Human Apple vs Artificial Intelligence Apple
The other day I drew an apple with colored pencils. While drawing this apple, I focused only my time and energy on this small apple, thinking about the feeling, taste, and connected memories and emotions when I saw the apple. And I wanted to express that energy well. It was a pleasure to express this little fruit, unpretentious yet strong, strong yet self-existing. When I draw a picture, I think of the details of an object, and through this work, I understand the essence of an apple.
While painting this apple, I thought about why Cézanne, the post-impressionist painter who ushered in the era of Cubism, said he would conquer Paris through an apple. And I thought about why the Korean artist Park Soo-keun drew the apple before eating it and then ate it. When the painting was completed, it became a rough, simple, and human touch.
But by the time I finished painting, my husband had used an artificial intelligence program called Midjourney on Discord to type only the word green apple on the tray. Then, four different colored green apples were created perfectly and beautifully. It only took a few minutes. And in the meantime, he finished painting a black swan flying on the lake and a cute cat playfully eating fish.
Paintings drawn by artificial intelligence learning look more perfect, faster, and more stunning to anyone. In just a few years, artificial intelligence art technology has made remarkable progress. It is no longer a matter of choosing whether this was drawn by a human or artificial intelligence.
Now people are slowly starting to admit that artificial intelligence draws better. And I think that even painters would envy, admire or hate artificial intelligence art technology, which is far ahead in terms of technology. And now artists are starting to worry that they won't have a place to stand anymore. And we have already acknowledged that these concerns and worries are expanding not only to the realm of art, but to all areas.
I've read an article about this before. It means that in the era of artificial intelligence, people involved in fine art are less worried. This is the reason that here are many elements and variables in aesthetics that cannot be measured by machines, and the work is valued not only by the work itself but also by the artist's life. In the end, will you use this technology or not? Is this art or not? It is human beings who choose, and as long as humans have the initiative and the right to choose, humans will not be dominated by machines. I agree with these statements.
But what if the majority of people choose the apple to the right rather than the apple to the left? Humans no longer come into contact with paintings or objects with handprints drawn by humans from an early age. They are exposed to well-crafted, perfect machine-made objects from a very young age. You can tell just by looking at the kids now. Children are very accustomed to cartoons and game-style pictures through games and YouTube. For the generation that grows up like this, of course, the one on the right will be more attracted to the shiny apple that they have seen since childhood. Perhaps, in my opinion, the technology called artificial intelligence may have tamed humans from a very early age. Handmade is getting less and less, and humans like things that are more comfortable, more shiny, nice and cool. And as the number of people like this increases, the position of handmade may become smaller and smaller. It is a story that no one listens no matter how much I shout why my handmade is not popular in this world dominated by market economy principles with the belief that simple human initiative and choice are in us.
I think the more you do, the more you should think deeply about the essence of art. In other words, I think it is time to open the second renaissance era by recovering the philosophy that has been lost in some way. Without this introspection, we might have to give up even the last of our pride to the machine. It's a future I really don't want to leave to our children.
In Wall-E, a movie I watched with my son a long time ago, people in the future focus on playing and eating while giving birth and raising children to machines. And the garbage they accumulate is like a mountain that they can't handle. People of the future will run at a high speed towards something more comfortable, more cool, and more fun. Just like now. Living in this era, we have to think about what art is and what kind of position a painter should find. And the closer we get to the nature of art, the clearer we will become.
My favorite French romantic painter, Friedrich, said,
"A painter should be able to paint what is right within himself, not what is in front of him."
AI cannot draw inside itself, because it has no self and no soul. They have no originality. Just as the raven in Aesop's fable became the number one bird by adorning the feathers of many birds, they spliced together human achievements and presented them as if they were their own. Since they have no ego, they do not have their own story, their own life, or their own philosophy or color.
In order to survive as an artist in this era of artificial intelligence, I think it is necessary to paint what is inside, which contains the human soul, as painters always said a long time ago. This is what we can do as human beings before we are painters, and it is our own domain that is unique and original and no one can take away from it.
Myungja Anna Koh