Understanding Artifical Intelligence in Art


Shajan C Kumar

Jayan Narayanan

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) going to do to the artists? Will it help them create wonderful artwork that otherwise they would never be able to do? Will it help them speed up their work? Well, it all will depend on the way the artists decide to take it forward. Let us listen to Creative Director, Design Strategist, User Experience (UX) and Branding & Communication Design Specialist Jayan Narayanan. Jayan has wide experience in multinational media, international advertising agencies, and global business environments. Over the years as a Creative Director, he conceptualised and executed projects for largest technology, telco and media corporations across the world. He has been working with marketing automation, analytics and AI-driven mar-tech workflows and executing hyper-personalised campaigns for few biggest international tech corporations of late.

Jayan has helped companies set up creative operations, managing multi-located design productions spread across India and Singapore. As part of leading creative operations, he has been directly working with national and international clients.

1. What will be the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in art?

Artists have made use of new technologies throughout history - from stone carving to digital art. And technology always serves as a tool to not just art but the whole humankind. Hence, I believe AI can make a difference in the process of creation in art. However, we must understand today all of the AI-assisted art is still directed, selected and manipulated by a human. When true autonomous AI comes around (if it comes), we never know - it may not be interested in creating art at all! Imagine if AI wanted to create an art (painting) it may be different from what we consider “good art”. Because good art needs to be inspired by humans living in a social context. Which AI may not be able to cover appropriately. So, my answer is, AI will be used as a tool in the creation of art and an artist with a knowledge of such tools will be the primary beneficiary.

2. Will Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) flourish in India?

AI-supported digital art

I believe that we Indians have a strong appetite towards the adoption of new technology and therefore the young generation will adore the NFT to an extent. But if the question is how it is going to change the art market in India - I am not very sure at this stage.

3. Are our artists willing to learn technology to enhance their creativity?

As in the past, with any other technology involved in art, a portion of artists would adopt it completely, some would partially participate, and some would completely ignore it. When I was doing my fine arts studies around 1994-95 is when I first heard about computer arts. I learned it quickly and started using these tools to create art. Some of my batchmates joined me and some went against it. I was one of the early adopters and I benefited from it a lot in my professional career. Later I used to wonder why I adopted it? Because when I started loving it, it was never because of knowing its future potential. It was purely because of my interest in learning new things. Nothing else.

4. Do you think 'perfection is lost' by using more technology?

When we adopt a new tech/tool environment, there will be a certain time period where we would do experiments and learn new things. At that time period our focus would be around learning nuances in the tech/tool not creating “original” art. Once we master the tool our focus naturally shifts to using the tool to create art. And that's when the “original” art would be created. So, a true artist who adopted AI or any other technology tools will be using it as any other art tools to create his/her art - hence I don’t think technology will do any harm to the originality or art in long terms.

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