It used to be the case that if you couldn’t create art then you didn’t do art, but now if you can type you can make award winning art thanks to AI.


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So far we’ve seen Artificial Intelligence (AI) artists sell “their” works for hundreds of thousands of dollars and we’ve even seen some AI’s like Botto become millionaires. But now, in the latest twist, a piece of digital art created by an AI just won first place at the prestigious Colorado State Fair.


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“Created” by human artist Jason Allen, who used Midjourney’s AI Text-to-Image generation tool and AI Gigapixel to create the winning piece by writing just text descriptions of what he wanted the AI to generate, the winning piece of art was called Théâtre D’Opéra Spatial. And it is spectacular as you can see for yourself.


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Allen, the founder of a small board game company, created the piece as a statement about people coming to accept the place of AI in art over time. The final version came after hundreds of attempts to articulate and refine an ideal prompt for the Midjourney tool that would convey Allen’s idea.

He has since said on the Midjourney Discord that he will release the unknown “special prompt” later on. The fact that he used an AI wasn’t hidden, as Allen submitted the piece under his name but added an unexplained “via Midjourney” to the credit. The judges have said they didn’t know what that meant and that it wasn’t accounted for in the submission rules, but that it wouldn’t have affected their decision.


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“I have been exploring a special prompt that I will be publishing at a later date. I have created 100s of images using it, and after many weeks of fine tuning and curating my gems, I chose my top 3 and had them printed on canvas after upscaling with Gigapixel AI,” Allen, wrote on Discord. “I’ve set out to make a statement using Midjourney in a competitive manner and WOW! I could not be more excited about having won with my favorite piece: Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.”


Breathe it in!


As expected, because of the controversy swirling around AI’s that are now increasingly seen to be replacing human artists, musicians, photographers, voice over artists, writers, and others, the news prompted some harsh criticism online.

“Everyone familiar with these tools seems to recognize that devising the prompts for [these] AI image generators is a creative process in its own right,” said Voicebot founder Bret Kinsella, “You have to have a vision for what you want to see and craft precise statements to get the system to generate what you would like [to see].”


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“Then again,” he added, “you might not even need to do that anymore – PromptBase is a new marketplace for prompts that will help you generate just the type of images you want to see. So, for a couple of dollars now you can buy a prompt and have a really good idea what [art] will come out which might make the question of who the originator of the idea behind the artwork is even cloudier than it already is.”

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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