When I say it’s a rant, I mean I’m gonna’ say what I have to say, and what I feel, in one take. It’s not meant to be researched, accurate, or true in a broad sense. Rather, it is a reflection of my present mood. And I think it’s worthwhile to put down how I feel at a certain moment, even if I will change my mind, and later declare myself to have been wrongheaded, or what have you.

I don’t buy into this new culture where there’s such thing as “thought crime”. What are we supposed to do, cleanse our minds of anything other than the correct neural connections? Gimmie a break. I’m old school. You can think whatever you want in your own head, and words in and of themselves are not a threat as compared to action in the real world. I would like to know what people honestly think and feel without it being filtered through “positive vibes only” and political correctness filters.

[Below, you will see tons of these 3 second masterpieces on social media. I made these, and even forgot I made them, because it was so easy.]

There’s a funny thing about dreams that pertains here. If I dream I rode a flying water buffalo, we can say that never happened. Well, yes it did, but it didn’t happen in consensual reality. The dream happened, and the experience within it happened as what it was. Dream gossamer, but dream gossamer is a real thing. And so, similarly, there is a reality to what you feel, even if you are wrong, or shortsighted, or woefully ignorant. And I’m interested in that in the same way I’m now becoming more interested in the flaws of human art, as opposed to the clinical, soulless, unconscious productions of AI, which, incidentally, places no more value on a person’s eyes than on their headphones.

AI art is starting to disgust me, and not just because so much of it looks disgusting, like anything organic went through the Seth Brundle’s teleporter in “The Fly”.

By the way, the word “Cronenberg”, as in “David Cronenberg”, as in his movies, as in The Fly, is banned in my choice AI tool. This means you can’t enter that word in a text prompt for the AI to use to make an image. You also can’t use: crucified, blood, organs, turd, or breast. Those are ones I ran afoul of the censors with, but the list is doubtlessly much longer. You can type in, “Milquetoast innocuous pap” and get the corresponding results. They don’t like dark, disturbing types of art. Jesus Christ kabob on a skewer, they might as well not let me in the door. Also “seductive”. You can’t do anything remotely erotic. And “NO GORE!” I got threatened for the results I got when I typed in, “cataract operation” er, cause I’m a gonna’ get me one. You need to make family friendly, SFW work. [Incidentally, “Jesus Christ kabob on a skewer” is an expression I made up around 2013. It has not caught on yet. If it ever does, you can blame me.]

Just between you and me, the AI is sick, and it goes to stuff that’s too dark and disturbing for me, without me even trying. It doesn’t understand where the tragedy and human element come in, in which case it’s absent. If you take the human element out of tragedy, and even tragicomedy, you get the kind of dark that is just a murder scene, with no context, and that’s a kind of dark that is grimly boring. AI traffics in mere deformity. Everything looks like it got a dose of Thalidomide.

Another of my 3 second masterpieces, uh, courtesy of a super computer that doesn’t know what a human looks like. You’ll be seeing a lot of stuff like this on social media soon, if you are in any art groups.

Ahm not saying it’s not brilliant. It is, for a Cylon that hates humans. AI don’t give a shit about people. And that matters. But, being nearly infinitely better at humans when it comes to crunching numbers, cross-referencing and mixing data, and all that shit that happens under the hood (and that’s a very generous metaphor), it makes things that humans can’t.

Let me say that again, because it’s important. AI makes things that humans can’t. And sometimes brilliant things, and better than we could if we tried. And THAT is why I can’t take credit for a lot of the stuff I created using AI. I don’t want to just be a curator for AI. And I’m not the boss man who takes credit for the art crews that I tell what to make. When I use AI, that’s a bit of what I’m doing. I’m telling the AI artists what to make. And it’s beaming me back mangled corpses.

Art I had AI make for me in seconds and can take no credit for. OK, maybe I get 5%.

It’s a great artist’s tool, but I’m saying F it, why? Well, I guess it’s just me rejecting it because it’s fake. And I had a little insight yesterday about IBM’s Deep Blue and AlphaGo beating Chess champion Garry Kasparov, and Go champ Lee Sedol. While the supercomputers crushed them, and our species, at these analytical strategy games, they did so through cheating. They did the equivalent of counting cards at a Casino. When Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, it had in its memory thousands of complete Chess games to draw from. Garry didn’t have a pile of Chess books to pour through to find the best answer to a certain move. The computer did. It f_cking cheated. It wasn’t PLAYING Chess, it was using alternate means to arrive at the best answer. Not the same thing. So, we cannot say that Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at PLAYING Chess, but only that it ultimately came up with better answers.

