I do realize that the powerful “learning” ability of AI has good uses such as in the medical field as a tool that doctors can use to help diagnose cancer from images. But once AI starts replacing humans in areas such as art, literature, music, and even companionship, we begin to enter a dehumanized dystopian future.
Pro-AI people who use examples like how people used to knit and weave clothes by hand and now machines do it are completely missing the point. First of all, knitting and weaving are a craft, not art. And even if you do consider those things to be art, if you actually touch a sweater or hat that was knitted by hand and compare it to one that came from a machine, you will immediately feel the difference in quality. When created by a skilled artisan, handmade crafts are far superior and possess an intangible value and spirit that machine-made items will always lack. This is also true for art.
There are those who say inputting images into an AI computer program is no different than human artists looking at things around them for inspiration. That argument is an admission that AI is not a tool for artists to create art, but a mechanical replacement for the artist’s brain.
When a human being is inspired to create art, they add unique elements of their own personality, talents, world view, and subconscious. AI art can only imitate, recombine and regurgitate what it has “seen”. Thus an image that is a mash-up of thousands of works created by other people is at best a source of amusement, and at worst an insult to and exploitative defilement of the original artists and photographers whose works were spliced together without their permission, a piece of “art” with no soul.
Possibly one of the worst effects of AI “art” is how the addictive nature of concocting elaborate images at the push of a button may discourage people from attempting to create original art themselves using traditional methods. Yes, it is easier to punch a few buttons and summon up a hundred different variations of a cat within ten minutes rather than sit down for an hour and draw a cat by hand on a piece of paper with a pencil. But as many of you who make art by hand already know, the exercise of drawing something yourself is so much more enriching and rewarding, and having an original finished product you can hold in your hand is so much more personal and meaningful.