts with many artists. Many lawsuits have begun to emerge on the charges that the machines and automated art creators have used forgery and plagiarized the works of these artists’ stylistic choices and ability to commercialize, exploit and turn something of beauty into profit. To fully understand this, we need to take a step back. This conflict has started to emerge due to the resurgence of chatbot technologies, the most well-known being Chat GPT. This technology uses generative pre-training transformer technology, which allows the chatbot to fulfill several tasks, such as typing out a text response based on the given due or prompt on a subject. This technology has started to emerge in digital art, where AI can create pictures based on prompts, descriptions, stylistic choices, or small details. The conflict arises in artists feeling ripped off, as these machines can make art by collecting data on pieces already created to produce more.

Throughout this entire dilemma, we are yet to answer the question of what art is. Does it need to be created by humans? Is it subject to only things that a human can make, or is a machine more efficient and overall better than the human touch that has imperfection and error in their work? From my research and personal point of view, humans are inspired. To create art, one must be subject to moments of creativity. They cannot bring it on by a singular moment and cannot plan for creativity or muster inspiration no matter how hard they try. It is a gift that comes from experience and different beliefs. The history, the path one is currently on, and dreams, ideas, and hopes for the future are all encapsulated in ecstasy and pure beauty. These machines will never have this. Art is not analytical. Machines use data and create based on it. They then archive and store the data and information to better adapt and use later. There is no originality, only imitation. These machines are created to serve a purpose rather than being inspired by a purpose.

One thing we have to consider in all this is the economics of art. In the artistic process, such as painting, writing, and any creative endeavor, there is a high monetary and effort-based cost related to creating these pieces. This effort into the art can determine the price of the work and the uniqueness and individuality of the stylistic choices. Society then can specify a monetary value based on the quality and time of the art. This aspect is why some pieces are worth more through the lens of scarcity. Nothing can be created in that style if an artist passes away, making those pieces rare. However, this advanced intelligence and ability to replicate elements with minimal effort and time could completely revolutionize how we perceive and purchase art.

This entire situation has begun to beg the question of whether this is a new artistic era. We now know this is uncharted territory as this period is almost like the Wild West. A prime example of this is seen how one person registered a piece of AI art in a colorado art competition and won with it. This transition is similar to the evolution of radio and video to the internet. The internet’s presence opened up so many opportunities, increasing the speed and potential for so many positive things as well as negatives. Just like the emergence of the internet, for this to be a positive influence, regulations, and descriptions of what can be done with this technology will need to be regulations.

Now it is easy to muster the thought that “I’m not an artist. This issue doesn’t apply to me.” If you had thought this, you would be dead wrong. In the future, anyone’s face, appearance, writing skills, and speaking ability could be imitated and commercialized. You could be walking down the street and see a billboard for an advertisement full of people where you see yourself. Not indeed you, a look-alike with enough distinguishable features to know you could never legally or legitimately claim that they exported you. But deep down, you know. Even scarier, this post was 100% written by intelligence using Chat GPT….. Just kidding.

As scary of a thought as this is, it is okay. We do not yet have this technology as a society, and this nightmare could remain a dystopian fantasy. For this to happen, we must consider a few things. One is that we must be present in our efforts to type into AI, which must be maintained and ordered as necessary. We search and use it to accomplish a purpose rather than embellish and tell stories. We as well need to advocate to preserve user control. We, as users, need to know when our data is being collected and if it is being used in creating ai. Finally, users need to advocate to develop the initiative that if our data are used in the development of artificial intelligence, we have a say in what happens with our data. As scary as this situation seems, no one should worry. We have undergone many industrial and technological changes throughout history and still thrived. The most important thing is to take a deep breath, relax and know that no matter what is created, we are human for a reason, better or worse.

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