How the development of artificial intelligence will change the market for creative professions?
In mid-December, artists from all over the world staged a boycott on the largest digital art platform ArtStation — the service actively promotes illustrations made by neural networks. An earlier AI-created painting won first place in a Colorado fine art competition, which also added fuel to the fire. Against the backdrop of this news, the artists were seriously worried about the prospect of being left without work. “Izvestia” figured out how much cheaper it is to use a computer mind instead of real people and whether pictures drawn by machine algorithms will become a long-term trend. And at the same time, we learned what one of the neural networks thinks about this.
Not prohibited means allowed
ArtStation is one of the main platforms for professional digital art and entertainment artists and graphic designers. To date, the site does not have a policy that would restrict the display of images generated by artificial intelligence. Because of this, such works have repeatedly surfaced in the popular section of the service. The company’s approach angered users – the main portfolio page simultaneously hosts drawings generated by a neural network and paintings that took hundreds of hours and years of experience to create.
The head of the RE2 computer graphics studio, Albert Khaibullin, believes that the reason for the dissatisfaction of the creative community is that artificial intelligence uses pictures “fed” to the algorithm that were created by real artists.
It can be said that when making an illustration, a graphic artist also looks for a mood board for inspiration, but there is one big difference – he does not take other people’s work and does not make collages out of them. This, in my opinion, is the main claim of the artists,” the expert explained.
The protest was provoked by illustrator Nicholas Cole and costume designer Imogen Cheyes: on their initiative, representatives of the art world began to massively upload to the site a picture with a crossed-out AI (Artificial Intelligence). As a result, site visitors saw only a sign of protest among the recently published works.
The American IT giant Adobe has also allowed images generated by the Dall-E and Stable Diffusion algorithms to be uploaded to its paid photo bank. Photoshop developers believe that neural networks are not competitors of creative people, but their assistants. The yoghurt brand EPICA, in turn, conducted an experiment, maintaining social networks and blogs using the content of the neural network.
You can’t ignore the experience of Artemy Lebedev’s studio, whose engineers “tamed” AI. The neural network Nikolai Ironov (now 2.0) creates logos and corporate identity elements, it turns out cool, and over time it will only get better – as Anna-Maria Lon, an expert in advanced analytics at Axenix, gave as an example. In the case of Ironov, the customer describes the idea in free form, and the neural network analyzes its content and instantly offers the first versions of logos.
AI tools remain available, and designers and artists do not need knowledge in the field of machine learning and programming skills, said Oleg Yusupov, CEO of the Phygital + project.
While it’s hot
Critics of AI creativity ask a fair question: is the artistic value of such works great? In the summer of 2022, a painting completely generated by the Midjourney artificial intelligence program won in the Digital Art category at the Colorado Fine Arts Competition.
Jason Allen considers himself not an artist, but the final author of this work – it was he who set the description of the program and spent several weeks perfecting it. The man said that even when generating images by a neural network, the work of a person is very important: he is required to edit pictures in Photoshop and improve their quality using an AI editor.
Works of art created by neural networks replenish private art collections and go under the hammer for huge sums. For example, an artificial intelligence algorithm called Botto earned about 1.3 million dollars from its first six NFT paintings in 2021.
Another high-profile case – a portrait of a certain Edmond de Belamy in the fall of 2018 was sold at Christie’s for 432 500 dollars. This amount is comparable to the prices for the masterpieces of the main European artists of the last century.
Portrait of Edmond de Belamy
The rest of the work is estimated at 1-3 dollars. “They are not of great interest to collectors,” Olga Dvoretskaya, a producer and specialist in NFT&Crypto, shared with the publication. The expert noted that the possibilities of artificial intelligence are only a tool in the hands of truly creative people.