AI Art: The Future of Artists, or The Downfall?


Meitu quickly became a top charting app, photo from Costfoto/Future Publishing (Getty Images).

Daisy Moss

AI art has been the center of many controversies recently. Most artists hate it, some love it. But does it exist out of laziness? Or even greed? Or is it just a way to advance technologically and pave a more advanced future?

By definition, art is something created by humans for humans, usually made out of emotion to portray the artists’ feelings, wants, motivations, or thoughts. Art exists to evoke thinking, feeling, wanting, craving, etc., and exists to show humanity, something AI is incapable of having.

Many say AI art is lazy, and lacks any emotion or thought, it has no humanity or reasons to exist as an art piece. Others argue that AI art is our future, will help us understand how AI works and how to improve it, and say it’ll bring in a lot of economical growth.

But what is the point of selling a piece of work if it has no human emotion or thought? What is the point of buying a piece if it has no passion or work put into it?

To create AI art, all you need to do is run a photo through an AI generator using the filter of the type of art style you want (such as manga/anime, oil painting, sketching, etc.), by doing this the AI recreates the photo or text prompt you put into it. The AI also downloads the outcomes, as well as the photo you put into the generator, into it’s library, where only the creators of the AI or those who work on it can see the images. Some people believe the creators of the AI will take the photo you put into the filter and sell it. For example, an AI art filter went viral on TikTok and the creator was accused of stealing the man-made artwork put into the AI and reselling it as their own.

A photo of myself that I put through Meitu’s anime filter.

Popular AI art engines, such as Meitu, have actually been caught for stealing art uploaded on the Internet to use as a reference photo for the AI’s framework used to create images. Many artists have been getting less and less traction, as well as less and less commissions, because of the accessibility of AI art generators, causing a massive controversy and fear that human artwork will be worthless, and artists won’t be able to make any money, especially not a livable salary.

I interviewed three artists, and each of them agreed AI art is pointless and harmful. Specifically, Centennial high sophomore Myla Alexander stated, “AI art has no meaning or emotion behind it, I don’t really consider it art. I do commissions and I’m terrified that my work won’t be worth anything.”

Whereas a non-artist, Centennial high senior Alex Wang, said “AI art seems cool, I like putting stupid pics into anime filters. I hope they do more with it, it’s pretty funny.”

The future of art is unclear, both man-made and AI made art don’t have a definitive future as of now. Is it more ethical for AI to make art versus some artists being exploited for their talent and skill? How do you feel about AI art? What do you think? If you’re against AI art, how do you think we could get rid of it as a society? Let us know!