An art prize at the Colorado State Fair was awarded last month to a work that – unbeknown to the judges – was generated by an artificial intelligence system.
Social media have also seen an explosion of weird images generated by AI from text descriptions, such as “the face of a shiba inu blended into the side of a loaf of bread on a kitchen bench, digital art”.
Or perhaps “A sea otter in the style of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer”.
You may be wondering what’s going on here. As somebody who researches creative collaborations between humans and AI, I can tell you that behind the headlines and memes a fundamental revolution is under way – with profound social, artistic, economic and technological implications.
How we got here
You could say this revolution began in June 2020, when a company called OpenAI achieved a big breakthrough in AI with the creation of GPT-3, a system that can process and generate language in much more complex ways than earlier efforts. You can have conversations with it about any topic, ask it to write a research article or a story, summarise text, write a joke, and do almost any imaginable language task.
In 2021, some of…