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Creativity in the age of artificial intelligence

DOT Content Team
March 18, 2024
4 min read

Artificial intelligence has been making significant advancements for the past couple of years and is already playing crucial roles in various fields. With the ability to create high-quality images, AI is now bringing major changes to the creative industry and has also stirred up controversies over the ethics and genuineness of AI’s ‘art’. 


Artificial Intelligence is a very broad term used to describe when a computer simulates human intelligence, carrying out tasks such as problem-solving and reasoning. AI is trained by feeding it data, which is processed to create AI programs. With the introduction of AI programs such as ChatGPT, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, AI has increased in popularity among individuals and companies for its efficiency and is being used to boost productivity. 


AI has also become the new hot topic in the creative industry because of its ability to generate content based on simple prompts with generative AI. Generative AI refers to algorithms that can produce content such as images, videos, audio and text. Generative AI recognizes the patterns in the data that it’s trained on and generates similar data based on the patterns. Apart from ChatGPT and DALL-E, companies have also brought in their own AI programs such as Google’s Bard and Bing’s Image Generator. 


Generative AI programs work based on deep learning neural networks that are trained on millions of images from the internet. The program uses this data to recognise the patterns and learn different styles of pictures and artworks and generate an output based on the given prompt. For example, when given a prompt “Cat in the style of Van Gogh”, the AI model would look at thousands of images of cats and Van Gogh paintings and piece both of that information together to generate a new image. 

Artists can utilize the efficiency of AI to visualize concepts and ideas they have in their minds, using it as a tool to create rough drafts or even final pieces. Artists can also use AI text tools such as chatGPT to brainstorm and come up with ideas. AI has also made art more accessible to the average person, people with no formal training in art can now visualize their ideas with a few simple clicks. In my recent visit to the India Art Fair in New Delhi, I noticed an exhibit with AI-generated artworks by artist Prateek Arora, which showed how AI has made its way to the contemporary art scene too. There is great scope for collaboration between human artists and AI. 


However, it is important to note the limitations of AI. Artificial intelligence cannot generate content that is truly original, since it can only use existing data to recognize patterns. Content generated by AI lacks emotional context and lacks true creativity. AI can simply not understand the nuances of human emotions, which is important in art, design or any field that requires human creativity. Human intervention is often required in a lot of cases to create meaningful content with AI. 


There’s also a question of ownership with generative AI. The legal framework of India does not address the ownership of content produced by AI, yet. Companies like OpenAI have stated that outputs may not be unique in their terms and conditions, raising questions about the originality of AI-generated content. According to Indian law, for a work to be eligible for copyright protection, it should be truly original. Legal conclusions for AI-generated content remains uncertain and it is important to be aware of this while using such tools for our work until more laws are established. 


The ethical aspects of generative AI should also be considered before using it in our work. Since the data is taken from the internet, it may include artworks and other content that may be copyrighted or shared without consent from the original creators. This has been a major concern for artists who put out their work on the internet. Artists are also concerned about their art being replicated or imitated using AI. This could be seen as plagiarism and potentially harmful to the artist’s reputation. Capitalizing on content generated completely through AI without disclosing or giving the necessary credit to the creators of the original data that it was trained on is ethically and morally wrong. 

Ethics should be prioritized in art and design and it is important to be mindful of the ethical concerns about generative AI when using it. There are multiple ways to use AI in your workflow ethically, such as using AI for references or inspiration rather than final outputs, giving the necessary credits and most importantly, not monetizing from content that’s made entirely with AI. It is also important to show your support by protecting artists by calling for regulations on generative AI. 


“Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” 

― Frank Herbert, Dune 


AI is here to stay and bring massive changes to our lives. It can provide great assistance when incorporated into our workflow and used responsibly. It is important to use this groundbreaking technology responsibly and make sure we are aware of the concerns surrounding it.


― Venkat, BFA Visual Arts (2022 batch)


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