What is AI Art and How Does AI Art Work: A Simple Guide
AI art is a kind of art that uses computers to make or help make images, sounds, music, or other things that people can enjoy.
AI art uses different ways of making things with computers, such as:
- Text-to-image generation: This is a way of making an image from words. For example, you can make an image of “a retro gas station on Mars” by writing it.
- Neural style transfer: This is a way of making an image look like another image. For example, you can make your picture look like a painting by a famous artist.
- Diffusion models: This is a way of making an image from nothing. For example, you can make an image of “a dragon” by writing it.
- Generative adversarial networks (GANs): This is a way of making an image that looks real and different. For example, you can make an image of a face or a landscape that does not exist.
AI art is created by using algorithms that learn from a large collection of images and generate new ones based on their patterns and features.
It’s like giving a computer a set of rules and ingredients to cook a dish, but letting it decide how to mix and match them.
The Different Types of AI Art
One of the most popular AI art generators is DALL-E 2 by OpenAI, which can produce images based on text prompts.
The system is an artificial intelligence that can generate lifelike images and artwork based on a written description.
You can type in any words or phrases that describe what you want to see, and DALL-E 2 will generate an image that matches your description.
You can also use modifiers and filters to refine your results.
You can explore millions of images and prompts created by DALL-E 2 and other users.
For example, DALL-E 2 can create a picture for you if you type in “kitten sleeping on a comfy couch.”
It will use its understanding of the keywords “kitten”, “sleeping”, and “couch” to generate an image and add extra details based on its association with related concepts such as kittens being furry and cute.
DALL-E 2’s interpretation of “kitten sleeping on a comfy couch.”
Neural style transfer
Neural style transfer is when an algorithm applies the style of one image to another, such as making a photo look like a Van Gogh painting.
This technique can create stunning effects and transform ordinary images into artistic ones.
One AI art generator that uses neural style transfer is NightCafe Creator.
It allows you to upload your own image and choose from various styles (like anime) to transform it into a masterpiece.
You can also browse and use other people’s images and styles, or create your own style by uploading another image.
You can adjust the settings and see the results in real time.
You can also join a community of AI art enthusiasts and participate in daily challenges.
Here is what it did with “kitten sleeping on a comfy couch” in a Neo Impressionist style:
GANs are when two algorithms compete with each other to create realistic images, such as faces or landscapes.
One algorithm tries to generate fake images, while the other tries to detect them.
The process improves both algorithms until they produce convincing results.
One AI art generator that uses generative adversarial networks (GANs) is DeepAI.
It is an AI platform that offers a suite of fun tools that use AI to enhance your creativity.
You can enter a prompt, pick an art style and DeepAI will bring your idea to life.
You can also use DeepAI to edit images in seconds by entering simple prompts.
Here is what it did with the same kitten prompt:
Here is a simple explanation of diffusion model AI art generator and how it works:
- A diffusion model AI art generator is a tool that can create images from words. For example, if you type “a cat wearing a hat”, it can make a picture of that.
- A diffusion model works by starting with a random image, like a bunch of colored dots, and then changing it little by little until it matches the words you typed.
- It does this by using two things: a big list of words and images that it learned from the internet, and a set of rules that tell it how to change the image.
- The big list of words and images is called an encoder. It helps the diffusion model understand what you mean by your words. For example, if you type “cat”, it can find an image of a cat in the list and use it as a reference.
- The set of rules is called a decoder. It helps the diffusion model change the image in a realistic way. For example, if you type “wearing a hat”, it can use the rules to add a hat to the cat’s head without making it look weird.
- The diffusion model repeats this process many times, changing the image bit by bit, until it looks like what you typed. The final image is called an output.
One AI art generator that uses diffusion models is OpenArt.
It is an AI platform that offers various AI image generators that can bring your idea to life in seconds.
You can type in any words or phrases that give a hint or a direction for the image, and OpenArt will generate an image that matches your prompt.
You can also train your own AI image generator on your images, or edit images with AI effortlessly.
