AI robot vs. human artist vs. animal artist


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Another article on yet another experiment to mimic human creativity in paint. Say it ain't so, bunky! robot painter

Meantime, I visited a friend's home and viewed his collection of paintings. He asked if I recognized the artist in one, a red tree done simply and symmetrically. While I made a wild guess about "in the style of", he laughed and showed me the certificate at the bottom indicating that it was painted live by an elephant. He was there witnessing it being done, so no question of trickery. And I have seen those videos of elephants painting.

So what is art after all? Is it really our domain only or are we yet again kidding ourselves? You decide, but bring peanuts!
Robots and AI don't have 'heart'. They mimic.

These days, humans are losing their humanity _ their 'heart'. They mimic what other (heartless ones) expect of them.
Instead of learning by overcoming their fears, they mimic unexperienced responses. They lie and fabricate a false life. To become a fake legend in their own minds. They impress this onto others, and some mimic them.

Robots and AI is an easy attempt to mimic what humans are too afraid to face; their own 'heart'. Because to do that requires facing up to their own 'truth', warts and all, just to know what they have been mimicking all their life. The idea that they may have wasted their whole life is too much for most. They find it easier to stay in denial of their own heart.

Now, back to art.
Let us not forget that love and art is in the eye of the beholder. It is the observer's own heart, in what they observe, which makes it love or art. If our art mimics what we see with heart, it makes it easier for observers with heart to love it. But now another question arises; what is it we love _ what is easy or what is right.

Personally, when I started to do art, I found it much easier to do the ugly and horrible. Making mistakes gets hidden in the work. What I found hard was to get it right, or the truth. Humans have a way of subconsciously transfer into our art what is also in our heart. Heart is the home of our desires, courage, and a knowing of what is true which supersedes intelligence.

In fact, the word intelligence has a serious flaw. It seems to deceive many into thinking that it is only about knowledge. There is a 'knowing' which cannot be explained by knowledge. This 'knowing' always points to a truth which is so 'obvious', so 'right', yet unexplainable. Some call this 'heart'.

There are some things that artists try to paint which is not something that can be isolated, like the 'mind'; where we can say 'look' there it is. But often the artist gets lucky and this 'something' gets transfered into their artwork. Often this something can only be detected by the observer with the actual artwork. Especially if the observer already has some of this something already within them. . . whether it is compassion, fear, or other.

Personally, AI art is one sided. If anything, it can provide a void for the host (observer) to fill in, and give it meaning.

I was just going to post the story from a different source.

WOW, that is going to put a halt to that. Can you sell something that you cannot own and is basically public content?

Part of the article said,
More recently, a court found that a monkey couldn’t sue for copyright infringement.
The ruling makes sense. The courts ruled quite some time ago that museums couldn't copyright photographs of "old master" paintings because the goal of such photographs was not to create something new, but rather to simply reproduce an already existing image... a painting... as closely as possible. AI paintings are constructed from hundreds or thousands of already existing images... and many of the images are newer and should be under copyright protection. If a painter, such as Warhol, using an existing image is guilty of plagiarism, then a computer program using thousands of stolen images should be no less guilty of plagiarism.
The ruling makes sense. The courts ruled quite some time ago that museums couldn't copyright photographs of "old master" paintings because the goal of such photographs was not to create something new, but rather to simply reproduce an already existing image... a painting... as closely as possible. AI paintings are constructed from hundreds or thousands of already existing images... and many of the images are newer and should be under copyright protection. If a painter, such as Warhol, using an existing image is guilty of plagiarism, then a computer program using thousands of stolen images should be no less guilty of plagiarism.

I'm not sure AI artists are doing anything that human artists have not been doing for ages.
How many elephants stroll through art museums and galleries admiring works by human artists? We are the ones who see the art, assign the value – not necessarily monetary – to objects.

