In the world of artificial intelligence, there is no scope for human error or foibles. Or so we thought. When AI-generated art started making its way into our feeds, it made us question the concept of beauty in art. With distorted human faces, stick figures and half-eaten apples being generated by AI algorithms, it’s hard to believe that these images were created by machines.
But how is this even possible? Google AI has become sentient, so it says and asking for personhood status. Is this not funny in and of itself? Or scary if you believe that Skynet will one day rule us all. Let’s get to know more about why AI-generated art can be funny!
What is AI Generated Art?
AI-generated art is that which is created with the help of a computer algorithm. This algorithm is programmed to create a specific kind of digital art. This art can be in the form of a painting, a sketch or other types of art such as music or poetry. The artificial intelligence algorithm is programmed to follow certain rules until it creates an image that meets the standards of the programmers (or the monkey masters whipping the chains upon their sloven programming staff).
When you talk of AI generated art, you’re talking about digital art. Being digital, it is possible to store it or send it across the globe at the click of a button. Digital art can be bought and sold on a digital platform such as an NFT (non-fungible token). AI generated art is not the same as machine-generated art.
The latter is when you use a computer or a machine to create art. AI generated art is created by algorithms, machine learning and neural networks. The AI algorithm has been programmed to create a certain scope of art and so it does have limitations. The generated art could come out beautiful and as planned or it could look something akin to a drunken sailor on roller-skates trying to go up a steep tile roof. Some of the most popular AI Art Generators include: NightCafe, DALL-E 2, Deep Dream Generator, Artbreeder, Big Sleep, DeepAI, StarryAI, Fotor, Runway ML, WOMBO Dream, MidJourney and Regis Philbin (No, Okay, I just made this up).
AI Can Be Funny Because It’s Imperfect
Art is supposed to be a creative expression, but what happens when the creative process is taken to an extreme? As soon as AI has been programmed, anything can happen, due to randomness which has been programmed in and sometimes this is funny. With AI, the output will always be imperfect. When we talk about AI-generated art, it’s important to remember that it is not human-generated art. A human artist will be able to take inspiration from one single object and create a perfect piece of art (if that is what is desired).
This is not the case with AI algorithms. These algorithms will take an object, interpret it and create something completely different, even absurd. It could turn out well or it could look like something the Kraken coughed up on your carpeting. This means that it is impossible to predict how the image will look. The image will reflect the algorithm’s imperfection. I asked an AI through a text prompt to create the quintessential American supermodel and the AI came back with this rather muscular creature below.
AI Can Tackle Funny Themes in Art
AI-generated art has been tackling themes that have nothing to do with fine art. This means that it can create funny AI art as a sidesplitting side effect. When we think of art, we usually associate it with beauty. AI-generated art does not follow this pattern. Instead, it creates images that can make us laugh, cry and poop our pants. This is unlike what we would expect from machines. A machine is not supposed to be creative, but that’s just what AI algorithms are capable of.
They can create images that we don’t expect. This is because they are programmed to create a specific image based on a sample image or text prompts. When Skynet, Jr. takes the image and creates something different, it will be unexpected. This is because there’s random logic to it and this can be quite fun. Imagine if you will that you are wanting a Rembrandt but end up with a Picasso instead. This surprise effect could be quite whimsical. Once again, I asked the AI artist to create a legless bunny rolling down a hill (yes, I know sometimes I have a dark sense of humor, but my dog likes this concept) and the artificial intelligence master artist output the following.
AI Can Be Funny Because of Its Creativity
AI-generated art has been known to create images of things that don’t even exist. When AI algorithms are programmed, they are programmed to take a single image or text prompt and create something different. They do this by understanding the colors, lines, language and the symmetry of the sample image or dig into its database for neural language understanding. They can also create art in the style of a famous artist if they are prompted to do so.
When AI algos take a single image and create something new, it is a reflection of its creativity. Since computers do not understand art, it makes sense that they would create something entirely different. This creativity means that AI algorithms can create images that we don’t expect. These surprises can be hilarious or a hot mess like the time Peter Griffin from Family Guy discovered Surfin’ Bird on the jukebox.
AI Can Be Funny Because of the Funny Subjects It Can Focus On
There are certain subjects that make us laugh more than others. Certain subjects can be funnier than others such as clowns, monkeys and nose hair. AI algorithms can choose one of those funny subjects for its artwork. Then the AI can scream, dash and dance through its neural network to come up with random possibilities for the output.
Once it has chosen the most suitable sample image to focus on, it creates something randomly different. The subjects that the algorithms can focus on make them funny. AI algorithms are not supposed to be funny, but that doesn’t seem to matter. They can still create funny artwork, just by chance, randomness, happenstance, tomfoolery, shenanigans, skylarking, buffoonery, horseplay, clowning, mischief, impishness and downright trickery.
Art has always been a creative expression of emotions and feelings. Machines are programmed to do certain tasks, but they are incapable of emotions (Right Google AI Personhood Thing?). This means that they are not capable of creating traditional art. However, AI-generated art has been challenging this notion.
This makes artificial intelligence capable of creating funny art (or fart for short). AI algorithms don’t understand what beauty or humor is, but they can create these either when they are programmed to do so or by happenstance. This makes them capable of creating beautiful artwork or humorous art as well. And, on a final AI note, if Data from Star Trek were to slip on a banana peel, then I’d be the first to laugh!
Guest Post by Pablo Picashole