How AI Takes The Art Out Of The Artist (The Jimquisition)

[James Stephanie Sterling] Hello everybody,
it's me once again, James Stephanie Sterling. Hourglass, big fat ass. I'm here today with news of a little bit of
a change to our editorial team. I've had enough of working with humans, and
their foibles. So called people with hands, and eyes, and
thoughts of their own. Oh no, I'm done with all that, this week's
Jimquisition is edited, in no small part, thanks to an Artificial Intelligence Editor. Neon-35-2. I have a feeling that you're going to really
enjoy the changes that she's made. It's not actually that much different. Still, what could go wrong? It's an artificial intelligence, nothing will
go wrong. Eh? Imagine, heh, if you will, a world where nobody
has to work because machines do all the labour. Sounds nice on the surface, right? In fact, it's the future many a science fiction
story has dreamed of.

An automated future that was in the heady
speculative media of my youth promised to us. A world in which nobody has to work is quite
the dream, until you remember that we all live in an actual fucking nightmare. Now imagine a world where nobody has to work
because machines do all the labour, BUT, everybody has to have a job because it's been decided
that's the only way all but the very rich among us get to survive. that's the future we're facing. In fact, for many people previously working
in fields where automation has already taken over, it's very much the present. A world in which machines do our jobs is not
a convenience if we're not guarenteed a basic livable income to replace the jobs. that's just a world in which we can't pay
rent. But considering how coerced labour is what
allows the executive class to stay wealthy at everybody else's expense, our current socieo-economic
system won't adapt. The only people who benefit from having their
jobs done for them are the people who were already benefitting from that long before
machines replaced what they call "human resources".

Artificial Intelligence. it's the latest craze, having seized our culture's
imagination's in a big way since last year when AI produced images flooded social media. And it was fun! Y'know? You could type any combination of words into
a program and it would give you a selection of fucked up, yet still strangely accurate,
approximations of your concept. Decepticon Frog! Johnny Cash pooping by the bins outside Taco
Bell. A baby hammer. Whatever you want, AI could produce a ghastly
gist. It really is fun. It's a Decepticon Frog! And look at my Lobster Boobs. Ai couldn't do those. As a toy it's fun. A play thing. At least until everybody starts arguing about
rights, and licenses, and then the same penny that's always dropping drops. In that time, AI produced art has developed
frighteningly quickly, and it has become embraced by the same irritatingly evangelical tech
bros who tried to shove NFTs down our throats with aggressive, railroading, arrogant insistence. In fact, it’s alarming just how quickly
they started pushing AI as soon as the NFT grift fell apart, and that’s because, ultimately,
it’s the same damn scam – not in terms of methodology, or even practical immidiate results,
but in intent.

AI produced art has the same long term goal
NFTs always had, the same goal tech bros and corporate interests have had for years – the
goal of taking the artist out of the art. [Neil Buchanan] This is an art attack! [JSS] NFTs worked differently to achieve this
by robbing art itself of inherent value. The artwork attached to NFTs was inconsequential
since that’s not what was really being sold – the vague idea of value for value’s sake
was. This is why so much NFT art is shittily produced
and looks worse than the random crap printed onto POGs in the 90s.

A talented artist never had to be paid for
an NFT to be minted. Any random joker could just scribble something. Hell, they were selling NFTs of Tweets, the
least artistic things in the world. AI’s focus is different, and altogether
more of a direct threat to creative professionals since their replacement is, well, more direct. With AI, the art does matter, but like NFTs
you don’t have to pay an artist. You type words into a program and let it cobble
together its forgery. A plagiaristic forgery, mind, but we’ll
get to the theft angle in a moment. The crypto guzzling tech fetishists want us
all to believe that not only is AI art the future, its also superior to human crafted
works. They have spent the past year pushing AI art
on social media with almost cult like devotion and an underlying hint of sneering aggression,
the same kind of combative smugness that they applied to bitcoin, the metaverse, NFTs, and
every other cynical, soulless scam they glom onto. Some of the art they push is admittedly not
bad, sometimes even quite nice, but it’s most definitely imperfect, uncanny, and soulless. Embarrassingly, many of the AI evangelists
have had the cocking nerve, the clitting gall, to start calling themselves artists.

A pure fucking insult, as if the injury of
threatening artists jobs wasn’t enough. I hate gatekeeping, I would categorise myself
as an enemy of elitism but… come the fuck on. The *fuck* on. If you tell a bot to make you a picture, you’re
no more an artist than I am a member of Slipknot. Actually, for a more genuine example – I am
not an artist whenever I commission an *actual* artist to draw an idea I had.

Sure, I might imagine Sonic the Hedgehog staring
at you while you sleep, but it was Teriyaki Weasel who did the art, who applied the learning,
the experience, the talent. Who did it. Who just, you know, did the art. I can type “a man sized bumblebee eating
a live rat while The Ultimate Warrior sucks on its stinger with the tenderness of a midnight
lover" but look what happens when I try to draw the fucking thing. Grifters, y'all ain't artists. You just said words. You’re taking credit for work that a robot
took credit for, you fucking rifles. Oh yeah, credit. Here’s the thing about AI – it’s not intelligent,
it’s, of course, *artifically* intelligent, as in, it is not creative. It does not have ideas of its own. It has no experiences to draw from. It doesn’t know why something looks pretty,
or scary, or funny. It doesn’t know *anything*, it’s an algorithm
that applies its stockpile of data to keywords – data that comes from, oh I wonder where… Oh, *actual* artists.

This is how AI art works. It can only ever be as quote/unquote “good”
as the best human artist, because everything it generates is the result of imagery liberally
copied from human art. This isn't a creator merely being inspired
by somebody else's art style, this is the result of replicating, reconstituting, and
regurgitating the chewed up slurry of people's existing work. It's what made company's attempts to claim
ownership of images generated using their software so fucking gross.

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