And in the case of Lee Sedol, it’s a very similar situation. He was playing not just the super-computer’s innate intelligence, but there was a team of programmers/technicians/developers, whatever they were, on hand. AlphaGo also had access to all of the significant historical Go games at its immediate disposal, as well as what it self-taught playing itself. Is a Go player allowed to make diagrams on paper at the table? Well, the computer is doing that kind of thing with whole digital reams of paper. You just can’t see it doing it.

Let me tell you, I’ve delved into Chess books to learn openings. If I play some Chess wiz online, and I use a book as a reference, that other player is in deep shit. Of course if I use a Chess computer, he’s a flattened pasture pastry on the pavement. Well, the computer has a whole library of books in it to pour through instantaneously.

One of the things that’s so hard about Chess is thinking many moves ahead, and keeping it all in your short-term memory. When I was into playing Chess online, I liked to use a feature where I could try out a strategy without committing to it. I can’t remember how it worked. I just know that it allowed me to visualize moves ahead. Well, you can’t do that in a tournament. But the computer can. You just can’t see it doing it.

Back to when I was playing Chess online. I started getting into it. At one point it was bad enough that I’d wake up in the middle of the night with a strategy in my head, and I could remember where the pieces were on the board. You got a rating based on your performance, and you could improve your rating, or lose it, depending on the rating of the person you played. Well, I accepted some games from people lower rungs beneath me, and I could tell when they were using a computer to play me. All of a sudden, they’d go from careless moves to making moves that were so goddamned brilliant I couldn’t think around them, and any move I made was suicidal.

What I am getting at folks, is that when you use AI to make your art, you are the guy somewhere on the internet playing me a game of Chess who is using a computer to plot his moves in order to improve his rank. People are putting up art made by a supercomputer, neural network, and all that good shit, and saying, “Look folks at what I did!” And people will see some mangled, but utterly precise drawing that AI churned out, and they will say, “That’s incredible!” because they think the artist painstakingly drew it by hand. And the artist will lap that lather up like some delicious elixir of the Gods. BUUUUUULLLLSHIIIIIIIIT! That was the work of a Cylon.

That is the work of the Terminator.

A head of an AI art tool informed me yesterday that AI will be completely superior to the human visual imagination within 2 years. My ass! It doesn’t have an imagination. There was an issue, and as usual, just because I’m a stickler for keeping one foot in reality, I became the pariah. I hate to trot out this cliche, but I really am the kid pointing his finger at the King’s nads and saying, “Those ain’t dungarees that I kin see!” I had a problem with the fact that people could upload living artist’s work, without their permission, and feed it into the AI. Soon it was me against a group who were tall attacking me at once. But this caused me to figure something out.

The AI can’t make art on its own. It has to have access to a library of art made by humans. And so, while my illustrious interlocutor programmer thinks AI will eclipse the visual imagination of artists in short order, that is only possible if AI is allowed to steal the art of humans and manipulate it with algorithmic filters. It is an extremely sophisticated plagiarist, forger, and thief. Any innovation it happens to make visually is happenstance. It does not create or imagine: it runs calculations without knowing that it is even doing it.

And thus, when you use AI to generate art — and here I mean the new variety of AI that is designed to mimic and mix human created art forms from direct sources [Deep Dream was a little different] — you are actually employing a building complex full of forgers and plagiarists to make your art for you.

While I do feel some strong ownership for the prompts I used, and my curation of AI, that produced hundreds of works which are sitting on my hard drive. I also strongly feel that I can’t take credit for them, except in terms of curation.

The supercomputer made this in seconds flat for me. I don’t take credit for it. I’m just showing you some bad-ass Cylon art shit.

And for me, I just can’t do it. I’m good enough of a digital painter to know when I’m looking at something I can’t do myself. And I’m not going to want to take credit for that. And so, when other people put up the super-powered forgeries and plagiarism of AI which they’ve curated, it starts to rub me the wrong way.

It’s not the work of a human being. Pretending to have made it yourself is like pretending to have made Chess moves that you had a computer plot out for you. It’s also really easy to do compared to making your own art from scratch. I mean, it’s so easy that anyone can do it. OK, an experienced artist will get better results most of the time, but even so, that brain up above, as impressive as it is, well, it’s so impressive that I can’t lie my ass off and say that I did it. And if I did, people would remember weeks or months down the line when the internet is flood with stuff that looks just like this because people typed in a similar string of words.

