Spotting AI-Generated Art According to Artists

As AI art tools become more widely available, the debate between art created by humans and art generated by machines has been reignited. But how long will the average person be able to tell the difference between the two?

Ari Melenciano, an artist at Google’s Creative Lab, is unsure. “I mean, I can barely tell the difference now,” she says.

The public release of AI art tools has been met with criticism due to the unethical data collection methods used to create them. Jared Krichevsky, a concept artist who designed the memeable AI-bot for the M3GAN movie, explains, “Their works are being inputted into a machine against their will. This machine is specifically designed to replace us.” Several artists continue to express anger about their original craftsmanship powering AI generators without informed consent.

Although companies behind AI generators are facing claims of copyright infringement, it’s still a challenge to differentiate between AI art and human art at a glance. Ellie Pritts, an artist who embraces multiple forms of generative AI in their artwork, believes that soon the average person won’t be able to tell the difference.

Logan Preshaw, a concept artist who denounces the use of current AI tools, also notices small cues that can help identify AI art. “The eyes can be a little bit funky as well,” he says. “Maybe they’re just kind of dead and staring out into nowhere, or they have strange structures.”

Dan Eder, a 3D character artist, suggests viewers should consider the overall design of a piece when trying to spot an AI image. “Let’s say it was a ‘fantasy warrior armor’ type of situation. At a glance, the artwork looks beautiful and highly detailed, but a lot of the time there’s no logic behind it,” he says. “When a concept artist creates armor for a character, there are things you have to take into account: functionality, limb placement, how much is that going to stretch.”

As AI technology continues to progress, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between art created by humans and art generated by machines. How long will the naked eye be able to spot the difference? Only time will tell.

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