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Quackcast 600 - AI is bad at art

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Sept. 13, 2022

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There's a lot of buzz about so called AI generated art at the moment using programs like Dall-E, Neural blender, Dream studio lite and so on. People use text prompts, i.e. “flying clockwork fish balloon” and the AI generates “art” based upon that. It usually does this by using actual art and photography created by real people, and visually mixing them to create a new image. Some results are much better than others.

The main issue with the approach is that the AI like all AI is dumb: it has no awareness, no understanding, it can't think, it can only serve up the most superficial interpretation of the prompt text. 100% of the “meaning” or “art” a viewer sees in that image is their own imagining, this in itself is never a good indication of art. But this also means that the AI has no capacity to understand the visual language it's speaking so it just provides you with a poor facsimile of art, which is all it can ever do due to inherent limitations.

For example, ask it to create a pirate image based on certain parameters. All it will be able to do is create a pastiche of already created images on the subject, like a bad deviant art image by a poor artist. A good human artist would think about the subject in terms of the ethnicity of the pirates, the type of vessel they use, how ratty or decorated their clothes are due to their time at sea, the body hair, tattoos, piercings and injuries on the pirates, the time of day and where the light comes from, the style of clothes and weapons due to the period, geography, and culture of the pirates etc. All that means something and will have a significant influence on the image (you can apply this to any other scenario too), while AI can only produce generic pretend art.

Unfortunately people don't understand these significant limitations and expect AI to do more than it can, (in all fields, not just art). AI is a useful tool when used correctly and when you properly understand its limitations, but when you don't it creates havoc. Which is why AI assisted systems tend to be so shit- like auto-correct spellcheckers, Google search algorithms, Facebook and Instagram image checkers, YouTube copyright checkers, “smart” chat-bots that big companies use as help systems etc. If we have people mistakenly thinking AI can replace artists or graphic designers, then we're in for a tsunami of boring, generic, meaningless design and the world will be a blander place because of it.

Try not to be fooled by the “idea” of art, when you see an AI generated image remember there was no thought behind it, no meaning to the placement of figures, style of clothes, body posture, mistakes etc, and the stylistic choices are simply stolen from human artists. It's a system that specialises in creating pointless parody pastiches.

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Brittany Hyperstyle - Bouncy, pop bubblegum bubbles of light and joy floating, rising and falling in sweet smelling convection currents. This sound is pink and powder blue with a sheen of iridescence. Synth electronica that’s fun, light and happy!

Topics and shownotes

Forum discussion that inspired the topic -
Dream studio lite -

Featured comic:
Vast as the Night -

Featured music:
Brittany Hyperstyle - - by Shampoo Venom, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Ozoneocean -
Banes -
Tantz Aerine -
PitFace -

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plymayer at 2:18AM, Sept. 17, 2022

Open the pod bay door Hal.

PaulEberhardt at 10:26AM, Sept. 14, 2022

I had to have a good look at and into this before I felt I could comment on it. So far, I'd prefer any real stupid artist to any of these artificially intelligent ones. 'Nuff said.

Ozoneocean at 7:23PM, Sept. 13, 2022

If we get rind of the silly hype about it "replacing artists" and people realise all the limitations (there are a hell of a lot), then we can start to think about using it in the right way as a tool to help us. It's like the dream of 3D "printing" where people imagined they could easily make things at home instead of buying them in a shop... that still hasn't worked out yet, but where 3D "printers" have come into their own is hobby manufacturing.

Ozoneocean at 7:19PM, Sept. 13, 2022

@Scarf and @TheJagged- It can replace bad art that didn't take long to produce anyway. The trouble there though is that because it can ONLY work by using already created art that it massively perpetuates errors and biases, which eventually results in over represented elements and skews what it can create- we've seen this over and over again in AI systems that scrape data, like the trash algorithms that curate social media feeds, youtube videos etc and always end up pushing people toward extremest content. The other big issue is basically illegal use of resources- The developers treat existing art as a free resource to build on, it's not that there will be a reckoning with that unfortunately.

Ozoneocean at 7:13PM, Sept. 13, 2022

@HawkandFloAdventures and @Andreas_Helixfinger Thankyou! :D 600 is a totally boobular number!

TheJagged at 1:27PM, Sept. 13, 2022

Well call me Judas, i am 100% on board with the AI take-over. I think it would improve artists' lives rather than ruin them. The fear that AI will replace corporate "art" implies that this commissioned junk was art to begin with. Whether the machine spits out a generic concept image for the next cashgrabby Star Wars movie/videogame in 2 seconds, or a real human being slaves away underpayed for hours... is the latter really preferable? Industry artists aren't free artists, they're craftsmen. Business men. They draw for money, not passion. And often under terrible conditions. If you're lucky you may be able to draw in your free time on your passion project, but chances are you gotta meet another deadline at 2 AM under crunch while you're busy committing karoshi. I'd rather live in a world where artists are jobless than a world where this happens:

Banes at 12:02PM, Sept. 13, 2022

Hey, it's AIght with me! ....................

Unka John at 9:23AM, Sept. 13, 2022

At least AI saves me the trouble of having to break the hands of everyone who draws better than I do. As a side note, I'd like to become a famous Hip-Hop artist. Since I have no talent and don't want to actually learn anything about the craft, could someone direct me to the appropriate software?

Ironscarf at 8:40AM, Sept. 13, 2022

AI absolutely can and will replace a lot of artists and designers. Far fewer will be able to do much more work as AI takes on more and more time consuming tasks, turning the artist into creative editor. Whether or not an AI can compete with a human artist unaided is a fun topic, but a distraction from the reality of what's coming.

dpat57 at 6:54AM, Sept. 13, 2022

What a biased article lol. Not wrong though.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 6:03AM, Sept. 13, 2022

Also I forsee that in the near future the big tittied anime girl AI's are gonna use their power of boobily persuation to cut a deal with the art AI's to sneakingly work in big boobs into every piece of art they make. Big boobs will become the watermark of the internet we all always knew they would😁 All thanks to order Double D😁😁😁

Andreas_Helixfinger at 5:59AM, Sept. 13, 2022

600th Quackcast! Congratz! And Oz, I didn't know you were a speaker of Gothemburgian Swebbirish😄 As for the subject, going back to the last I said in the forums thread "May the machine always malfunction and force us to take and make actions of our own for all time." I think after listening to this I feel secured that I'm going to have my way even if I do decide to try it out one day. I'm gonna drag my feet though, because that is something I just always do whenever there's a new futuristic thingimajig around the block.

HawkandFloAdventures at 4:34AM, Sept. 13, 2022

Congratulations on your 600th Quackcast!

Jason Moon at 4:32AM, Sept. 13, 2022

Computers (A.I) will take over someday, just you wait. Some of the things we love doing will be done better by a machine which won't stop you from doing what you love but it makes you obsolete in the working field. All it takes is for man to create something advanced that we can never come back from. Like inventing guns and smart phones, you can't turn back time and get rid of it.

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