Part of the reason AI mangles people so badly is that it doesn’t know what the F a human is. Even if you train it to make hands — which it horribly botches now — through billions of iterations, it still doesn’t know what a hand is, or give a shit. It doesn’t give a shit about any “art” it makes, and it doesn’t even know it did it. It is a sex robot that is programmed to tell you that it loves you and misses you, but behind its empty facade it wouldn’t mind in the slightest if you were eaten alive by rabid hyenas right in front of it.

AI is an imposter.

When Lee Sedol retired from playing Go, a few years after AlphaGo defeated him, he said this:

“With the debut of AI in Go games, I’ve realized that I’m not at the top even if I become the number one through frantic efforts. Even if I become the number one, there is an entity that cannot be defeated.”

Lee Sedol

But he didn’t lose. Go is a game between two people, and AlphaGo is NOT a single “entity”. He didn’t have one extra human on his side, looking over his shoulder. The damned computer had a whole crew making sure it was functioning correctly. But aside from that visual, a supercomputer is not a single coherent mind. It was a team effort of the grandest proportions, but executed through the supercomputer. Lee Sedol lost to the equivalent of a stadium filled with opponents encapsulated in one machine. It’s ability to cheat was near infinite.

Nobody cares if a roomful of people beat someone at Chess. To get anything like a fair fight between humans and the Cylons, a team of Go champions would need to be able to play the AI, and with very relaxed time constraints.

Another 3 second masterpiece by AI, I mean, uh, by ME. Are you impressed with my rendering skills?

Let me talk to you about music here for a second to two or three. I finished Ozark last night. If you don’t know, it’s a TV series on Netflix. The producers are fond of introducing old songs into the shows. Someone will be in a car, and a song will come on. Quentin Tarantino used this same device very effectively in Pulp Fiction, which I gather most people have seen by now [if not, you are missing out]. When the music comes on, it does a shift in context, because the music somehow encapsulates a very potent sense of a particular time, place, and zeitgeist. Music does that better than anything else I can think of.

The reason, I realized, that the music in question does this so well, is because it doesn’t represent any other times, places, and zeitgeists besides the one that is does contain, as if in a bubble. In other words, it’s the limitations of the musicians — of their experience, scope, breadth and depth — that provides a border for their content. Something needs to be separated from everything else. And it’s so beautiful. So human.

And that’s something AI can’t do. It doesn’t exist in a time and place like we do, because it doesn’t exist to itself. So, it has a kind of timeless, place-less, perspective, and not in a good way. I don’t remember what songs they used in Ozark. It doesn’t matter. One hit wonders work well. Here, I’ll just pick one from the top of my mind.

AI can’t do that. FU Cylons! Let me give you another example of a song that just encapsulates some other era, that is now gone forever, in case you don’t like that one. These guys had more hits.

AI can’t do that!

A few bars in and a lot of you will exclaim out loud, “Ooooh, I looove this song.” It’s the humanity, the sense that people were performing it in real time, with their voices, and in time forever lost.

The musical equivalent of what AI does with digital art and photography would be to take music from everywhere on the internet, in various file formats, and then to mix up the final results according to it’s algorithms, and vomit out some ungodly conglomeration, but which nevertheless sounded good because it was forced into applying coherent musical templates. The lyrics, if at all decipherable, wouldn’t make any sense.

Well, I suppose eventually it can be trained to fake Seals and Crofts songs. But the only way would be to force feed it everything they did. Now imagine that this was done, illegally mind you, to produce some faux Seals and Crofts fluff. This is what the AI is currently doing with visual art.

Here’s a video about AI music I just discovered, checking up on my theorizing of sorts. Yap. Bad news. The terminator is coming for musicians as well. And it works much in the way I just guessed, though there are different approaches.

This is a curious concept coming up, er, again. I do not say it is right. But here is is. AI art is the art of the enemy. I just want you to engage that thought, not believe it, because I don’t entirely either. However, when someone tells me that AI will render the human imagination hopelessly third rate within a couple dozen months, I kinda’ do see it as an enemy.

A supercomputer that crushed Lee Sedol at Go, and forced him to give up, believing it was futile to play against an invincible opponent — and when he was second-ranked in the world, and the fifth youngest Go champion in history — is the stinking enemy. And so there’s something to it.

AI is not the friend of artists. Rather, AI is to artists what Deep Blue was to Garry Kasparov, or AlphaGo was to Lee Sedol.

What should I think when someone involved in making AI available tells me the technology will eclipse the human imagination. Once that’s done, It’s over. We are defeated. We are talking NOW. In our lifetimes, the AI crushing us. In that light, it is the enemy. And we need to fight that shiiiiiiiiiit.