Here is what it did with the same kitten prompt:
The Benefits and Challenges of AI Art
AI art can offer new possibilities and perspectives for artists, as well as democratize access to art creation and appreciation.
Anyone can use AI art generators to experiment with different styles, themes, and ideas, or to enhance their own work.
AI art can also inspire curiosity and wonder about the nature and potential of artificial intelligence.
However, AI art also raises ethical and legal questions about authorship, originality, and ownership of AI-generated works.
How do we define and value creativity in the age of AI? And who should get the credit and profit from AI art?
Some argue that AI art is not truly creative or artistic, since it relies on existing data and algorithms that are designed by humans.
Others contend that AI art is a form of collaboration or co-creation between humans and machines, and that it can reveal new insights and expressions that humans alone could not achieve.
The legal status of AI art is also unclear and varies depending on the jurisdiction.
Some countries grant intellectual property rights to the human creators or owners of the algorithms or data used to generate AI art.
Others deny any rights to AI-generated works, since they are not considered human-made.
These issues are likely to become more complex and contentious as AI art becomes more widespread and sophisticated.
As such, there is a need for more dialogue and regulation around AI art, as well as more education and awareness among the public.
Where does AI art get its images?
AI art gets its images from different sources, depending on the type and purpose of the art.
Some sources are:
- Existing images: These are images that already exist and are used to train or inspire the AI model. For example, neural style transfer uses existing images to transfer the style of one image to another image.
- Text descriptions: These are words that describe what the image should look like and are used to generate the image. For example, text-to-image generation uses text descriptions to create images that match the words.
- Prompts: These are words or phrases that give a hint or a direction for the image and are used to generate the image. For example, diffusion models use prompts to create images that match what is written.
- Noise: This is random data that has no meaning and is used to generate the image. For example, GANs use noise to create realistic and diverse images.
How are AI images generated?
AI images are generated by using different computer programs that learn from data and make new data based on some input or output criteria.
The computer programs can be based on different principles and architectures, such as neural networks, probabilistic models, evolutionary algorithms, or symbolic systems.
The computer programs can take different inputs or outputs depending on the type and purpose of the art.
- Neural style transfer takes an image as input and outputs another image with a different style.
- Text-to-image generation takes a text as input and outputs an image that matches the description.
- Diffusion models take noise as input and output an image that matches a given prompt.
- GANs take no input at all and output an image that looks realistic and diverse.
Do I own the AI art that I create?
Determining the ownership of AI art is a complicated and controversial matter that depends on several factors such as
- the data type and source
- the AI model’s type and function
- the art type and purpose
- the regulations and laws of different countries
There is no clear or universal answer to this question, and different cases may have different outcomes.
However, some general guidelines are:
- If you use your own original data (such as your own photos, voice or texts) to train or inspire the AI model, you may have more rights to claim ownership of the AI art that you create.
- If you use existing data (such as other people’s artworks or photos) to train or inspire the AI model, you may need to obtain permission from the original owners or follow fair use principles to avoid infringing their rights.
- If you use public domain data (such as images or texts that have no copyright) to train or inspire the AI model.
- If you use public domain data (such as images or texts that have no copyright) to train or inspire the AI model, you may have more freedom to use and own the AI art that you create.
- If you use a pre-trained or existing AI model to generate or assist in the creation of the art, you may need to check the terms and conditions of the model provider or creator to see what rights and obligations you have.
- If you create a new or original AI model to generate or assist in the creation of the art, you may have more rights to claim ownership of the AI art that you create.
- If you create AI art for personal or non-commercial use, you may have less legal issues than if you create AI art for commercial or public use.
In any case, it is advisable to consult a legal expert before creating, using, or selling AI art to avoid potential disputes or lawsuits.
Can you create your own AI art generator?
Yes, you can create your own AI art generator (or joke generator!) if you have the skills and resources to do so. You will need to:
- Choose a type and purpose of the art you want to generate, such as videos, images, sounds, music , etc.
- Collect and prepare the data that you will use to train or inspire your AI model, such as original or existing artworks, photographs, texts, sounds, etc.
