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Generative AI: A playground for art and creativity

We, as humans, take pride in our ability to be creative and produce works of art that can elicit strong emotions. Apart from having opposable thumbs, it is what sets us apart from other species on this planet. And now, it is what sets us apart from a new digital player in the creative landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI). Though many see generative AI tools as a threat to human creativity, I want to shed light on how these new-age tools can inspire us to deliver enhanced creative pieces of content, whether it be art, song lyrics, or even novels.

And what better day to do this than on World AI Appreciation Day, a day that celebrates the transformative impact of AI on various aspects of our lives, including the realm of art and creativity? By combining the unique strengths of both AI and humans, we can unlock unseen levels of creativity and innovation.

If we had the capacity to execute every idea that we can think of, we wouldn’t need tools to help us. That is how we should view generative AI, a tool to help us bring our every creative idea to life. Everyone has the desire to create different forms of art, but not all of us are artists or wordsmiths that can do so in a way that moves others.

While generative AI can uniquely put two data points together or learn how certain existing data points work best together, it does not have the ability to build new data points for original ideas. Generative AI can produce high-quality work after being trained on vast amounts of good data by humans, but it requires human prompts and feedback to learn and generate a creative and accurate output.

This is where this technology and humans can work together and bring to life the imagination of those novice artists or wordsmiths. With this joint effort, we can get help in visualizing our quirky and outlandish ideas or personifying certain concepts. For instance, we want to paint a lion with butterfly wings for ears, but some of us may, unfortunately, struggle to draw even simple stick men.

By simply inputting the prompt “Painting of a lion combined with butterfly wings” in an AI image generator tool, an image is produced. 

The AI has simply taken what it knows lions and butterflies to look like and combined them as per your request. If you were to ask the AI model to draw a completely new species, then it may generate an amalgamation of different species, but definitely not something we wouldn’t be able to recognize parts of.

AI-generated content also inspires ideas within us or gives a foundation to further build on. However, it can all only be done in collaboration with our creativity. For example, I play the harmonium, and in my free time, I experiment with music-generative AI tools to seek inspiration for creating my own original music. You’d be surprised how intriguing the results can be.

Even renowned artist Refik Anadol has trained a sophisticated machine-learning model using 200 years of art from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as a reference to showcase his digital artwork, Unsupervised. Anadol, with the inspiration to explore technological hallucinations, has prompted the digital piece to constantly change as per its surrounding environment. It is truly a great example of the collaboration between AI and human creativity.

In celebration of this AI Appreciation Day, why not try a creative collaboration? Create a themed piece of content on your own, and use a generative AI tool to do that same. You may be surprised to find how aspects of both pieces can go together to produce an artistic piece that is sure to elicit some emotion! By embracing this ultimate partnership, we can begin to understand the immense potential of AI in enhancing human creativity.

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