How long Will the naked eye be able to tell the difference between the images created by generative artificial intelligence and the art created by humans? Ari Melenciano, an artist at Google’s Creative Lab, squints at her computer screen during our Zoom chat, scanning artwork created with generative AI. “I mean, I can barely tell the difference now,” she says.
The public release of AI art tools like Midjourney and DALL-E 2 have sparked contentious debates among artists, designers, and art fans alike. Many are critical of the fact that the rapid progress of technology was fueled by the collection of art and images posted on the Internet, without credit or compensation to the artists whose work was stolen. “I think the current model of AI art generators is unethical, because of the way they collected their data, basically against the knowledge of everyone involved,” says Jared Krichevsky, a concept artist who designed the AI-bot. memeable for him M3GAN movie.
Several artists continue to express anger over their original craft feeding AI generators without informed consent. “His works are put into a machine against his will,” says Krichevsky. “This machine is specifically designed to replace us.” The companies behind the AI generators will soon be in court to defend themselves against copyright infringement claims.
Despite legal challenges, the widespread use of AI art tools continues to cause confusion. When a digital artist recently posted his work on Reddit, an r/Art moderator accused him of posting an AI-generated image. Is it still possible to tell, anyway, with just a glance? “For the average person, I feel like there isn’t much time left before they can’t tell the difference,” says Ellie Pritts, an artist who embraces multiple forms of generative AI in her artwork.
People often joke online that you can’t look too closely at hands in AI art, or you’ll discover weird finger configurations. “The eyes can be a bit strange, too,” he says. Logan Preshaw, a concept artist who denounces the use of current AI tools. He says, “Maybe they’re just kind of dead and staring at nothing, or they have weird builds.” Logan also doesn’t expect the little cues that an average viewer can use to identify AI art to stick around for long. Several artists we interviewed agreed that such telltale signs will become less obvious as technology progresses, and the developers behind those tools tweak them to address common complaints like dead eyes and too many fingers.
dan eder, a 3D character artist, believes that viewers should consider the overall design of a piece when trying to spot an AI image. “Let’s say it was a ‘fantasy warrior armor’ type of situation. At a glance, the artwork looks beautiful and highly detailed, but most of the time there isn’t any logic behind it,” he says. “When a concept artist creates armor for a character, there are things he has to consider: functionality, limb placement, how much it’s going to stretch.”