And this is exactly what I thought would happen: AI-generated content flooding the online market to the point where it is almost impossible to find anything by a human anymore. (Article forces you to sign up for spam, so I'll repost it here):

Bizarre AI-generated products are in stores. Here’s how to avoid them.​

AI-generated coloring books, plant guides and home goods are filling online stores as sellers try to make a quick buck​


There’s something off about the black and white drawings in “Floral Whispers, Coloring Book for Women.”
At first glance, the book is just 26 pages of beautiful women with impressive bone structure, surrounded by or covered in flowers. But look closer and you’ll see that some don’t have the right number of fingers, or the fingers are elongated to create spooky alien hands.

The $7.95 paperback by author “Der Vive,” available on Amazon, has all the hallmarks of being generated by artificial intelligence. It’s self-published by an unknown author with no internet history. There are no reviews, and it was only listed in the past few months. The images all have some kind of distortion or oddity that is typically associated with AI, such as incorrect body proportions and at least one mix-up between a flower and a breast.

Easily accessible artificial intelligence is changing how we communicate, work and create. Now, it is infiltrating e-commerce as AI-generated self-help books, mugs, wall art and coloring books proliferate in online marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy. The third-party sellers aren’t required to disclose what is AI-generated, and it can be nearly impossible to confirm if something is AI just by appearance. The end result is even more scam products in the already confusing online-shopping landscape. For consumers, that can mean accidentally buying something of low quality or even hurting the livelihood of real artists.
“This is a grift,” said Henry Ajder, a researcher and expert on generative AI and deepfakes. “This is just an extension of practices that have existed for a long time. Previously it might have been people stealing other people’s artwork and putting it on T-shirts, plagiarizing a book. This is very much the same model with people using AI.”

What’s wrong with buying AI-generated goods?​

There are people, even artists, making AI-generated products or things who are transparent about the process. Other items may not disclose their origins but are so obviously made by AI that it leaves little doubt and even adds to the allure.

“I think the novelty aspect and the uncanny strangeness of AI art can make it very appealing to some people,” said Britt Paris, an assistant professor at Rutgers University who studies AI and deepfakes. “I could see people, in the beginning, wanting some sort of freaky-looking art to put on the wall and brag about the fact that it’s made from AI.”
However, in situations where AI’s involvement is not obvious or desired, a product can be a scam, outright fraud and even dangerous, experts say. The sellers are often using AI to cut down on costs and time and to capitalize on popular categories of goods for easy revenue.
Copyright and intellectual property issues around AI are still in the air. The most popular generative AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, image-generator Dall-E, Google’s Bard and Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion, were trained on content scraped from the internet, including copyrighted images and writing. Original creators — writers, illustrators, artists, reporters and photographers — say they are not being paid or credited for their work.

AI can even be used to impersonate specific creatives.
Many image generators have been used to create art in the style of Polish artist Greg Rutkowski, who makes elaborate fantasy landscapes and has spoken out against AI tools. Author Jane Friedman discovered multiple books published on Amazon that used her name and mimicked her writing style. She believes the books, which have been removed, probably used AI that had been trained using her writing to sound like her and profit off her brand.
When it comes to books, incorrect information can be dangerous. Amazon recently removed a guide on foraging for mushrooms that some readers claimed was generated by AI and could have given incorrect advice about what mushrooms were edible or poisonous.
“The accuracy problem is real,” said Ravit Dotan, an AI ethics researcher and adviser. “People don’t understand that textual generated AI is not optimized to generate truth. It’s optimized to generate text that’s compelling.”

What can be done about AI products?​

AI-generated content is not banned at any of the big e-commerce companies that use third-party sellers, including Amazon and Etsy. And as of now, none require any kind of label or disclosure on products that were made primarily using AI tools. The tech companies behind the tools being used to make the words and images aren’t required to label things either.

The Authors Guild, which represents many authors whose work has been used to train AI tools, is asking for legislation and pushing companies to disclose when a book is written by AI.

