The rise of AI models presents a challenge for the art world, as humans will increasingly value works that are made for their own sake, rather than to please us. As AI creations will only be able to offer back what has appealed to us in the past, we will look upon them with increasing suspicion and scrutinize their provenance. This will lead to a further elevation of “authenticity” from consumers, allowing painters, illustrators, and writers to capitalize on this trend. The gap between human artists and robots will widen, as our newfound preferences for works that can be attributed to an identifiable individual vision will lead to a doubling down on biography, something robots are notably short on.
These trends have been prepping for the AI revolution for decades, demonstrating humans’ quirky tastes and symbolic values that robots will not exhibit anytime soon, such as individual passion, purpose, and lived experience. Artists may still take up AI as a new tool, but AI creations will only be rescued by tethering themselves to an individual human vision. This is why AI is unlikely ever to produce “better” art than humans; instead, it will transform our sense of sweet and sour, allowing us to recognize the value of works made for their own sake.