I wouldn’t be too concerned about ai. It’s seriously overrated and over hyped. There will be a resurgence of organic art as there has been with organic food. After having time to play around with the tech myself I have discovered something interesting. First of all most of the people I have talked to about the tech show no interest in the tech. 2nd. If they do show interest in the tech they want it to draw cats doing stupid things like smoking a pipe and than say “awww dats so cute” 3rd. It takes a lot of work to get the ai generator to produce what you want and most people can’t describe how their day was let alone describe a South american Indian man jumping over a water fall into a cenote. And then when you can finally get the words together the ai generator provides something that is mangled and your heart sinks because you just wasted twenty minutes of you life producing garbage. In fact. Being a person with some experience in addictive behaviour I have discovered that generating art could possibly become a serious health concern. It’s addictive, kind of like hitting the slots at Vegas. You press the button and you wait to see what is produced and the majority of the time what’s produced is disappointment. Art is meant to be rewarding because of its creativity. Ai art is the opposite. It takes from you like a parasite. And that’s because I feel these generators are rigged to keep you using them. It’s a weird world we live in. That’s for sure. Hope this made sense. Cheers!

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I think, at least from a “making a living” perspective, there’s something to be said about the connection you have between the artist and your buying decision.

The arts are a bit different in so far that it’s one branch of commerce where you don’t go looking for the things you want to buy, you go looking for the brand you want to buy from. “I want a USB drive”, so I go to Best Buy, Vs. I wonder what Scott drew lately. “I’ll buy something today”.

Sure the robot can create something real quick, and it could look exactly like something you would have done, but, YOU, didn’t make it.

From a motivational standpoint, I don’t know, maybe the above helps, or maybe you just have to ask yourself why you do the thing. If you draw because it energizes you and you love it, then the journey is more important than the result right?

You do it because it takes 10 hours, and I bet if it took you 10 minutes, I’d be a chore, not a hobby. Though I suppose we all know how you feel about chores ;)

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Using that metaphor, I'd like to expand on it: You're running a different race :)

I like to think that I follow the work of artists I like partly for their art, and partly for their point of view. While the AI can bash something out in seconds and potentially look like xyz, it's not going to be from your perspective in the same way. Or you've fallen in love with a new technique/topic and tied that in randomly... I don't see that being as common with AI setups. It's the personality of the artist at the end of the day, and not always the actual art :)

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I'm not totally concerned though I'm not a talented artist like you. I feel like for a lot of us, using Midjourney or Dall-e 2 is the same as using Unsplash. We'd probably not pay too much for art for our sites or newsletters to begin with.

I think what you do Scott is special. It has personality. It has a life of its own. I think AI can mimic you to a point, but it's doesn't have the same qualities as, let's say, Fred & Can written by you.

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I have had similar thoughst from the perspective of someone who writes for a living. My first reaction to reading your note above was "Well Scott you'll just have to train chatbots to draw like you!" But seriously, I did some experimentation on my own with GPT-4 a while back and passed a blog post through it and asked, "Please edit this for grammar and clarity." It really did a good job of that -- the writing definitely flowed better. BUt upon reading it I thought, "That's noce but it does not sound like I wrote it!" But I am told that systems are becoming available to train chatbots on personal style and I can feed it blog posts (and movie and book reviews" that go back to 2002!

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I've been thinking about this a lot myself, albeit from a slightly different perspective. I'm a software engineer who does work on a machine learning team (I don't actually develop models, but I work on shrinking them down to run remotely).

I keep thinking about how AI and art parallels skilled trades and the industrial revolution. There used to be specialists who made everything from shoes to furniture. Then we developed machines that could build shoes and couches quickly and replaced the specialists with operators running these machines. The quality of the mass produced items definitely suffered, but it was cheaper.

I think this is what artists are watching happen right now. I've seen a lot of AI generated art that looks very impressive, but it always seems to be missing something and the quality suffers. I think that just like how we can buy cheap furniture at a big box there will always be an appreciation for something that is hand crafted. I don't know if that's an entirely satisfying thought though, because it means a lot of talented artists are going to be replaced by GPT operators. A very unfortunate side effect too, will be the dampening of expression of the human condition that comes with stripping artists of their livelihood. GPT's may be able to generate facsimiles of what it has meant to be a human being in the past, but they will always be imitations.

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