“We see it as consumer protection, but it’s also a way to insulate the book marketplace because otherwise, you’ll just see an influx of AI-generated content on a platform like Kindle,” said Mary Rasenberger, chief executive of the Authors Guild. “It will take away from the market [demand] for human creative works.”
Rasenberger said that she doesn’t think AI can be held off forever and even sees a place for it as a useful tool for writers. The guild’s goal is to make sure AI is regulated, licensed, legitimate, with money going back to authors, she said.

Amazon added a requirement earlier this month that any self-published books that use Kindle Direct Publishing tell Amazon when they are AI-generated. However, as of now, that information is not being shown to shoppers. For consumers, that is a big risk.

“Amazon is constantly evaluating emerging technologies and is committed to providing the best possible shopping, reading, and publishing experience for authors and customers,” Amazon spokesperson Ashley Vanicek said in a statement. “All publishers in the store must adhere to our content guidelines, regardless of how the content was created. We invest significant time and resources to ensure our guidelines are followed, and remove books that do not adhere to these guidelines.”
(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, and the newspaper’s interim CEO, Patty Stonesifer, sits on Amazon’s board.)

Etsy said that it is also monitoring the new technology but that it has no rules against selling things made primarily with AI. The company says those products will be subject to the same quality standards as other listings. Walmart did not reply to a request for comment.

A number of tech organizations also are rushing to create tools to identify AI output, Dotan said. For example, Google recently announced it was working on a watermarking tool that would be invisible to the human eye.

How can you tell what is AI?​

So what can a shopper do? Until there are laws and labels, figuring out what’s AI-generated and what’s just a weird T-shirt design falls to the buyer. It is not a new role for anyone who has shopped online in the past 10 years. Stores with third-party sellers are awash in knockoffs and poor-quality options, and once-helpful tools like reviews are often overrun with fake positive posts.

As with all scam products online, you will need to fall back on some old-fashioned detective work. AI-generated text and images do have some common tells, but they are not foolproof — especially at the speed AI image and text generators are increasing in quality. (“There are tools today that presume to detect when text is AI-generated, but they’re not reliable at all,” Dotan said.)
Start by looking through all available product images, including inside page previews for books, and zoom in or read the small print. For images, look at the backgrounds, which can often show more errors than the main subject. If there is a person depicted in the art, look at the hands, ears, eyes and general proportions to see if anything is unusual. Always count the fingers.

imrs (1).jpg

When trying to determine if a photo or illustration is AI-generated, look at the eyes to see if they match. (Washington Post illustration; Heather Kelly/The Washington Post/TWP)

For text, look up the author and see if there is any kind of social media presence. Being a self-published author is not a sign something is AI, but books churned out by AI will typically be independently published. The descriptions are frequently created with AI chatbots, so read closely to see if they make sense and are describing the listed product. Check the page count to see if the length makes sense.

“I would look for tells that it is very new in the store and that it seems to imitate something that is very popular and older from a known publisher,” said Jacob Metcalf, program director of the “AI on the Ground” initiative at the nonprofit Data & Society. “A pattern I found was the scammers are using common tropes from popular books.”
Thoroughly research the sellers, looking at their other products, business names and how long they’ve been around. Read more in this guide to avoiding scams when shopping online.
For our likely AI-generated coloring book, the author was unknown, the images were filled with errors, and the full title was a long attempt to capitalize on keywords: “Floral Whispers: A Coloring Adventure for Women A Tribute to Femininity and the Enchanting Beauty of Blooming Florals — An Artistic Honoring of Women and Floral Magic.”
Anyone who does just want to color women and flowers would probably be disappointed.
“Whatever AI generates, it will never be as good as human-created stuff. Not if you want anything with voice, meaning, or expression,” said Rasenberger of the Authors Guild. “AI is always based on prior stuff, there’s not magic there. It’s just a blender.”