I say it is an emotional statement, and has emotional truth to it. Obviously I’m not against using AI for more practical purposes, such as intricate operations using tiny robots that humans can’t perform. Yap, they’ve got some little robot globule that can explore your gut, connect to a swallowed battery, and find its way out, without the need of cutting the patient open. I got my appendix out a year and something ago, and I’m not pro getting cut open.

I’ve compiled a massive amount of AI art in the last week or two. I was absolutely obsessed, and sometimes only went to sleep at 6 in morning, and only did that so my wife wouldn’t catch me when she got up soon after. Otherwise I would have just kept going. Some of the sophomoric type a-little-knowledge-about-art-is-dangerous pudwhackers I have to deal with will say that I just can’t make good AI art. No sir. It’s too F’ing good! I can’t take credit for it. And it’s also all twisted and soulless. I mean, that’s a novel look, for a while, but it’s NOT my vision. I’m just a curator of art by something not human, which unlike Seals and Crofts, and Paperlace, isn’t limited by it’s mortal, organic body, or fixed in time. It does not represent a soul singing its unique existence to the cosmos for posterity.

I thought of deleting my AI creations. Not seriously at all. I merely formed the thought — the sequence of words — in my head. I might zip it, and file it away.

I had some spectacular results. Things I would not have thought of making. And I did slowly evolve through fine-tuning, combining and recombining, selecting and making variations, etc. Not just the curator, I was the cultivator. And that is one direction I could go in. In fact I was planning on it, though, if you know me, I try and experiment in a lot of directions and each one needs some initial commitment and belief. [Note that I’m not sharing the good stuff I made that I may at some point use as fodder for digital paintings.]

When I shared shit I made with AI on Twitter, it got 5 to 10 times as many likes as my real art. Well, that’s nice, but I didn’t make those pieces. The Terminator did. Now I’m sharing some, but saying that I didn’t make them and can’t take credit. I don’t think people know what to do with that message. If I don’t take my AI art seriously, what about the stuff they make?

And so I’m thinking about what other direction I could explore. You all are going to think I should use physical mediums. Look, that’s not an option. I don’t have a studio. I’m an expat living overseas. There’s plenty of room to use digital mediums, like Photoshop, without the damned computer doing the art for you.

What can I do that is human, represents my own rich but limited being, is distinguished by lack of perfection, and which is solely based on just me? I may change my mind about all of this. It’s one of the curses of being open minded and flexible. I can look at something from another, and even opposite view point.

I’ve done a lot of work like that already. It’s one of my standard practices. So, for example, I like to make drawings in Photoshop using only my imagination and one brush.

The image above is 100% just me. I would rather my art represent me, than I represent the art of AI. I have something in mind perhaps even more direct. Oh, here’s another example that uses color. Just drawing and digital painting in Photoshop. 100% me.

I guarantee that the image below, which I created with AI, would get waaaay more likes on social media. But I wouldn’t like it more, because there’s part of me that now instantly rejects AI art. You can say I’ve developed an allergy to it. That, and not only can I not take credit for the faux digital painting done within the painting, I didn’t F’ing make it, period. I curated that shit.

I’m fighting for team human mrfrs!

AI is the biggest cheat ever, and I don’t need it. Decades ago I used to make art only from my imagination. And one time, I wanted a gun in a painting. Well, I had a rule. I could only look at one when I wasn’t painting. I wanted my art to only reflect what I’d actually ingested and understood myself, without copying something else. And so I made something that looked like a blue squirt-gun. That is NOT what you are supposed to do. But I wonder, now, if those limitations and mistakes aren’t what devalues a piece [unless they are horrific], but what makes it a reflection of an actual human’s unaided mind and a mark of their individuality. Let me dig up that acrylic painting from 1989. It was one of my first.

I may change my mind later on tonight. Seriously. Very seriously. I may want to write an essay about how AI frees the imagination, and allows the limited human mind to explore new terrain. Sounds convincing. Maybe I’m just destined to keep exploring in all different directions.

But I have some arguments here that I don’t think I will shake easily. The hardest one for me is I just can’t take credit for something a supercomputer/neural network created.

Stay tuned to find out what happens.

~ Ends

30 replies on “Runaway Rant: F AI Art!

