Artificial Intelligence has always faced two fundamental questions since its advent, “Are AIs sentient? If they are, are they capable of converting emotions into art?” While the former remains unanswered at present, today’s version of artificial intelligence is a dynamic data-driven decision-making system. However, this is quickly changing as developers find new ways to bridge gaps between rational thoughts and human choices. As for their artistic prowess, AIs have evolved to create their concepts through historic references to music, literature, and art spread across the planet. The subject of this article is one such artistic AI bot, DALL-E, which forms the basis of a futuristic method of reinventing art as a concept and a commodity.
An interesting thing to state is that the cover for this very blog is the handiwork (or machine-work maybe?) of DALL-E, which we chose to explore on a busy day for our Designers.
Expiating through expert systems: The heart of an AI’s art
Artificial intelligence (AI) bots like DALL-E usually operate on basic keyword-oriented inputs. When a user feeds keywords into DALL-E, the system scouts a repository of references that have historically caught public attention. Chunks of multiple reference materials form the base structure of the overall output, which is then pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle to provide four options for the users to pick from. The output derived is usually diverse within the possibilities that the keywords offer DALL-E to paint with.
As an anecdote of how DALL-E entered into Mako’s daily lives, we chose to explore DALL-E by testing out basic keywords like “robot”, “paint”, “canvas” and “splash”. Whatever one sees on the blog’s cover is one of the four outputs that it has concocted based on these keywords. This, as everyone knows, is no ordinary feat. On the other hand, DALL-E and similar systems prove to stand at the pinnacle of autonomous intelligence technology at present, rivalling human creativity in the artistic sphere of thought.
A DALL-E’s walk into daily life: A predictive anecdote
Systems like DALL-E hold infinite potential, spanning across diverse use cases. These include trivial uses like simplifying representation, branding and concept definitions for human artists to seek inspiration from. From an automation perspective, AIs host the potential for manifesting descriptions like perp sketches, historic facial reconstructions, ancient architecture revivals, and building layout drafts. Upon embedding 3D-modelling capabilities into these systems, DALL-E and his pals could evolve to drafting full-blown busts and architectural models. These could also be enabled to evolve into 3D prints and mould-based models.
What AIs are missing, however, is the linguistic (or we may say, artistic) capacity of full-blown human expression. When DALL-E and his pals are set loose in the real world, tech geeks inevitably threaten the existence of artists directly, as AI art focuses more on exhibition than expression. These engines will eventually pose a viable threat to the faiths, customs, and even livelihoods of artists and artisans all over the world. In Aristotle’s words, “The aim of art is not to express the outward sign of things but their inner significance.” Artificial intelligence systems are, thus, a threatening presence that insinuates animosity within artists.
Artificial intelligence with an artistic component is a two-edged sword with huge prospects and a serious threat of stifling expression. While ingenious AIs like DALL-E appear to provide surreal and hyper-realistic depictions across concepts, these systems lack a human element that communicates a message. AIs on art are a blessing as they stand testament to technological growth while simplifying activities that demand an artistic eye.
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