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Artificial Intelligence is a Con Artist

Artificial Intelligence is a Con Artist

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been on the rise in recent years. There are new AI technologies and websites have been introduced, but it has brought up many controversies behind the use of AI. Will AI replace human jobs? Is one of the big questions concerning AI, especially in the art community. Because of AI generated pictures, it has been easier for people to generate art. But at the same time, it raises the question of originality. Since Artificial Intelligence uses art that has already existed to generate pictures. AI generated art does not have the authenticity aspect like art created by humans. 

Authenticity – the term for “not false or imitation” or “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and synonym for originality and genuine. Authenticity has been voted as the word of the year by Merriam-Webster in 2023 because of the recent spike of people looking up the word and also how relative the word is in relation to the issues that are faced now. 

Based on Teresa Nowakowski’s article, “Merriam-Webster’s 2023 Word of the Year Is ‘Authentic,’” AI has made it harder to define what is considered authentic and what is not, but authenticity is hard to define. Many celebrities are trying to let their authenticity shine, like Taylor Swift; on the other hand, people like Elon Musk changed Twitter into X, which ruined the authenticity of the app as a whole. Some other words that have been trending this year are deepfake and deadname, which deals with authenticity. People are now worrying and questioning whether what they see is real or fake.

There is a crisis of authenticity in 2023. (Nowakowski) Which is not far from the truth, especially in the art industry. AI imagery uses parts of pictures and art pieces that exist on the internet to generate images. It causes many concerns in the community. There was a lawsuit against Midjourney because the artist Kelly McKernan name has popped up twelve thousand times in AI imagery prompts for nymphlike artstyle. (Chayka) This would not be considered original art because it does not illustrate the effort and creativity. 

Mckernan developed her own artstyle through learning, time, and effort. That is something Artificial Intelligence cannot do. Art is not something you can have, it takes time and What AI is doing would go against the copyright law; they do not credit the artists for the pictures they used as reference. Some of the art generated could be considered a copy of the original art; having or copying art style directly is not original. If you type a specific art like the Starry Night by Van Gogh, then they will give a somewhat exact copy depending on the website you used and that is the opposite of what authenticity means. 

Art is a way to express your ideas and creativity to produce emotion, beauty, and power defined by Merriam-Webster. Even though AI art does fit in most criteria, it lacks the creativity – the most valued criteria in art – that only art created by humans can do. Creativity is the unique executive of how art was made, for example, the artstyle and the meaning behind the art piece. Without creativity, it cannot be called authentic because as stated before, authenticity is the personality of the work. 

The rise of people who call themselves artists using AI generated imagery. ¨[Many] artists and freelancers are successfully selling their AI art on platforms like Etsy, Redbubble, and Fiverr.¨ (Duffin) Some AI ¨artist¨ (not all) is doing this to get profit and not to express their ideas/message, which further instate how Artificial Intelligence art do not the originality and creativity as human art is. But it is also unfair for non-AI artists because their art takes time and effort unlike AI art. 

In conclusion, AI generated art does not have the personality and originality as it is full of imitation of real art. On the other hand, authenticity does. Artificial intelligence lacks the human traits in art, therefore AI does not fit in the definition of authenticity. 

Works Cited 

Bridges, Mark. “Authentic Definition & Meaning.” Merriam-Webster

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authentic. Accessed 21 December 2023. Chayka, Kyle. “Is A.I. Art Stealing from Artists?” The New Yorker, 10 February 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/infinite-scroll/is-ai-art-stealing-from-artists. Accessed 21 December 2023. 

Duffin, Matt. “Can You Sell AI-Generated Art? (The Answer is Yes).” Rare Connections, https://rareconnections.io/can-you-sell-ai-generated-art/. Accessed 21 December 2023. Nowakowski, Teresa. “Merriam-Webster’s 2023 Word of the Year Is ‘Authentic.’” Smithsonian Magazine, 29 November 2023, 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-merriam-websters-2023-word-of-the year-is-authentic-180983329/. Accessed 21 December 2023.

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    Emma BakerJan 27, 2024 at 12:43 pm

    This was such a great read! The expression of ideas was very elegant and clear. I agree with pretty much all of the points here and I think i’ts articulated very well.

    Reply