Technology keeps moving forward, which makes it easier for the artists to tell their stories and paint the pictures they want.
– George Lucas
Artificial intelligence is changing the world as we know it. It is impacting every industry, and the arts are no exception. AI has already been used to create stunning works of art, and it is sure to play a role in shaping the future of creativity. In this blog post, we will explore how AI can help artists and creatives reach new heights and push the boundaries of self-expression.
It can be easy to see all of this evolving technology as a threat to replace tasks that often require human time, effort, and training. The arts is one field that, from a certain perspective, could be seen as being threatened by technology.
However, we’ve heard these stories time and time again throughout history, and yet art and human expression has continued to evolve over the course of thousands of years alongside all of the technological advances that have been made throughout time.
In fact, new tools often expand what is possible for us in terms of what we are able to create, either by enhancing efficiency or by broadening the options so that we can generate more diversity in approach and what we can design for ourselves. Here, we want to explore some examples of this exact concept.
Table of Contents
One of the earliest forms of human art started out more as a matter of practicality and convenience. Some of the world’s oldest pottery dates back tens of thousands of years. It is one of the oldest and most versatile materials humans have used – revolutionizing our ability to store goods, to cook food, and to transport all kinds of things – and its evolution has been shaped by the changing needs of our species.
Over time, new innovations meant that creating these incredibly helpful pieces could become faster and easier, meaning that the craft was able to turn into something much more creative. Humans went from using slow wheels to faster ones, went from using clay to new materials, and in being able to produce products faster, could focus on designing really beautiful pieces that could be intricate, colorful, and more a piece of art than just a practical vessel.
The Printing Press
With the invention of the printing press in 1436 came one of the first instances of machines supposedly stealing jobs from humans. Until then, all reproduction of books and texts was being done by scribes or monks, who spent laborious hours transcribing and copying things by hand. Of course, this invention threatened those jobs at the time. However, the world we live in today would not be the same without this revolutionary piece of technology.
The full impact of the printing press was huge – with it, humans could reproduce any kind of text much more quickly and easily. This led to easier creation and dissemination of news across countries, helped to inspire Renaissance thinkers and painters who could now access all sorts of texts, and influenced the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution.
Rather than replacing jobs, it led to an entirely new and much more expanded industry of printing that could do much more, could cast a wider net, and created opportunities for so many new voices to be heard.
The written word has always been a way for humans to tell stories, and dominated for much of human life. It’s hard to imagine a world today without access to one’s favorites books, without access to other people’s poems, philosophical thoughts, or stories.
When the ability to capture and record light onto a piece of film first came around, photography was not an art form. Cameras were large and laborious to carry around and it took a long time to record a photographic image. Thus, in its first iteration photography was mainly used to record landscapes or take extremely rigid and stiff portraits of people, often not smiling because of how long it would take to record the picture.
Nowadays, we’ve come to widely accept photography as a form of art. Not only has the ability to record photographs changed so many things about this world by allowing us to see through the eyes of others, but it is now one of the most accessible art forms we have. From heavy pieces of equipment to cellphones that fit in our hands, so many advances over time have democratized these tools so that we all can use them in whatever creative ways we want. Some may have been skeptical that these tools would replace arts that were more manual, like drawing or painting, but those art forms still exist today and have not been replaced. Instead, many of us just have more access to tools that enhance our lives and let us express ourselves.
The story of cinema is similar to that of photography – when moving pictures hit the scene they were not taken seriously as forms of art. But then you had artists using these tools to push the boundaries. Directors like George Méliès were using these tools in 1902 in creative ways that did just this, such as in “A Trip to the Moon” where we see incredibly creative practical effects that took people into a world of imagination.
Today, film and movies are such a widespread, common and complex way to tell stories. They are intricate, personal, and introduce us to stories we couldn’t have experienced on our own. The industry itself has evolved with better tools, giving directors all the more options to shape the stories they want to tell.
This brings us to artificial intelligence. There are a number of ways in which AI may be incredibly helpful in helping modern artists and creatives enhance the images they want to create, as well as streamline time-consuming processes that free them up for the more creative work that needs that human touch.
It is our view that AI will not take over art — it will always require that human element and human touch. Even AI art generators like DALL-E 2 from Open AI require human prompting to be able to generate these images. That being said, if we can learn to work alongside and with these tools, it is clear to see that the possibilities become endless in terms of what we can create. We even took a stab at generating some AI artwork ourselves with Wombo:
We see a world in which the invention of these tools that make things easier for humans to focus on the parts we want to focus on, instead of the more laborious and time-consuming tasks, means that we can push our own boundaries that much further. Rather than replacing humans, we will see what has happened time and time again, that new tools for being creative are always expansive. That is the way of the future, and we argue that it is here now.