AI and I

The march of progress. Endless, limitless, unstoppable! Even without the presence of humanity, nature will progress at it’s own pace. It is strange to see both sides at the same time for this though. On one hand I use this new technology to improve my workflow. Midjourney, for all the controversy, enables me to sketch in seconds. What would have taken days and weeks, now takes minutes. My flow is uninterrupted. Except by that jarring picture of a disfigured human being, with three arms, and six fingers per hand, thinking that one drinks with their eye socket, and not through their mouth. Using stable diffusion is like trying to explain to an artist what you want with only words, but the artist has taken a huge dose of LSD and amphetamines, and frequently vomits colours everywhere they shouldn’t be! The results are never what you wanted, and are rarely great. Acceptable, but not great. Still, it is a compelling argument, and one that will not disappear. This tech is here, and we can no longer ignore it.

Ah, the famous “Arm Scarf”. Necessary fashion these days. Now with extra hand!

But I see my friend, a prominent, talented, and internationally celebrated artist, and I see his struggle. The cracks begin to show more prominently every time we meet though. The weight of progress could one day crush him I fear. What is one to do when faced with a cultural problem of “yes, but I want it cheaper and yesterday” instead of wanting what is good? When game art has been reduced to merely stock images with a cartoon filter ala Terraforming Mars or Ark Nova, are we already doomed to live in a world where AI art is just normal? Do I even want that?

This is how it works, right?

There is no question that the art from these systems is good. But, it is not great. The more I learn about art the more I see the cracks in Midjourney’s facade. Poor colour balance, weird framing, and general…..generic-ness. It can only create an average of what it knows, never unique or interesting. I think therefore it is no longer art, but just a picture. No more useful than a flyer for a local business. It has as much value as the memes that spew from Reddit every second. Something to be discarded after being consumed. Yet again, we make things simply to be thrown away and discarded. Capitalism is a double-edged sword, and we seem to frequently cut ourselves with it.

I will end this with something easy.

AI generation, whether it be Large Language Models, Stable Diffusion, or any other form, is a tool. It has no concept of what good and bad is, except for what we tell it. It produces things for us, when requested to, by us.

A knife is also a tool. It allows us to prepare food, cut ropes, perform life saving surgery…..or to take the life of another living creature. The knife can only do what the person holding it wants. It is just a tool. Human beings are the problem, as always, and it is our actions, not the AI that we should judge.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket