Art in the Time of AI: Style and Artistic Intention in AI-generated Images


Drawing on recent debates about the intersection of art and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as philosophical definitions of art, this article proposes an intentionalist and human-oriented approach to artistic AI-generated images via services such as Midjourney or DALL-E. First, the approach is human-oriented because, at least at the time we are writing this article, the algorithmic intelligence behind image generation has not reached the level of a genuine artificial “mind” that would eventually perform all the functions of a biological mind or human personality in the process of art-making. Therefore, the specific intention to create art and the expression of a certain mental or emotional representation through art, that is, the abilities typically expected of artists, show that human intervention remains indispensable in the creative process, although faced with the specific constraints of a new medium. Second, the approach is intentionalist in that it is a certain concept of human intention in relation to art that gives meaning to the tendencies favored by AI-generated imagery, such as the imitation and revival of past styles or the conceptual nature of this form of art itself, by deliberately using these tendencies in the continuation of previous art practices and styles.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, art, artwork, image, aesthetics, style

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