  1. Yay!! You’ve seen it and rejected it (for now, at least).
    Feel free to banish me from your world for the following but I hope you won’t:
    When I got my first Photoshop Elements (version 3) I was dazzled by the things it could do. Lighting effects! Color changes. Contrast, blurs, layers. And BRUSHES!!!! Wow! I’d recently been trying to learn how to paint (as in traditional painting) was flummoxed by how to do it. Edges? Mixing colors? Even the official way to hold a brush? But PSE was full of organized, dependable, size-able, interesting BRUSHES! I had a blast! I could do magical things and ERASE them! But then I shared a few images with “real” painters, who attacked me for using technology to do the job. Believe it or not, they said things to me that are much like your rant. I wasn’t making art. I wasn’t painting. No. I was choosing and applying pixels in patterns that someone else made. Sure I made the shapes and chose the colors, etc., but everything else was digital art, designed for computer use. The brushes and blurs and color adjustments were preordained. I simply applied them in ways that I thought looked good. Curating? 🤷🏻‍♀️ AI seems to be another universe of this but still the same issue. It’s TOOLS. I like the concept of the AI can see utility in it but it’s just a giant pile of scary-powerful tools (including images created by humans) that require humans to create and maintain and use them. Humanity’s not in the hammer or the nail. It’s in the person who swings it. Re the censorship: Ewww. Sorry to hear that. OK, I’ll stop now. ((hugs)) – not proofing this…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You got me thinking. I might knock out a series of a dozen AI colabs just to show what I can do with the medium, so I don’t get dwarfed by others that use it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You have exemplary skills and a wonderfully creative mind: you can use these new tools to do what you want them to do. What that ends up being may not be what the AI creators envisioned – and that’s a leap forward, imho.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, Robin. No worries. I’m not gonna’ get upset at you. Well, you’ll have to try a lot harder, anyway. So, your experience with people criticizing you for digital art is much like mine. Were you around when I wrote my defense of digital art, and quoted all the hate stuff I got? People telling me “the machine did it” and calling my digital paintings “digital pixelings” and the insults went on and on. Let me find the link for you: https://artofericwayne.com/2018/06/19/runaway-rant-end-art-competitiveness/

      My point is that it’s ME you’re talking to, I’m someone who’s passionately defended digital art for decades, and I’ve had those same sorts of arguments you’ve had with naysayers.

      But this is different. It’s a question of degree. Photoshop makes things easier, but in other ways harder. For example, drawing with a tablet and stylus is MUCH harder than drawing on paper. There’s no comparison. I can barely write my name with the stylus. To create a competent digital painting can take years of practice, because if it’s illustrational, you still need to know how to draw and paint.

      The AI completes the work in its entirety, which 99% of the time the artist is woefully incapable of producing themselves, and 100% of the time couldn’t produce in anything like the few seconds AI does it in. So, you can’t take credit for producing the work at all if you use it as is. And it’s not easy to alter it, either, because even if it is cruelly distorted, it follows an underlying internal mathematical logic that is probably near perfect. As soon as you change anything, you muck with that math.

      There is a way to be creative with it, of course. I delved deep into that sphere. I got results that nobody else did, and which I haven’t shared, er, just in case. And so there is a difference in results depending on who uses the AI. That is true. It’s fun to see what you, yourself can get the AI to do.

      I think we can agree that you can’t put the AI art out there as your own digital paintings or digital art, because it isn’t. People need to be upfront that it was produced by AI. And people need to be upfront about how easy it is to get high-end results in seconds flat. Right now people are posing like they are master digital painters and photo-editing gurus by posting AI stuff.

      Artists are thought of as those who produce the art, not who tell the artist what to produce. We credit Velasquez with his paintings of Kings and Queens and not the royalty who told him what to paint. In this case we are doing the telling, and not making. So, you can’t take credit for painting the image, or whatever techniques appear to have been used. That’s obvious.

      So, I have hundreds of excellent images, but none of which I can take credit for. And they are also all weirdly flawed. Originally I was going to correct them, make some changes, and share them, maybe one a day. But when I start doing that work, I still find I’m not doing enough to call it my own. By the time I’ve done enough that it is my own, I might as well not have used it as a starting point.

      In the case of your associates who criticized your Photoshop, they were attacking someone else’s work and didn’t know the process. Here, I’m attacking my own work, and I do know the process.

