AI Art: Friend or Foe?

The Arts

By: Lucy Garcia

When you search up the words “World famous paintings,” classic pieces like the “Mona Lisa,” and “Starry Night,” come up. These paintings have two things in common. Firstly, they were created with human hands, each stroke of a brush unique to the painter. Secondly, each one of these recognized paintings took years to make. 

The famous quote, “All good things take time,” has always applied to art, but with recent technological advances, many artists are beginning to doubt it. 

So, what if we could make these paintings in the same style, the same genre, even with the same unique flair as previous paintings, but with a fraction of the time? With websites everyone has access to, as opposed to traditional art supplies? That’s precisely what AI Art does. 

AI Art (art made with artificial intelligence) has slowly begun to infiltrate the high circle of craft. 

Artificial Intelligence is the field of science where machines are programmed to mimic human action and intelligence through different algorithms. 

The roots and concept of Artificial Intelligence date back to the 1800’s, with the actual implementation of AI starting around the 1940’s. However, AI didn’t truly flourish until the 2010’s, when Apple created Siri and the first self-driving car passed a state driving test

In 2015, a scientist by the name of Alexander Mordvintsev created a generator called DeepDream in order to study and figure out how these algorithms learned visual concepts. From there, the AI art world expanded. 

Artificial intelligence was then transferred over into the arts, where digital generators take in words like “Van Gogh Painting,” or “Picasso Art,” and the computer then combs through the internet gathering data until it can generate an image that reflects the information it has stored. 

These machines are designed to recognize patterns from anywhere on the web in order to conjure up similar ones. However, this can be incredibly problematic. More often than not, the images that AI collects are taken without permission, without proper credit, and without compensation. 

Anyone with their artwork online, from world renowned artists to smaller indie creators, can’t escape the scrutinization from AIs. This could be considered a possible copyright issue, as well as an infringement on personal privacy and people’s own hard work.

Many artists are concerned that since a new, alternative, cheaper form of creating art has emerged, that their services will no longer be needed. Since an AI can recreate anything, any style, or any genre, many are beginning to wonder if AI will replace human creativity. 

When asked if any part of AI art concerned her future as an artist, freshman visual artist Lotus Pryor responded, “Yeah, it does. You know, what if AI art becomes the new standard, but then there’s people with actual real talent in this world? Not saying that AI art isn’t real talent, but there are people that work hard, and then there are people making millions off art they didn’t even put much effort into.”

Due to all the controversy around AI, many exclude it from the world of art and consider AI to be a fraud. However, some people don’t. In 2022, the winner of the Colorado State Fair Digital Art category was Jason M. Allen, who submitted a piece called “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.” 

However, Allen’s submission wasn’t like everyone else’s. The piece was created by the AI Midjourney, a popularly used program in the AI Art world. Allen defended his work and his honor by stating that he had been transparent with judges about the piece and its origins, yet Allen was still dragged by the art community. 

Many accused him of cheating or breaking the rules. It was a big debate whether or not the art was a form of plagiarism, using the argument that while Allen was the one to use Midjourney and contributed edits to the product, the majority of it was done by a computer taking “inspiration” from everything else on the internet. 

However, on the opposite side of the spectrum are the positives that many creators have pointed out about AI. With AI art generators continuously being created and uploaded to the internet, they may be the more convenient option for everyone. 

Many AI art users argue that these AI Art generators, the majority of them free and easy to use, seem far more accessible than $100 art supplies at overpriced stores. 

 In fact, the image below was created by an AI art generator called Dream by WOMBO. It only took the AI a little over 25 seconds to generate a piece of art from the words: “a robot painting a picture.”

A piece of AI art created by Dream by WOMBO based on the words“a robot painting a picture.”

With AI being the much cheaper, faster, and available option, some creators have taken the plunge and switched. Some people have even begun to sell prints of their generated artwork as a way to make money

Throughout history people have feared the unknown and the uncharted, and many of these discoveries have introduced new beginnings, not endings. When asked if AI art was either the end of human art or a new beginning, Pryor responded, “I think both. It could be the beginning of a new type of art, but it’s also lowering the standard for what we classify as art as well.”

With the use of AI still up in the air, only time will tell the true effect that AI will have on the world of art. 

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at

Artwork created by Crystal Gonzalez for the BSA Muse.