- Select and train the AI model that you will use to generate or assist in the creation of the art, such as neural networks, probabilistic models, evolutionary algorithms, symbolic systems, etc.
- Generate and evaluate the art using your trained model, taking different inputs or outputs depending on the type and purpose of the art.
- Refine and present the generated art by editing, filtering, cropping, resizing, enhancing, or combining it.
Creating your own AI art generator can be a challenging and rewarding experience that allows you to express your creativity and explore the possibilities of AI.
However, you should also be aware of the potential risks and limitations of AI art, such as ethical, legal, social, and cultural issues.
You should also respect the rights and interests of other artists and creators whose works you may use or influence.
What is the controversy with AI art generators?
AI art generators are tools that can produce detailed images from text prompts, using databases of existing art and text.
Some artists are furious about AI art generators because they believe they devalue the skill of illustration, raise ethical and legal issues, and threaten their jobs.
Is it legal to sell AI-generated art?
Laws regarding AI-generated art are inconsistent across different regions, causing ambiguity about its legality.
In the US, AI-generated art is not considered copyrightable because it does not meet the criteria for original works of authorship under US Copyright Law.
However, some argue that AI-generated art may be eligible for protection under other legal doctrines, such as trade secret or unfair competition.
Does AI art use existing images?
Yes, AI art uses existing images as part of its database to generate new images.
However, some AI art generators may also add elements of randomness, creativity, or novelty to the output.
How do I stop AI from stealing my art?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as different AI art generators may use different methods and sources to access existing art.
Some possible steps to prevent or deter AI from stealing your art are:
- watermarking your images
- registering your copyrights
- using reverse image search tools to detect copies
- sending cease and desist letters or takedown notices to infringers
- suing for damages or injunctions if necessary.
Why are artists against AI-generated images?
Some artists are against AI-generated images because they feel that they undermine the value and meaning of human creativity, expression, and originality.
They also worry that AI-generated images may infringe on their rights, harm their reputation, or compete with their market strategy.
What is the artist lawsuit against AI?
There is no specific lawsuit that we are aware of that involves artists suing AI for generating images.
However, there have been some cases where artists have sued or threatened to sue other parties for using AI-generated images without their permission or attribution.
For example, in 2022, a group of photographers sued Microsoft for using their photos to train an AI face-swapping tool called FaceSwap.
Why is AI art illegal?
AI art is not illegal per se, but it may raise legal issues depending on how it is created and used.
Some potential legal issues are:
- infringement of intellectual property rights
- violation of moral rights or personality rights
- breach of contract or license agreements
- fraud or misrepresentation
- unfair competition or consumer protection laws
Is AI art stolen from artists?
This is a matter of debate and perspective.
Some may argue that AI art is stolen from artists because it uses their works without their consent or compensation, and creates derivative works that may harm their interests.
Others may argue that AI art is not stolen from artists because it transforms their works into something new and different, and does not affect their ability to create or sell their own works.
Will AI art replace real art?
This is a philosophical question that depends on how one defines art and its purpose.
Some may say that AI art will never replace real art because it lacks human emotion, intention, and creativity.
Others may say that AI art will enhance or complement real art because it offers new possibilities, perspectives, and challenges.
It’s up to you to decide.
To provide a comprehensive explanation of AI art and its functioning, several aspects should be covered:
- AI art is a fascinating and emerging field that explores the possibilities and challenges of using artificial intelligence to create or assist in the creation of artistic expression.
- AI art uses various AI tools and techniques that can generate or enhance images, sounds, music, or other forms of art.
- AI art works by using different computer programs that learn from data and make new data based on some input or output criteria.
- AI art raises various questions and issues regarding the ownership, ethics, and aesthetics of art in the age of technology.
- AI art is a form of art that is constantly evolving and expanding, offering new opportunities and experiences for artists and audiences alike.
The field of AI art is a fascinating and advancing area that merges the capabilities of artificial intelligence with the aesthetics of human imagination.
AI art is not only a way of making art, but also a way of seeing art.