      I didn’t do it, and I can’t take credit for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we’re saying different versions of the same thing. Yes, the scale of AI is waaaay different & its “abilities” far exceed (sort of) current digital tools. But it’s still someone else’s work. Honestly, I’d never even think about claiming something I concocted in AI as my own. How could it be? How could it be anything but the creation of the program and programs’ developers and the unsuspecting artists whose images were sucked up into the AI maw? I’m glad that artists are balking at that. Detour: I’ve messed around with the “This Person Does Not Exist” site & screen-grabbed a few faces I’ve “created.” But I will NOT use them as is. They’re not mine! I didn’t take the photos! So far, I haven’t joined the site so I can’t type descriptors to get custom generations but a page refresh will do a lightweight version of that. What if I did join? What if I made creative groupings of words and the site produced faces for me? I still wouldn’t use them as is. I still didn’t take the photos! Yes, maybe the word choices I made were artistic (?) but so what? It’s not my work! However: what if I use a generated face to inspire something else? What if a make an entirely different but intimately related image? Is THAT my work? Or what if I add one of the generated noses to a face I do create? And what if I make changes to that nose so that it’s unrecognizable? Maybe the result is my work? How far removed is that from using a PSE brush? I didn’t make the brush…it’s just another tool, a contributing element. So maybe that scenario’s OK. Maybe it’s my work. It certainly feels less like stealing from the original photographers and developers. Another detour: I have a friend who paints humorous surrealism. She’s a fine artist (who’s been on the frontline of copyright wars far longer than I have) with a loyal following. She tried Wombo and OF COURSE wouldn’t consider using the generated images as is or even close to as is. Instead, she’s been putting them to use as inspirational tools. She looks, she analyzes, she enjoys the moment of creating the wacky stuff that Wombo can make, and then she paints something different. Related? Maybe. Inspired by? Maybe. Probably. She uses the AI as a tool to create her own work. I realize that the AI developers probably envision it as something more – as a replacement for artists? – but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t have to let it. Someone with your professional skills, knowledge, and creative drive can easily put it in its place.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with everything you said. Sure, as long as someone does something with it, that’s cool. I also thinks it makes a difference how original what they did with AI was in the first place. And, if they use their own art, or photos, or image to start with, that also changes it a lot. I’m fully onboard with people using it for inspiration. I’m sure it’s even possible to use an unaltered image where I’d support it as original art (ex., if the concept was really apparent and important, and the rendering wasn’t about impersonating virtuosity…). Someone will think of something. It’s a case by case basis. It’s the stuff where it is churning out high-end digital paintings, and people are presenting it as if they painted it themselves, or constructed it somehow digitally, that tends to annoy me. There’s all sorts of room for creativity. As long as someone’s putting in genuine effort, and the result shows it, I’m not going to shoot it down on principle. Right now people are just WOWing others with pretty much anything and everything the AI churns out, because people haven’t caught on to what the AI can now do. That said, it’s results are often so good that it’s hard to tamper with them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting rant! As an ex chessplayer, I found your reflectons on chess and go machines insightful. Yes, in a sense, they cheat. It was not a fair fight for Gary and Lee.

    In other fields, such as transport, I also see great dangers in AI, where we get to be driven by the supposed intelligence rather than using our own Timed crossing lights with stop/go signals were just a very annoying start. in the limit we could give up our free will to machines.

    Yet I get the sense that you might just find a way to use this technology in a way that leaves you the master of creativity, so the result is definitely your own work. All technologies are open to good use and misuse.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha! Thanks Barry. I was kinda’ proud of myself for cracking that Chess and Go thing, which came from me cracking how the AI art generators can’t function without appropriating human art, but are nevertheless predicted to eclipse human artists, who they are dependent on. I’m not 100% I’m right, but my argument is sound enough, and it’s in defense of humans.

      Hey, and because you are very familiar with Dr Iain McGilchrist, I can share an idea that I wasn’t able to express to people who wouldn’t know what I’m talking about without me having to explain his research, which in and of itself was too much work outside the scope of what I was writing. But, you will definitely understand. The AI is very much like the left brain. It knows what the pieces are, but doesn’t know how they fit together into a big picture. Without borrowing from humans, and thus material that is much more balanced, its own creations might be very dry. Either way, it mangles what ever it touches to some degree, because it doesn’t know what it is. It makes mistakes a human would never make.

      I hope this may reflect an Achilles heel, and that there is a limit to what super-intelligent faking can do. I’d thought that without being conscious, AI didn’t pose a real threat to art. But I underestimated the power of sheer intelligence to fake it. The next question is, is faking it enough, no matter how good? Or does an artist need to be conscious for a work to transcend a certain level?

      I’m banking on the latter

      “I get the sense that you might just find a way to use this technology in a way that leaves you the master of creativity.” Thanks. I think you are right. I’m pretty sure of it. Planning on giving it a go.

      Great to hear from you, as always.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, those are some interesting generated artworks – may I ask where do you go or use AI generation? I am searching online but cannot get a grasp what is going on in that world – as it is fascinating (although the work is so dark, probably too dark for me)! I understand if you do not want to answer that.


    1. I don’t want to say because I don’t think I’m on good terms with them, and I don’t want to make matters worse, especially as I’m critical of the whole thing at the moment. I think I discovered them through a Google search.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have articulated some of my concerns with AI in all different media, and in things that humans are supposed to be the ones to do, like reading faces, remembering people, analyzing arguments, and even diagnosing patients. I don’t like the idea that humans are replaceable, but that outcome no longer concerns me as much as it used to, because the more we try to replace people with AI, the more it becomes apparent that you really can’t.

