Can AI Create Art?

By - 9 March 2022

What is art (baby don’t hurt me)? Art, as defined on Wikipedia, is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. The point of art being made from human activity makes it hard to say that AI can create art, given the definition on Wikipedia. However, any AI that is created, is created from human made/invented technologies and logic. So maybe we could say that AI can create art, as a human has had to create the AI.

Nowadays, you can find a lot of pieces called art on the internet. With just one Google search, one can find any painting that the Louvre has to offer. Any artist can be found, and all their masterpieces can easily be copied on to your computer to use however you like. Some “artists” have used this infinite library of pieces of art to generate new, yet very similar, art. This creation of art is done through machine learning. A more common way in which the technology is used for a similar purpose, is for the creation of deepfakes, which you might be more familiar with.

The concept of AI creating art is quite similar. The AI takes a lot of art from a single artist, or from a single style of art. With all the given input the AI will create a totally new, never seen, piece of art, which still looks quite like the given input. However, now the question arises, does this created piece have a value as being art? The story behind it is not as mesmerizing as that of the artists from the renaissance, which makes some pieces invaluable. It also did not take a lot of effort, as just some computations were done by a piece of technology to create something very art-like.

"Watching something create an amazing artwork that I could never create with my own two hands, feels amazing."

Then why create art through AI if it is not going to be worth anything? Sometimes it is not even seen as true art by so-called art experts, as the piece does not represent a journey or story. Well, for one, because we can. Speaking for myself, watching something create an amazing artwork that I could never create with my own two hands, feels amazing. I feel in some way creative (whilst some would argue I am not). The creation of art can be done by anything. Even animals can create art. In some zoos you have elephants painting nonsense, which then sells for a couple hundred bucks.

"The creator of the AI is just as much the creator of art, as the technology is."

These pieces, although not created by humans, tend to have a different story behind them than what is usually expected of them. There is no lengthy depressing story about an artist coming to fruition; it’s a story of a zoo wanting to make money from their elephant, or me wanting to be creative through a piece of technology. So yeah, I think AI can create art. But I would I always like to imagine that the creator of the AI is just as much the creator of art, as the technology is.

Lastly, a little tangent from me to you, what is up with NFTs. People swear it is a good thing, but I disagree mostly. I get that some smaller artist could make money from people when they want to generously give money for their art, even though it is digital and free to copy for anyone. However, some cartoonish art of a monkey in all kinds of different clothing bringing up $300.000… How is that still the point of NFTs. There is no story behind it, the guy just wanted to make some money, and now he is world famous with some monkeys that all have quite the similar standard layout. Giving appreciation to digital art, good. Having another way of laundering money, bad. End of my tangent.


Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.


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