AI Art Is Soft Propaganda for the Global North, Marco Donnarumma, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [24/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
It’s 8:06am and I’m staring at images scrolling on my phone’s screen at a five-second rate: “Viking, castle, feast, hall”; “Banksi [sic], upscaled”; “A commercial aeroplane going towards a big time portal in round shape which shows like a time jump, high octane, realistic, hdr — wallpaper.” It’s my daily research time on so-called “AI art.” The images are being produced on the Discord server of Midjourney, an “AI image generator.” The latest trend in the ongoing AI race, these types of generators, including Dall-E by OpenAI and Stable Diffusion by StabilityAI, are algorithmic systems based on deep learning and probabilistic learning. They compound computational models for natural language processing (GPT-3 by OpenAI and its derivatives), computer vision, and image synthesis into Frankenstein-like systems that produce two-dimensional visual artifacts matching a user’s prompt. They are remarkably popular and, admittedly, an impressive technical feat. But, I wonder, beyond the facile aesthetic appeal, what do these models do at a cultural level?
As an artist and scholar working with open source technology since 2004 and with machine learning and AI since 2012, I’m as fascinated as I am weary of the creative potentials and cultural implications of machine learning. Deep learning and, by extension, AI generators are particularly problematic because their efficiency depends on the exclusive assets of a few extraordinarily wealthy agents in the industry. They have vast computational power, immense datasets, capital to invest in academic research, and capacities to train evergrowing models (Dall-E has 12 billion parameters and more are to be added). Open sourcing a model, as StabilityAI did with its own, may open up research to some extent but does not undermine the reliance of the whole project (development, maintenance, promotional campaign, investments, revenues) on the steady stream of money by its founder — a former hedge fund manager. Unsurprisingly, the artistic and ethical shortcomings of AI generators are tied to their dependence on capital and capitalism.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.