Unexpected Ways A.I. Might Rewire Art

Respected or reviled, artificial intelligence is here to stay.

An image designed with artificial intelligence by Julian van Dieken, inspired by Johannes Vermeer's painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague on March 9, 2023. (Photo by Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP via Getty Images)

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more, with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.

Artificial intelligence was one of the hottest topics in art in 2023—and we can predict that it will continue to be a major topic in 2024. We can debate whether we should be cautiously optimistic or in an existential panic, but most of us can agree that the impact will be enormous.

Way back in May 2022, Art Angle co-pilot, art critic Ben Davis, talked about what A.I. means for art in an episode of the Art Angle in his book, Art in the After-Culture—just when the world was first being transfixed by images generated by Dall-E 2, and before ChatGPT took the world by storm in November 2022. The year and a half after that conversation brought a huge wave of fascinating—if unnerving—developments around the fields of art and creativity—the most human of pursuits.

As we head deeper into 2024, what forms and aesthetics could emerge or take precedence? Recently, Ben put together a new essay, offering 10 speculative predictions about how generative A.I. might transform how art is made, how artists work, and what an audience expects from art. We found them very persuasive. Some are unexpected. Some are alarming. We will have to wait and see if he’s right, but things are moving pretty quickly, so we may not have to wait long.

In a wide-ranging conversation, senior editor Kate Brown and Ben review some of the most memorable touchstones around A.I. and art from last year, before going in depth about a few of Ben’s predictions that jumped out from his article—if you want to read all 10, you can check out the full essay, “10 Predictions About Unexpected Ways A.I. Will Reshape Art (Part 1 of 2) and 10 Predictions About Unexpected Ways A.I. Will Reshape Art (Part 2 of 2).

 

 

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