To AI or not to AI?
By Ashwin Chacko on May 31, 2023
ADC 101+1 designer shares his experience experimenting with AI
Back in January, Night Shift Brewing made a new beer from a “perfect” recipe generated by Artificial Intelligence technology. Then, they asked ChatGPT to brainstorm a name for the beer, and it came up with AI-P-A.
At this point, AI has been colliding with just about everything and everyone, and at The One Club for Creativity, we had to get in on the robot fun (or fury). We launched ADC 101 + 1, which is an online art gallery created by Pereira O’Dell and developed by lili Studios that highlights the intersection of art/design and AI. We asked 101 designers to use AI as a tool to make a piece of art that would live in the ADC 101 + 1 virtual reality with the “+1” serving as the AI image generator.
We reached out to Ashwin Chacko who participated in this collaborative experiment to tell us how it went for him and here’s what he had to say.
The wheel keeps turning and a new age dawns the age of Technology driven by Artificial Intelligence. The internet and my social media feed are flooded with images and arguments associated with the topic that is on everyone’s lips, AI How is this going to shape our lives? Will it take away our jobs? If we boil it down the real question is, is AI Art a tool or a threat?
With any revolution, tension is created because it is a time of uncertainty. When we look at history at each pivotal moment in time where there has been a technological advancement there is always pushback at its nexus moment. For instance with the invention of the camera vs the portrait artist. Portraits started going out of commission because more people wanted a photograph taken. The novelty of something new to experience attracted everyone. But over time there was a resurgence of commissioning painted portraits because there is something unique about how a painter captures their subject and brings out their story that a photographer cannot. We see a similar trend in the 90s with the introduction of digital art vs traditional art. The initial sentiment was that digital art is not art but now it is deeply embedded into the industry and is recognized in the art world. We still have traditional artists working as well as digital artists and they all have a place in the creative industry. For instance, when I approach painting now, I often will sketch it digitally and work out the gist of the colors and composition before I paint traditionally to save me time and to speed up my process.
"Portraits started going out of commission because more people wanted a photograph taken. The novelty of something new to experience attracted everyone. But over time there was a resurgence of commissioning painted portraits because there is something unique about how a painter captures their subject and brings out their story that a photographer cannot."
Uncertainty often leads to fear which can quickly become a driver for our thoughts and actions. So I’ve found it essential when approaching change to weigh its worth and test it before jumping to conclusions. When ADC 101+1 Exhibition approached me about creating a piece for them using AI Art it became the perfect excuse to test it out.
After working on the piece using AI Art, I think it has the capacity to be a great tool, but I do have some copyright concerns.
I did not find the system very intuitive to use, it has its language and you must understand how to give it the right prompts to bring your idea to life. As an illustrator, I might use it to perhaps explore a composition or colors but in its current form, I don’t see it becoming a part of my workflow. I think the technology still needs to evolve and become more accessible for wider adoption.
"I think the technology still needs to evolve and become more accessible for wider adoption."
In my previous life as an art director and creative director, I can see AI Art as a brilliant tool to help with ideation. It would be so much easier to get the AI Art to generate an idea that could be presented to a client rather than have to spend time cleaning up scamps or even creating roughs. Once the client is sold on the idea we can work with an artist or photographer to bring it to life.
I think initially as AI becomes more widely adopted some people purely in the skill-based industry will lose their job, much the same as when stock art came into the market and many companies would rather use the cheaper stock art than hire an illustrator. As we look back over a couple of years it became very hard to distinguish one brand from another and so there was a resurgence of commissions to artists who have a unique style and outlook. I believe so long as you can think creatively and solve problems there will always be a demand for you and your work.
"As we look back over a couple of years it became very hard to distinguish one brand from another and so there was a resurgence of commissions to artists who have a unique style and outlook."
My key concern at the moment revolves around copyright. As the AI uses existing artists’ work to learn and at times it might render a piece that could be mistaken as the work of the original artist. And we could have someone who promoted the AI to create the work claiming it as their work. I think it’s important that we take the time now to clarify what the legal implications are.
All in all, I know AI technology is here to stay whether we like it or not. Technology in itself is neither good nor bad. It is up to us to choose to use technology with integrity for the benefit of ourselves and society at large. My question is how will you choose to use it?
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