I use Artificial Intelligence to do many things. At work I will have ChatGPT write unit tests for me (code that tests other code) and I use MidJourney to create greetings cards for family and friends, to create art pieces and to create colouring books for adults.
And it’s that last group from which I’ve had the biggest pushback. Not from artists so much, but from colourists who are adamant that I’m putting colouring book artists out of business, despite the fact I’ve only started creating these books and have, in the first month, only sold a few dozen copies.
Artificial Intelligence Is a Tool
AI is a tool in the same way photography is a tool and Photoshop is a tool. I’ve worked in IT for decades and there was the same pushback then against Photoshop that there seems to be in certain quarters against MidJourney and other artistic AI tools now. And there was huge pushback against photography at its inception.
The real magic happened with Photoshop and photography when artists started embracing them and pushing them to their limits to create novel and astonishing works of art. Andrew Griffin discusses Photoshop further in the Independent and Roderick Conway Morris reviews photography’s effect on art in The New York Times. I’m only an amateur but I’m desperate to see what artists will do with AI. And some already are, like artist Agnieszka Pilat who argues for AI in ArtNet.
It Is Here to Stay
AI is here to stay and is already reinventing how we practice medicine, write software, invent games and design technology. It will also change how artists create art and perhaps how we think about art and what it means to be a artist. Artists have almost always been part of movements, in any period of history, who propel change and how societies think about themselves. I don’t think it will take long for artists to take AI and run with it. Maybe that’s more a hope, but there are some stunning examples of artists embracing technology.
For now, I’ll keep using it to make the things I enjoy making, and people who want to buy my creations can buy them.