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A.I. Art Is Soulless

The development of artificial intelligence in recent years has been and will continue to be detrimental to the creation of art.
Gabe Deedler

A.I. “art” isn’t real art. It can’t be, as the literal definition of art contradicts the very idea of A.I. “art.” Art is created by humans with creativity and intent. Movies, TV shows, music and traditional art such as drawing and painting, all fall under this umbrella. Each of these art categories are  under attack from the CEOs and boards of directors who look at Chat GPT and Midjourney with dollar signs in their eyes.

Throughout the history of entertainment, companies have been looking for ways to cut costs when making art. Strategies have been paying employees less, not paying royalties for streaming content or forcing crunch culture. But now that the prospect of entirely removing artists from the equation is within sight, corporations are trying their hardest to make the switch to A.I. as quick as possible.

Fortunately, writers for movies and shows have unions and after a lengthy strike that took place over the summer of 2023, the W.G.A. (Writers Guild of America) was able to reach an agreement and regulate the use of A.I. in the writers room.

For everyone else, it’s a different story. Your favorite artist on Instagram or Twitter doesn’t have a union to protect them, so there is a very real chance that they won’t be able to support themselves due to A.I art stealing their very unprotected business.

This applies to musicians, considering they are also without a union to protect them. Naturally, corporations like Warner Music have tried their hand in rolling out an A.I. pop artist or an A.I. rapper. All of these attempts have, thankfully, failed but in the age of the internet, where putting out as much content as rapidly as you can is rewarded, an A.I. musician is incredibly appealing to the higher ups. No more lengthy process where someone actually writes, composes and performs a song.

The root issue with A.I. and music isn’t original songs, but the covers. I’ll admit, I thought these A.I. covers were funny at one point. It was fun to hear Peter Griffin sing “My Way” or to hear Kendrick Lamar sing “Call Me Maybe,” but these are just as emotionally empty as “original” songs from A.I. The moment of realization that these were bad, came when I heard a cover of “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift performed by an A.I. Johnny Cash.

When Johnny Cash was at the end of his life, he spent the time he had left recording his versions of other people’s songs. He took songs that meant something to him and hoped they would mean something to his fans. “Blank Space” by a Johnny Cash A.I. means nothing. It is an empty magic trick because it didn’t take love and effort to make. 

A.I. doesn’t just harm those who are currently making art for a living, but it also discourages those who would go into jobs revolving around the creation of art. When a job as a writer, animator or artist lacks any real job security it can feel incredibly daunting to try and get involved. As A.I. becomes more popular, less people will try. 

“I would love to pursue something [in drawing] or maybe something in performing arts or something like that,” said Pioneer sophomore, Abby Rohrer, “But the issue is that those aren’t sustainable because again, there are so many alternatives that people can use with the A.I. that it just completely erases the need for my skills, or something like that, and that just kind of makes me go: ‘No.’”

If you’re not convinced that A.I. is a genuine problem, you need to remember that it doesn’t only threaten the creation of art. Because of how fast technology moves nowadays, A.I. has become a sort of Pandora’s box situation, where now that it’s out there and in widespread use, we probably wouldn’t be able to contain it if we tried.

“We’re never going to be free of this,” said Pioneer English teacher, Alex Leydenfrost. “This is not only a threat to art, but a threat to global security, you know, like this could lead to something terrible. It’s a threat to humanity, and genuinely a threat in the wrong hands, and there are a lot of wrong hands out there.”

The main problem with A.I. is that these companies want to use it for all the wrong reasons. It should, at the most, be treated as a tool or assistant to help with certain parts of an artistic process, similar to how the animation team for the “Spider-Verse” movies used A.I. to speed up the process of adding form lines to the characters.

A.I. at its core, should be a tool. To think of it as a replacement, is to bring an end to art as we know it. I want to interact with real stories made by real people, something with real emotion that I can connect with on a deeply human level and A.I. simply isn’t capable of making something like that. Art is a way for humans to express themselves and communicate with one another. If a human didn’t make it then, what’s the point?

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About the Contributor
Jake Williams
Jake Williams, Journalist
Jake Williams is a junior at Pioneer and Community High School and this is his first year on staff. When not at school Jake spends his time playing video games with his friends, building sets for PTG, coaching flag football at WideWorld Sports Center, and listening to an unhealthy amount of music. Jake is looking forward to talking about and reviewing music in his first year on the staff of The Communicator.

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