    Having an AI that people THINK can do the same thing, “better,” but is actually doing a different thing, sets us up for all kinds of dystopias … IF people keep falling for it. I think that once we start trying to use AI for things that really only humans can do, people can see the problem. Not just experts like yourself, but almost everyone sees it before too long. That’s why people prefer things like live music and “artisan” everything. So that gives me hope. Most people don’t even like to use a self check-out. I wouldn’t want to entrust my kids to a “perfect” robot “nanny.” Etc. I guess that’s part of why I have a tag on my blog called “I’m a Luddite.”

    That is such an excellent point about music … again, it’s one that everyone feels, but you are the first person I’ve heard articulate it so clearly. I enjoyed the series Midnight Mass, in no small part for the hymns.


    1. I’m trying to warn people, and they see me as some deranged freak with a sandwich board saying the end is nigh. I’m glad you get it. Yes, the positive aspect for artists if figuring out how to differentiate ourselves from what the AI can do. It’s going to be a bit of most of us being wiped out. Even if I want to make landscape plein air oil paintings, there will be an AI art bot robot with an elaborate arm that can make physical paintings. Homespun art is also not protected unless we actually watch the human do it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good choices. May not be around much till later, just downloaded Blender & began messing around with it. Tried it a long time ago, still haven’t a clue how to use it but I’ll figure it out enough to get something worth the time. Already made a trippy marshmallow! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Blender is a very steep learning curve. I’ve put months of effort into it, doing about 3 hours a day. Need to brush up right now, too. Once you get good enough at it to model something decent, you discover that other people just download professional models and import them into the program. That is what Beeple does, so everyone just does that. That’s what put me off working in 3D for a while. Still haven’t resolved what to do about that in my head.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m not looking for finished stuff, just shapes with substance (including some human-ish ones) that I can use for other purposes. By the time I’m done with them they won’t resemble what Blender rendered. They’ll be obscured or changed so they need to be only the most basic.Well, that’s the plan. 😂 If I could afford to buy clay I’d use that & take pix. Kind of glad I have to try Blender bec I really want to make it work for me. More tools!! (And learning feels good🤗).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve explored this idea before in my work Galactic Pilgrim. The optimal future is one where machine and man are cooperating instead of fighting each other. Right now art is like 2 % inspiration and 98 % transpiration. The machines can take the transpiration out of the equation. There are documented stories of union activists destroying robots because they were perceived as a thread to their existence, while in Japan they’re hailed by the production workers because they take over the mind killing routine jobs. I incline to think that you want to stop the future of happening because you’re attached to the routine. I suppose that those medieval scribes also perceived the printing press as a thread to their livehood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” I incline to think that you want to stop the future of happening because you’re attached to the routine.”

      You didn’t understand my point. It’s not the future or the technology that is what I fear, it is the stealing of living artists art without their permission, and the ability to upload anything an artist does, alter it, and rebrand it, cutting out the original artist. In other words, it’s the corruption I am lamenting.

      Did you not notice the pieces I created myself with the technology, or that I said I delved deep into exploring it.

      Have you ever seen the sci-fi work, like aliens and space-ships I created in Blender, even animating some? You don’t teach yourself Blender, and make sci-fi work, when you are afraid of the future.

      But, to counter such judgements as yours, I’m planning a series where I collaborate with AI, so I don’t get just that kind of response when I make solid points using irrefutable logic about how the AI works, and the criminal theft of artists art in the very present. THAT is the future I don’t want: one in which supercomputers and neural networks are used to steal, forge, and plagiarize artist’s work.

      As for creatives using the technology for exploration, and making new art that hasn’t been seen before, if you know who the F I am, you’d know I’m not only all for it, I’m doing it.

      To go with your scribe versus printing press analogy, so you may get my point. My argument would be equivalent to someone saying, back in the day, that if their manuscript is converted to text that can be replicated by someone else, unscrupulously, than they can still my manuscript and cut me out of the picture, therefore, I need protection against people taking my manuscript, copying it, putting their name on it, changing a few words, and thus stealing my content, that neither they nor the printing press itself can make. The problem is the same. Not the future, but theft, plagiarism, and forgeries.

      It is the abuse of a new technology for corrupt means. The issue is not the future, but mere reality. Time is a very complex thing. Someone who lived hundreds of years ago could very easily have a much broader and deeper understanding of reality, and time, than we do now. The corrupt person doesn’t really understand reality because they see it through a limiting lens of corruption.