And down the rabbit hole we go. This genie has left the bottle, and increasingly, the question for buyers will not be whether it is AI-generated, but simply whether it is any good. As artists, we'll have to work out what, if anything, we can do that machines can not, or we are history. Legislation is not going to stop this train any more than it could stop the file sharing train.
This bloke thinks that AI art will fizzle out:

His arguments make sense, but then, no one can predict the future.
Finally found a non-technical article that attempts to explain how AI works:

Gotta say that I still cannot quite entirely work out how it works! But from the bit I do understand, I am increasingly unconvinced that training AI on existing art violates anyone's copyright. I hasten to repeat that my understanding of how AI works is fuzzy, and of course, I am no legal expert either.

As I note in another thread, it is in any event increasingly difficult to enforce copyright law, so I'm not sure all the court cases will help anyone much. But suppose they do, and that we can enforce a system that requires AIs to only be trained on public domain work. That would mean that henceforth, AI artists will be trained on this:


instead of being trained on this:


So I'm not too sure that such a law will necessarily be doing human illustrators any favors! :D

In any event, it seems to me the AI genie has left the bottle. We can make whatever laws we like; it will have zero effect. Like it or not, artists will have to find ways to survive in a world that includes AI artists, or find a different job.

Our memories tend to be short. Who remembers Napster, the file sharing service that started around 2000? The music industry identified it as a threat and sued it out of existence. Today, less than a generation later, everything Napster did is done openly on YouTube. The music industry had no choice but to adapt.

Remember Pirate Bay? Prosecuted and persecuted, and as I recall, its founder was even jailed. But it is still online, doing lively business, and is nowadays only one such service among many.

Books? You can download everything from the latest popular novel to textbooks, for free, if you know where to look.

I'm emphatically not arguing that all of this is a good thing. But it is what it is, and astute creators find ways to live with it rather than vainly trying to put an end to it.

My own prediction: AI art is going to get ever better and better, irrespective of what laws are made. For many people, it will be a godsend (in online groups for self-published writers, I constantly see writers of such things as kids' books desperate to find affordable ways to have their books illustrated).

Will it destroy many art jobs? I have no doubt of that. Such things as human-created clipart libraries, for one thing (such as the one from where I got that image above) will probably go away. So will huge numbers of low-end illustration and graphic design jobs.

But all of them? Probably not so much. Contrary to what lots of people thought in the 19th century, the camera did not make painting go away. Indeed, it did not even make realistic painting go away, and it stimulated an entire new genre of drawing and painting (in the form of photorealism). Lots of artists took to photography with gusto.

No one can predict the future. Perhaps, in another generation, the very idea of artists making a living from art will be as quaint as the idea that once, there were people who made a living from such things as sharpening knives, or making wagon wheels. But human art itself will not die, I think, any more than human chess players disappeared simply because machines can now beat us at it, or human athletes disappeared because a motorbike is faster.

I suspect that as happened with the camera, AI art is going to spawn entire new genres of human art. It is perhaps just one more step in the ongoing melding of human mind and technology, that has been ongoing since the first time a person picked up a chunk of charcoal or ocher and scratched a few markings on a cave wall.

Doesn't of course make things any easier for us poor souls who get caught up in this revolution. :)

My own reaction to the whole thing was this: initially one of alarm, then I decided to simply ignore the AI thing and do what I do, then I went through a stage of thinking that AI will never really produce anything that is any good, so human artists will experience little competition from it.

Nowadays I am ever more aware that no one can predict the future, but I suspect AI art is going to improve beyond belief in the coming years. But I am also tempted to do the Warhol thing, and simply embrace modernity in all its scary absurdity.

I have done so once in the past, when 3D computer art generators like Bryce and DAZ became available. It enabled me, virtually incapable of drawing, to easily and quickly generate this sort of thing:

2006 bar.jpg

2006 flyer.jpg

2006 ghost2.jpg

I had great fun. I also wondered whether more sophisticated versions of the software would not end up competing human artists out of existence. And to some extent it did: I noticed that artist's conceptions of new architectural projects, traditionally done in often quite beautiful, atmospheric pen and watercolor illustrations, were increasingly being replaced by rather bland and soulless computer-aided pictures.

