In an ever-developing world, the progression of artificial intelligence is inevitable. But as this progress is becoming more and more available to the general public, the internet is debating where to draw the line on AI and its ethics. 

Although AI art has been a divisive topic on social media and internet forums for quite a while, American rapper Lil Yachty using an AI image as the cover art of his most recent album has brought it back into the spotlight. Some were critical of this decision, accusing him of being cheap with visuals, while others felt this was a creative move. But what exactly is the problem with AI art? 

I spoke to year eleven art student Marlo about his opinions on the matter. “AI art is cool as a concept and could be used as a useful tool to help artists, for example generating references” he began. “But instead people generally use it to steal art and pass it off as their own. AI art clearly uses other people’s art as references and very rarely with the original artist’s permission. Besides, many people are beginning to use AI art as a replacement for human graphic designers or artists, which is bad as art is already an incredibly competitive industry that is usually very difficult to get into, especially for beginner artists. Now there’s added competition in the form of computers that can’t even have creative ideas.”

This is a sentiment shared by many artists. More and more are stepping forward to complain that their art has been stolen or manipulated by AI without their credit. It’s an extremely frustrating experience and has led to rising concern about the future of art. In addition to stealing work from real artists, AI art is also being sold more and more for profit, which threatens to make it harder for artists to make a living. 

Not only does AI art harm artists, it is also a common opinion that AI art simply doesn’t live up to the standards of real art. Although it may appear to be similar, it is not created with emotion or character which many would argue is an essential part of creating art. It is in this manner that the AI debate has forced us to look more deeply into how we value art & artists in society and ask ourselves the fundamental question: “What makes something art?”