Art and AI

By Owen Darlow

AI has been a huge development in recent years with online features like ChatGPT being widely used, I firmly do not believe in AI and dislike its real existence where I believe it should be a sci-fi concept and nothing more. I believe we might get to the point where people outsource jobs to AI rather than other people, damaging the economy and people’s livelihood; there is more at stake than what is just at the surface. But Artificial Intelligence is only rising with global hype and seems to be becoming more and more abundant, we see films such as “Terminator” where Skynet eliminates the majority of the human population and Earth becomes a dystopian society fighting to survive. Whilst we may not have or ever have T-2000 Terminator robots, could this become a reality with a different twist from Terminator? Let’s dive deeper into this later!

My thesis is the following:

“I believe that the increasing prevalence of AI is a damning threat to artists and creators. I think this because, to the naked eye, it is nigh on impossible to distinguish between AI-generated art and hand-made art types. This heavily damages creators because music and paintings created by AI can be so convincing they could limit potential job opportunities in the future which will not be a positive thing. AI cannot differentiate between stereotypes/bias and reality and therefore will impact artwork and society in the future which could still impact creators as governments may use AI art as propaganda. 

Here we have a few claims that I made about AI highlighted in varying colours, some of which may be refuted with a poll I show, however despite the grain of evidence possibly going against me on certain claims I will make counter-arguments with my personal opinion and fears on AI. 

When I sent out my survey, I found that the majority of voters/answers were worried about the direction of Artificial Intelligence. One response mentioned the possibility of companies using AI to limit expenses as a business which in turn would take away opportunities from real people.

Another answer to the question “how do you generally feel about AI” was that it does genuinely have positives but can be used in negative ways to harm people. The answer also doesn’t mention what type of harm which I feel is brilliant as it also echoes my point about economic harm in the long term.

Someone also just said The Terminator. I thought it was funny as this film is about a dystopian future society caused by the enhancement of AI taking over humans. While I hope/think this never happens, it can have an economic impact on society if creators do not get financially rewarded for their chosen career path. 

Overall on the explanations, there was more on the side of AI potentially doing more harm than good.

The proof is in the pudding when 100% of the voters answered ‘Yes’ to the following questions: 

‘Do you think that AI jeopardises the artistic industries such as music, literature, art and perhaps even performing arts?’

‘Do you think jobs will be at risk in the artistic industries such as music, literature, art and perhaps even performing arts?’

For me the fact that 100% of voters said ‘Yes’ to both questions is alarming; I do realise that they are very similar questions however, the latter is the far extreme of the same scale.

As a summary: In the questionnaire of mostly a teacher populus, almost all said they are worried about the general direction of AI also with one exception saying they simply do not know enough to be worried about it. I strongly disbelieve in any reason for AI to exist but I do recognise it can have so many benefits; the questionnaire has made me recognise that a lot of people feel the same and that it is dangerous for society and may take away opportunities from real people economically causing damage to us as a community in the long-term. It may also increase the disparity between the wealthy and less wealthy people. 

The questionnaire has also brought to my attention the type of worry, with mine and a few responses being a science-fiction-like concern with a dystopian future as a possible eventuality, not as severe like The Terminator of course but a society separated by causes of machine learning.  Also, another being that everyone unanimously agreed that the creative arts industries are jeopardised by the existence of AI where the corporate demand of creative skills can be outsourced by the organisations to the infinite supply of AI generated art as “infinite solutions” they can provide their clientele (us).

Therefore with everyone agreeing that jobs are at risk in the creative fields, all jobs in all fields will eventually become more competitive and scarce due to the forever worsening shift in the balance of “supply and demand” caused remotely by the existence of AI.