The art world is undergoing profound changes, which have accelerated in recent years, notably with the use of artificial intelligence that challenges the very definition of what arts and an artist ought to be. This exhibit raised the dilemma of how artificial intelligence 'Midjourney' is revolutionising the sector of arts which until lately has always been the preserve of human beings. While Midjourney is not the first AI solution to be created in the field of artistic creation, it is revolutionary in its design and ambitions. CLIP (Contrastive Language Image Pre-Training), launched in 2021, signaled the start of a great deal of interest in this field (Big Data). While previous AI programs focused on creating realism from a database of images, Midjourney focuses on the aesthetics of art, and can therefore draw inspiration from the world's greatest artists.
Visitors were often surprised by the images MidJourney could produce: images that surprise and satisfy or disappoint according to the expectations and sensitivities of each individual. MidJourney does indeed produce works of art. But how is art to be defined henceforth? Human made or can machines make artwork? One thing that emerged as fundamental, apart from the visual aspect, was the feelings and emotions that a work of art provokes in the eyes of the beholder.
This exhibit got visitors thinking about the definition of art and the power of AI. The example of Jason Allen who won an art competition in 2022, in the "Digital Art" category with an image created by MidJourney is a good illustration of this evolution. If an image created by artificial intelligence is capable of producing emotions, since the emotion comes first and foremost from the audience before it comes from the work, then what about human talent and expertise? If the work represented cannot be dissociated from the art produced by other humans, does this mean that the creative professions are also under threat? Does it mean that human beings are losing their place in the industry, because they are too expensive for too much time?
The project showcased Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics, firstly through user feedback which enables the AI to function properly, and secondly through the notion of the Cyborg, in the sense that AI raises the question of the frontier between man and machine and whether the latter can replace man and to what extent the machine can and should assist man.
While Midjourney is one of the players in a digital revolution in the art world, there are many other technologies in the sector based on artificial intelligence that are pushing back the boundaries of what is possible. These include the "Deepfakes" which use artificial intelligence to alter the faces of people on video.
AI, its impact and scope, is still in its infancy. It is hoped that legislation will quickly be needed to regulate the law surrounding an entire industry that is on the cusp of an unprecedented revolution, a revolution that is still in its infancy. AI will change many sectors of communication and entertainment in the years to come, and faster than we may think.