[The Rise of AI Art] The future of AI art is Collaboration with humanists


In the art field, AI art exists as a new genre. It is attractive enough for humans to use AI art as a tool using their creativity. As a new medium, AI art will serve as a partner to help humans do art. (by Park Ji-Eun, CEO of Pulse Nine)

Recently, AI is replacing part of human’s experience and time. It also expanded the area to art, which was regarded as an inviolable area only for humans. Now, a new wind is blowing in the art world in an era when works drawn by AI painters are drawing attention. Now, a new wind is blowing in the art world in an era when works drawn by AI painters are drawing attention. In October 2018, “Edmond de Belamy”, drawn by AI painter Obvious, was held at Christie’s auction house in New York, USA, at $432,000, which is 45 times higher than the expected bid price of $10,000 and surprised the world. This is the first time a portrait made with computer algorithms has been sold at auction. Based on 15,000 portraits drawn between 14th and 20th centuries, this work was born through ‘GAN’ learning and this AI uses the technology of Generative Adversarial Networks, in which two models, Generator and Discriminator, influence each other through learning. In short, it is an algorithm that the creator creates an image and puts it into the discriminator and then repeats learning repeatedly until it comes out like an image that is close to the real thing, that is, a ‘human-drawn picture’.

Is AI art technology or art? Even after <Edmond de Bellamy> became a hot topic as a successful bidder, various evaluations of the artistry of AI were mixed, arousing interest in AI creations in countries around the world. AI art has continuously developed to show artistic creativity like a humanization or a great painter, but in the end, a hot debate continues amid the criticism that AI art only learns the learning data chosen by humans, but cannot be viewed as AI’s own creativity. However, through the historical event in which the human-mimicking AI-created paintings are traded at high prices at global art auctions, we were able to glimpse the possibilities of AI’s art and the changes in the art market. What is clear is that AI art is already a hot trend.

As humans see, hear, experience, learn, and get inspiration from an early age, it is said that the era is near when AI will prove the creativity of itself, which is not different from ours. However, I disagree with the idea that the creativity and originality of an AI painter can only be recognized if it falls within the category of painters based on human standards. This is because AI art in the art field exists as a new genre, and it is attractive enough for humans to use AI art as a tool using their creativity.

In September 2019, the ‘AI Art Gallery Aiya’, established under the motto of ‘AI X HUMAN’, presented <Commune with…>, the first in Korea to collaborate with AI painters and human painters. AI painter ‘Imagine AI’ and hyperrealist painter ‘Du-Min’ met and painted half-and-half of the painting on the theme of Dokdo. The above-ground part of Dokdo was expressed by the artist Du-Min using Western painting techniques, and the image of Dokdo reflected on the surface of the water was expressed by Imagine AI using oriental painting techniques. In 3 days from the start of crowd funding, more than 20 million won was raised, and this is the first case of a joint work completed by division of labor and collaboration between AI painters and human painter to be shown on the public art market. It is meaningful that AI artists and human artists are not subject to competition, but that they convey the meaning of a win-win relationship, and that the value of AI works is recognized in Korea.

Meanwhile, ‘AI Art Gallery Aiya’ is Korea’s first AI art gallery and art platform centered on the works of ‘Imagine AI’ and commercial AI art tool ‘Paintley AI’, an AI artist of Pulse 9, a graphic AI company. In addition to the collaboration between AI and painters, they are seeking experimental collaborations between various genres and artists, such as the ‘Engineer Exhibition’, which uses AI rather than a brush as a tool, and expands the scope and enjoyment of works and collections through various art attempts. Until November 2020, the ‘1st AI Art Global Challenge’ was held and received great attention from home and abroad. Due to the recent COVID 19, the offline gallery has been changed to online and is being operated, expanding the concept as a ‘visiting AI art gallery’, helping more people to appreciate AI art, a new art medium without space restrictions. Currently, the Financial Supervisory Service is exhibiting works by Jung Woo-Hae, Ryu Min-Jung, and Yoo Jin under the theme of <Can AI Expand Human Creativity?> including <Commune with….> Seoullo Media Canvas will present the ‘PULSE9 × A.I’ exhibition where you can enjoy AI art through the large screen of Seoullo 7017 until December 20th.

The emergence of AI art today is similar to the situation when cameras first appeared in the 19th century. When the camera was invented, it overturned our belief that only painters could reproduce objects seen in the world. Many people at the time predicted that the artist’s technique would never match the technique of photography and would disappear, but soon proved that the artist’s domain was different from that of photography. Like the past photography technology, AI art is just a new medium. AI art will not surpass humans, or AI will not destroy the value of the paintings drawn by human artists.

As a new medium, AI art will be a fresh stimulus that helps artists to think creatively, and is expected to reduce creative labor. For example, ‘Can AI Expand Human Creativity?’, presented at Gallery Aiya, proceeds in a way that an AI painter learns a specific keyword and draws an abstract sketch, and a human painter completes the work based on it. Artist Jung Woo-Jae, who participated in this, said, “The sketches of Imagine AI were somewhat abstract. However, Imagine AI gave me a creative challenge and certainly played a role in discovering a new person.”

The AI art market is expected to grow significantly in the future overseas. According to the British media telegraph, the AI art market is expected to reach $100 million worldwide in the next three to five years. Rather than the controversies about AI art, I hope that the future will come in which many artists draw AI art into their work and actively use it as a complementary role to help them focus more on the creation of art.