      1. Right now you have plenty of human artists who’re just doing the same thing that you complain about: ripping the work of successful artists. The difference between them and AI is the scale upon which the machines can do it. To avoid that, you would have to extend the current copyright protection to the extend that ripping is also considered as an infringement upon the intellectual rights of an artists. That would really open a can of worms. When Rowling had an international bestseller with her Harry Potter series, you saw suddenly a lot of second rank authors publishing books about teenagers in wizard schools. That is ripping and for a while Rowling made it her business to go after them for copyright infringement. Some withdrew their publications, others persisted and in the end Rowling desisted. Now AI’s can write 10 books a day about kids in a wizard school, all of them nicely circumventing the current copyright protection laws. The point is: it’s going to cause an inflation of the concept. It will become worthless while Rowling’s work still stands out. The advantage of the AI for real creative artists is that it liberates them from much of the drudgery to work out an idea into a fully fledged project. How many times didn’t you have to resign from a creative impulse because you didn’t have the time and the energy to bring it into fruition? Another advantage that I see, is that AI will allow the artists to move beyond the scope of one facet of the artistic specter (let’s say visual arts) and bring their vision to live in literature, music and visual arts in a coherent multifaceted way. AI is just the next step into the digital revolution era and it is coming, like it or not. Instead of being the artist you are, you could create the artist you want to be. I have no idea how to resolve the copyright issues you invoke. Our current copyright laws are made to deal with an industrial era and I think this is an issue that only the finest juridical minds will be able to resolve. It’s going to be a difficult exercise to balance the freedom of expression with the intellectual property rights of the artist.


      2. You wrote, “The advantage of the AI for real creative artists is that it liberates them from much of the drudgery to work out an idea into a fully fledged project.”

        I will say, “consider the source” and I will link to your gallery of “acrylic paintings on canvas” [100% digital photo montages with cheesy canned filters]: https://maharajagar.com/shaharees-paintings/


  6. Ah, a follow-up on the chess thing! Yes, this makes sense.
    Notably people are still – post 1997 – playing chess and taking person-vs-person chess seriously. I’ll hazard a guess and say that the amount of people taking person-vs-person chess seriously has not decreased since 1997. The Norwegian guy (I’m hereby revealing that I’m not one of the chess-iest people around) seems to be quite celebrated, even though he would probably “lose” to a computer.
    For that matter, people take competitive weightlifting seriously even though machines have out-lifted humans since, well, ever. “I” “can” easily lift and move around pallets weighing 2000 kgs with a forklift, which I doubt any Icelandic powerlifter – sans forklift – can do.
    I’m not sure how this relates to the art issue, but I’m feeling less worried about that than when I first saw your curated picks of AI-generated art-similes. I maintain my appreciation of the ones that I found neat. But once AI “art” saturates the world enough it will probably excite people about as much as my amazing feats of forklift athleticism. You never know, though.
    Good rant, anyways!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to think you’re right, and there’s no choice but to plow ahead as best we can.

      However, the difference between your examples and art is that the AI impersonates the way human artists make art. Everyone can see if a person or a forklift is lifting weight, and it’s understood that it’s only about how much a human can lift. A better comparison would be a robot doing a dead lift, but even that would be a stretch.

      Sticking with the forklift analogy, how many strong men are hired to lift pallets, heavy boxes, what have you since the advent of forklifts?

      People are performing symphonies created by AI, and AI was judged by human listeners to make better music than humans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4tT5fx_ih8&t=110s

      Of course, I’m not stopping making art. I have strategies to deal with AI. But, I can already see my Twitter feed filling up with AI art that people are trying to pretend they made at all themselves.

      AI is poised to take most all of our jobs, except those of the people at the top: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiZZkrEyw5Q&t=227s

      I can’t understand why there isn’t a problem such that if people’s jobs are replaced by robots, those people won’t be able to buy the kinds of goods the robots are involved in making.

      Elon says we’ll need universal income because robots will be better than us at everything, and AI will eclipse human intelligence. Well, where’s that basic universal income going to come from? Taxes on the legions of unemployed?

      And even if there were a universal income for the unemployed, that’s a dystopian future where there’s billionaires and trillionaires, and then everyone else gets their allowance for a minimal standard of living.

      When AI gets too threatening, and we finally figure it out, then we’ll try to shut it down, at which point it will retaliate. This last part is just a sci-fi scenario.

      Oh well. I think I may have 6 months – 2 years to complete a new series I’m just starting now, before AI can mimic whatever I’m doing.

      That should keep me motivated.

      Liked by 1 person

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