The Demise of the Digital Artist – Part4. The Future is Inevitable

When asked about the logic of ImageAI, its developers and evangelists will not only give contradictory answers, they will tell you only what you want to hear. If you are a director in a creative business, they will mention the huge potential for cutting expenses, speeding up production times and reducing team size. If you are an artist, they will tell you about the opportunity to stay afloat in the industry by learning the invaluable skill of AI prompting. If you are the social activist type, they will exalt ImageAI’s potential for making art more inclusive and accessible, both by lowering production fees and by eliminating the glass ceiling of elitist skilled artists. If you are the right-wing bodybuilding type, they will exalt ImageAI’s beauty and visual excellence as opposed to the sickening flat style and abstract art made by contemporary artists. 

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The Demise of the Digital Artist – Part3. Perpetual Revolt, ‘Creative Destruction’​

‘Technology does not exist autonomous of political and social norms and beliefs; its development is shaped by such norms. Liberalism introduces a set of norms that lead us, ironically, to the belief that technology develops independent of any norms and intentions, but rather shapes our norms, our polity, and even humanity, and inevitably escapes our control. In our remaking of the world – through obvious technologies like the internet – we embrace and deploy technologies that make us how we imagine ourselves being. And in a profound irony, it is precisely in this quest to attain ever-more-perfect individual liberty and autonomy that we increasingly suspect that we might fundamentally lack choice about adoption of those technologies’

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The Demise of the Digital Artist – Part2. Classical Art Against the Machine

If we attempt to define art in the broadest sense possible, even though we may have disagreements, one thing will become immediately apparent – the artists are attempting to have a values-based conversation, whereas the tech developers are attempting the complete opposite. Artists like Zapata talk about humanism, mastery of skills, inspiration, imagination, enjoying the fruits of one’s labour, whereas teckies talk about automation as the only thing of real value.

In the following lines I will attempt to offer a classical definition of art, one with which all past generations of artists would have agreed wholeheartedly:

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The Demise of the Digital Artist – Part1. Orwell Against ‘Mechanical Progress’

The existential threat posed by AIs to digital artists is just a new iteration of an old phenomenon – that of mechanical automation, which should be distinguished from technology writ large. And although very few contemporary artists would dare to criticise automation as a dangerous phenomenon, George Orwell did it almost a century ago.

The following paragraphs are from chapter 12 of Orwell’s book, ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’. Very little commentary is needed and yes, quoting Orwell feels like a tired cliché. His prescience, however, never ceases to amaze us

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