Wednesday 5 April 2023

March of Robots 2023

 So March of Robots is an art challenge I've done a few times because who doesn't like drawing robots and these days of algorithms suppressing free to play content you need to put something out there.

My original stated aim was that I would do all 31 prompts but I'd limit the to no more 30 minutes work but while I managed all 31 sometimes I would get carried away such as this jungle scene for March 3rd.

Life as a human artist in 2023 is a bit frustrating not only are our tech overlords relentlessly fiddling with their platforms in ways that always seem to give you less visibility, generative art from AI is starting to appear on the platforms where those who type prompts in Stable Diffusion or the like are suddenly "artists" and hoover up the likes and praise from those who surf the content for pretty visuals without considering the effort that goes into creating that content.

Much of the AI chat in March was about ChatGPT-4 the AI language model still in Beta that can write your emails/homework/lazy derivative opinions in seconds.  Elon Musk and others were warning about the disadvantages of the unintended consequences of AI although the intended consequence of devaluing certain human tasks is also pretty horrific.  This entry from March 19 with apologies to the Simpsons and Matt Groening was probably my most popular post.

If you want to be generous to folk you would say we are still pretty enraptured by the novelty of this "free" tool not realizing that eventually it will be monetized by tech overlords so that those who provided the content the machines learned from and those who later leverage it will be lining the pockets of those who merely financed a cloud server farm with software.  In the meantime if you're relying on ChatGPT beware that it's usage is throttled which inspired this illustration from March 27th 

Back to Generative AI art vs human art.  On the Instagram explore page for the hashtag you can still easily spot the AI art that has gained traction even though the competition element of the challenge explicitly banned it.  Perhaps I'm a luddite for not embracing the inevitable rise of the machine learning. The Luddites are a good example of a professional craft who even with their campaigning still lost out to cheap mass produced cloth even though at the high end you might get someone to hand stitch your suit for the average Joe we're happy for robots to make mass produced consumer goods.

The established distinctive artists will still garner commissions and magazine slots but those starting out who rely on smaller commissions for caricatures, book covers etc. are going to struggle when a fast and "good enough" result can be delivered from a web site.

Who knows perhaps we'll leverage the technology is a good way to benefit society, but to do so we'll have to rein in some of the Mega Corps that are charging away with rapid AI development.  This cartoon from the 30th March sums up my mood.

In the meantime even if it not pulling in the big bucks there is a joy in the creation of artwork not just the social media attention for the finished article.  So to finish off March here is another robot

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