Like it or not, this CEO paints a scarily real picture of our future

Investors are known for their interest in future tech and their appreciation of fine art – but would the love remain if these areas were combined? One enterprising CEO may have the answer.

Investors are known for their interest in future tech and their appreciation of fine art – but would the love remain if these areas were combined? One enterprising CEO may have the answer.

Jason Allen, who runs a games development business in the US, submitted his amateur art into the Colorado State Fair fine arts competition this month, winning first place in a digital arts division for his work Theatre D’opera Spatial.

The thing is, the company founder and aspiring artist didn’t once pick up a digital brush, pen or stylus to craft the masterpiece. Artificial intelligence (AI) did the job for him.

Mr Allen says his creation, which blends the aesthetics of opulent opera performances with ethereal extraterrestrial landscapes, was less about artistic talent and more “like a word game”.

Using a limited number of words, the 39-year-old tinkered with key phrases in an online AI tool that affected the lighting, perspective, composition, atmosphere, subject and other attributes.

Source: Colorado State Fair

But while the competition judges were clearly impressed – despite being unaware at the time that AI had been used to generate the canvas-printed artwork – responses from the global art community and beyond ranged from fervent support to vitriolic opposition.

One admirer tweeted: “This dude used a prompt he fine-tuned and did it hundreds of times to get the right random result, then had to go in and remove all the errors (that) the system put in.”

But the critics were many: “We’re watching the death of artistry right before our eyes.” “You’re just ripping the fun and life out of art.” “I can see how AI art can be beneficial, but claiming you’re an artist by generating one? Absolutely not.”

Others were more philosophical: “Grim truth is that AI will be better and faster than humans at a large number of mental tasks and you should be planning for how to adjust to that now.”

For his part, Mr Allen, who created 900 iterations of the piece before selecting his favourite three to enter into the competition, suggested many of the harsh responses were simply born of discomfort with something new and unfamiliar.

“This kind of thing happens every few years. A long time ago, portrait artists thought they were going to be replaced by cameras. As time went on, people began to accept the technology, and eventually they realised there was room for both,” Mr Allen told local newspaper The Gazette.

“The same thing will happen with AI. We need to embrace AI technology and move forward, rather than deny that it’s happening.”

Source: Colorado State Fair

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.



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