Ai vs AI: Artist Ai Weiwei says AI-replicable art is ‘meaningless’; Talks up Picasso, Matisse | Tech News

Ai vs AI: Artist Ai Weiwei says AI-replicable art is ‘meaningless’; Talks up Picasso, Matisse

Courtesy of multi-modal developments and programs such as Midjourney, AI has the potential to replicate art with sheer accuracy to detail and outstanding color choice. However, that would be meaningless, says artist Ai Weiwei.

| Updated on: Jan 12 2024, 15:04 IST
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Art that is easily replicated by AI is meaningless, says Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. (Unsplash)

Artificial intelligence (AI) was the buzzword of 2023, with rapid developments taking place throughout the year. From AI chatbots to AI tools that can be used for various purposes including image generation, code interpretation, multi-modal search, and more, the incorporation of AI has been expeditious and expansive. In fact, there is barely any segment of human activity left that has not been invaded by AI. However, it has not been all smooth sailing so far. The same AI developments have also led to deepfakes and AI-powered cybercrimes. This has led to various debates over AI governance and the need for AI regulations. One area where AI has had an impact but hasn't received much attention is art. Courtesy of multi-modal developments and programs such as Midjourney, AI has the potential to replicate art pieces with sheer accuracy and outstanding color choice. However, all this is meaningless, according to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

AI-replicable art

In a conversation with the Guardian, Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei said that art that is easily replicated by AI is “meaningless”. The artist further highlighted that if legendary artists such as Pablo Picasso and others existed in the era of AI, they would have had to change their approach towards art. Weiwei said, “I'm sure if Picasso or Matisse were still alive they will quit their job. It'd be just impossible for them to still think [in a similar fashion].”

This isn't the first time that an artist has spoken their mind on AI's impact on art. A class-action lawsuit was filed by Tennessee-based artist Kelly McKernan along with Sarah Andersen and Karla Ortiz against AI-image generators including Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DreamUp. McKernan found that their name was being fed into AI-image generators to create artworks in their style.

Talking about the issue, Weiwei said, “That's not a problem. I think that kind of art should [have died] a long time ago. It takes AI a second to do it. So that only means what they have learned very often is meaningless.”

AI and Ai Weiwei

Weiwei himself is collaborating with an AI programme in which he will be answering as many as 81 questions on art and so will the AI tool to really show the contrast between his viewpoint and that of the technology. 

The number of questions is highlighted as that is the exact number of days that he was incarcerated by the Chinese state.

The questions are tough! Some of them were listed by the Guardian and include: “Love or hate, which lasts longer?”, “Will capitalism have an end?” and more.

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First Published Date: 12 Jan, 13:37 IST