There has always been debate about new ways to make art. When the camera was invented, many painters were upset because they thought it was a bad thing for art. The French poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire, who lived in the 1800s, said that photography was “art’s most mortal enemy.” In the 20th century, purists didn’t like digital editing tools or computer-aided design programs because they didn’t require enough skill from the people who used them.
Some critics think that the new type of A.I. tools are different not just because they can make beautiful works of art with little effort. That’s how they function. Apps like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney are made by scraping millions of images from the open web, then teaching algorithms to find patterns and relationships in those images and make new ones in the same style. So, when artists put their work on the internet, they may be unintentionally helping their algorithmic competitors learn.
“This AI is different because it was trained on artists who are still working,” Last month, digital artist RJ Palmer sent out a tweet. “This thing is actively against artists because it wants our jobs.”
Even some people who like the art made by AI are worried about how it’s made. In a recent essay, technologist and writer Andy Baio said that DALL-E 2, which is probably the most talked-about A.I. image generator on the market, is “almost magical in what it can do, but it raises so many ethical questions that it’s hard to keep track of them all.”
Mr. Allen, who won a blue ribbon, said he understood why artists were worried that artificial intelligence tools would put them out of work. But he said they shouldn’t be mad at the people who use DALL-E 2 or Midjourney to make art. Instead, they should be mad at the companies that replace artists with A.I. tools.
He said, “It shouldn’t be a criticism of the technology itself.” “Ethics have nothing to do with technology. It’s the people’s fault.”
And he told artists to get over their objections to A.I., even if it was just to help them deal with the situation.
Mr. Allen said, “This isn’t going to stop.” “Art is dead, dude. No more. A.I. won. Humans lost.”