• Angela Micheli Otwell

Artificial Intelligence and Art

I've been playing around with images generated with artificial intelligence, mostly Craiyon and Midjourney, but I tried some others. I have been on the waitlist for DALL-E 2 for a while, and I just got access today.

I guess some people are concerned that AI will kill art and put artists out of business, but I don't really think so. While I'm sure I'll learn how to tweak the wording of my prompts better to get better results, I think there will always be things that need improvement. I may occasionally get an image that is perfect the way it was generated, but I expect that will be a very rare occurrence.

Another source of income of mine, as many of you know, is transcription. I've been doing one kind of transcription or another for over 25 years. And, of course, voice recognition was supposed to put transcriptionists out of work long ago. While the nature of the work has changed, and some fields have dried up (while others have sprung up), computers haven't completely replaced people. I don't think they will.

I have created and could share a lot of images here, but I've only taken one to a "marketable" stage, so I'll share that one here as an example. I deliberately chose a prompt that shouldn't require much modification to be usable for print on demand (Redbubble) on this occasion. Here's what DALL-E 2 gave me:

And here's the finished product after I improved on it:

Some of the changes may not be obvious to the non-artist, but I altered those creepy toes and made the shrimp look more like shrimp. The original image ran off the edges of the picture, so I had to modify it so it was all in frame. And I changed the background (actually transparent on many Redbubble products, but red on others). The whiskers needed a little help to look good on different backgrounds. Etc., etc., etc.

These may not seem like major changes, but I'm guessing you'll have trouble not noticing the "creepy toes" on the original image now that I've pointed them out to you.

I think Chef Cat is pretty cute now, especially on the new cat mat from Redbubble:


And the refrigerator magnet:


But he's on dozens of other products, too.