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Does Mechanization Turn Men into Robots or Robots into Men?

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Sept. 12, 2022

Photo: “Fille Née Sans Mèr (translation ‘Girl Born without Mother’)”. Francis Picabia. 1917.

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.” -Herbert George Wells

In one month’s time, I will be attending a lecture detailing the development of a robot with the ability to recreate “faithful copies of large historical objects” in order to solve the dilemma brought on from art traded outside its country of origin. The art piece in question originated from the ancient Acropolis in Athens and is currently housed in the British Museum. The opportunity to witness the ability of three-dimensional machining’s role in the creation of artifacts from antiquity is highly fascinating. The innovation of this type of technology could lead to recreating the Victory stele of Naram-Sin, Stele with law code of Hammurabi, and enormous Lamassu!

In the September 2022 issue of Noēma magazine, Amanda Rees writes on artificial intelligence, “accelerating over the past decade, alongside advances in computing, data analysis, cloud technology and deep learning. Joining computer scientists in their anticipation of AI, eagerly or otherwise, are theologians, artists, and the general public.” Amazing. This fusion of the arts and sciences working together in harmony was a topic rarely explored at my college—where the two schools of thought were physically separated with an unspoken rivalry between the North Campus (arts) v. South Campus (science). This quandary, or state of perplexity, could easily be solved when the arts and sciences work harmoniously together.

Last week, TheJagged created the forum topic “AI Generated Art (aka we're all out of a job soon)” under Comic Talk and General Discussions. The forum thread shines a light on the the advancements of an artificial intelligence algorithm’s ability to create a whole, original artwork using keywords prompted into a generator. Several users on the Duck have posted examples of art created using this technique and, honestly, it is mind-blowing.

Of my friend, I can only say this. Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.” -Captain Kirk, “The Wrath of Khan”

In the spirit of innovation and bridging the gap between the arts and sciences, I fully embrace the idea of an AI that can create art AND comics. The day I unknowingly feature a comic generated by an AI because its art style and writing inspire me to laugh out loud, will be the day (in my book) that robot-kind move one step closer to mankind.

What's Quacking?
Do you have any original art to contribute to our stock image database, announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei. Email me at kawaiidaigakusei(at)gmail(dot)com.



Ironscarf at 4:49AM, Sept. 13, 2022

@Ozone - even if that's the case, bland and generic has never been a barrier to adoption. I'm still waiting for people to notice what's missing in their quantized and autotuned music. They can hear the difference alright but they quickly learned to prefer it. The real thing is still out there of course, but now it's niche, not mass market.

Ozoneocean at 9:36PM, Sept. 12, 2022

The copyright is a pickle... Influenced work is ok, but direct copying is an real issue.

Ozoneocean at 9:33PM, Sept. 12, 2022

@Scarf- What I mean is that because it absolutely lacks those principals (and it's an order of magnitude more difficult to add them), the art will always be a bit bland and generic -that's how it will come across to everyone. They won't know why, it'll just come across that way.

TedGravesArt at 6:39PM, Sept. 12, 2022

...AI "art" is flat out impossible without human artists, and impossible without violating millions of artists copyrights. Therefore, all AI generated images, whether they resemble something else or not, are by extension stolen art. Case in point, the Craiyon devs had to alter the code because the algorithm kept wanting to insert the Shutterstock and Alamy watermarks into images, because Shutterstock and Alamy were among the sites that they scraped for image data. Shutterstock and Alamy explicitly forbid data scraping, btw. I don't know about you, but I never gave anybody permission to use my art for their money printing AI image generator, and yet it can't exist without my work and yours. The skill and creativity of art remains squarely in human hands. The crime is that the payment for our skills has started lining the thieves pockets instead.

TedGravesArt at 6:38PM, Sept. 12, 2022

Alright look, let's clear up a common misconception. AI generators don't know how to draw or paint. The AI doesn't know what a hand is, or a teapot, or a car. What it does is churn through millions of images and associate keywords with patterns, then through a process of trial and error, it gets better at guessing what keywords go with what patterns. Then it tries to take multiple patterns that it's seen before and reassemble them in an order that makes sense. Every one of these algorithms is trained directly on millions of copyrighted pieces of artwork from artists around the world. AI doesn't know what composition is, or color theory, or perspective, yet these fundamental skills are evident in AI images because preexisting art by humans has been fed to the neural network. ...-1

Commissar_Tarkin at 10:35AM, Sept. 12, 2022

We'll see, probably sooner rather than later with how fast it's going. What I can see flooded with AI art is generic "paint me a pretty picture" kind of demand, of which there is a lot, to be honest. Low-quality concept art as well.

Ironscarf at 10:29AM, Sept. 12, 2022

No, it's a similar situation to music made with samplers, sequencers and so on, by people who don't play instruments or have any understanding of music theory. It has the potential to be terrible, but the creator with a naturally 'good' ear will make better choices. Studied musicians will say it can't replace the real thing, while consumers will flock to buy it. AI art doesn't have to be fully automated to flood the market, or play a big role in comics.

Commissar_Tarkin at 9:35AM, Sept. 12, 2022

I think it would depend on the subject - and the genre. With comics, for example, AI so far has huge issues with continuity (because it doesn't actually understand what it's doing). We should also probably separate human-curated AI art from purely AI art, because if you generate a hundred images and then a living human has to pick the one that makes the most sense, that's not fully automated, is it?

Ironscarf at 8:52AM, Sept. 12, 2022

For most people though, who also don't have much understanding of the underlying design language, the AI will be perfectly aceptible, even impressive. Once the AI absorbs those underlying principles fully, I wouldn't bet on my being able to identify the AI in a line up.

Commissar_Tarkin at 8:43AM, Sept. 12, 2022

My favorite joke on the subject of AI art is that it's so good at drawing Lovecraftian monstrosities because they're unthinkable, and neural networks don't think.

Ozoneocean at 4:32AM, Sept. 12, 2022

This is what the Quackcast is about tomorrow hahaha! We come to the conclusion that it's not actually very good- ie. it can produce well finished but empty and meaningless images because it's all just done through broad, simply copying without any understanding of the underlying design language, internal meaning, or artistic choices. What you get is just a great pastiche. It gives you imitation art- mainly due to the limitations of the programmers and AI itself.

marcorossi at 4:20AM, Sept. 12, 2022

IMHO the problem of machine-generated art is that, art being a form of communication, we expect that there is another mind behind the piece of art, and knowing that there isn't diminish the experience. That said: in practical terms it isn't true that machines steal the jobs of humans, in present day there are more people with a job that there were, say, in Karl Marx's days. The problem is that a capitalist economy will simply not create jobs for everyone because otherwise wages would eat all the profits, which means that investors will stop investing before we reach full employment.

Commissar_Tarkin at 3:17AM, Sept. 12, 2022

@TheJagged Or most people outlive their own usefulness and have wallow in unemployment living on philantropic crumbs while robot owners relax and let robots do all the work. It's not a technological problem, it's a social problem.

TheJagged at 2:18AM, Sept. 12, 2022

@Commissar_Tarkin Until we reach a point where everything becomes so automated that money becomes meaningless. Machines building machines, while humanity sits back, relaxes and lets the robots to the work.

Commissar_Tarkin at 12:31AM, Sept. 12, 2022

That would be much nicer if we didn't live in a society where robots being able to do human tasks means "guess you're out of a job, time to beg in the streets!" instead of, say, "now you have more time to be with your friends and family or something!"

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