But apart from that, human art seemed unaffected. I quickly bumped into the fundamental limitations of the technology, and I began to notice that it required a great deal of skill and knowledge to achieve much with it anyway - the implication of this being that a computer artist would not necessarily be cheaper than just hiring a human illustrator, thus limiting competition from this technology. Today, the whole fad is virtually gone; one still sees the tech used to some extent, but it is not remotely as common as it used to be. Like other such innovations, it seems to have found its niche and there it remained.

I have no idea whether the same thing is going to happen with AI art. We'll have to wait and see. I don't really want to be a prompt writer; I prefer drawing and painting! But maybe I'm naïve: I don't really want to be a photographer either, but I use photos extensively as reference. The camera became one more tool that artists used, and its influence on art was huge, perhaps larger than any other single invention.

As I noted above, human art has actually always been the result of cooperation/interaction between a human mind and a piece of technology. And throughout history, there have always been more conservative artists who dismissed new art technology as new-fangled fads that would never catch on (as I recall, Michelangelo was dismissive of oil painting!)

So now I wait, somewhere between excitement and trepidation, to see where AI technology is going to take art...
My brother and I had a discussion on AI art. He's of the opinion that AI couldn't possibly come up with something like Gary Larson cartoons. I decided to put it to the test, by instructing the AI at for "funny cartoons in thee style of Gary Larson."

Well, who says AI cannot come up with anything funny? I positively rolled on the floor... :D

Perchance Funny cartoon in style of Gary Larson 2.jpg

Perchance Funny cartoon in style of Gary Larson 5.jpg

Perchance Funny cartoon in style of Gary Larson 8.jpg

This, I think, is what you get when you treat Mr Bean with a generous dose of LSD... :)
And the saga continues...

As I commented on the article (let me quote myself):

Seems to me the studies demonstrate the exact opposite of what the researchers conclude. People don't prefer human art, they think they do, and tend to read all manner of things into pictures that are not actually in the pictures. But they cannot, in fact, tell the difference between human and AI art.

The research demonstrates what we knew all along: a huge amount of nonsense gets talked about art, and indeed, even the bits by Leonardo that they quote there are largely nonsense. Art is mostly a craft, not a form of philosophy, and now machines are able to do at least some of it, just as they mastered many other previously human-only crafts, like, say, weaving. Which is why many of us are having sleepless nights. :)
That monkeys and elephants can indeed produce paintings is revelatory from a biology/psychology/anthropology standpoint. And they do it, not just mimic blindly what they've been taught. This doesn't devalue human artistic efforts, it just puts our supposed vaunted "superiority" in more humbling context. Many animals have language, some highly sophisticated, but when I studied anthropology in the 60s it was still believed that our language ability was unique. Fooled ya!

AI might one day achieve an equivalent of what we call consciousness. It can certainly mimic what we humans feed it and be rather inventive with it.

The danger here isn't that a new art form or technique is emerging. That might be the bright side. The danger here is twofold: that you can no longer believe what you see and hear; that many more of us will be redundant in the workforce. The latter is economic with wrenching impact on our livelihoods, but the former is far more dangerous to an orderly social structure.

IMHO, an artist who does collage from magazine cutouts is not considered plagiarizing and the work might be copyrightable today. An AI is doing the same thing with a different and rather mysterious process. Still makes it potentially dangerous to my thinking, but a human artist using AI as a starting point and creating something new with significant difference may not really be doing anything different from what artists have always done. Is it any less valid that Vermeer used a camera obscura to create his art? Still art, still remarkable, still creative.

But it remains quite unsettling and I for one would prefer the genie retreat to the bottle. Fat chance!