Keywords: social, ethics, artificial intelligence, history
TL;DR: Forecasting the impact of AI generated art with analogies from the industrial revolution.
Abstract: A major shift from skilled to unskilled workers was one of the many changes caused by the Industrial Revolution, when the switch to machines contributed to decline in the social and economic status of artisans, whose skills were dismembered into discrete actions by factory-line workers. We consider what may be an analogous computing technology: the recent introduction of AI-generated art software. AI art generators such as Dall-E and Midjourney can create fully rendered images based solely on a user’s prompt, just at the click of a button. Some artists fear if the cheaper price and conveyor-belt speed that comes with AI-produced images is seen as an improvement to the current system, it may permanently change the way society values/views art and artists. In this article, we consider the implications that AI art generation introduces through a post-industrial revolution historical lens. We then reflect on the analogous issues that appear to arise as a result of the AI art revolution, and we conclude that the problems raised mirror those of industrialization, giving a vital glimpse into what may lie ahead.
Submission Type: non-archival
Presentation Type: online
Presenter: Alexis Newton