Rapt attention

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

It's alive!


Adobe Photoshop has a new Beta version with a generative fill function that uses artificial intelligence. I downloaded it this morning and made a couple attempts, with very mixed results.

It does some things very well but is pretty lacking in other ways.

I downloaded a picture I had taken of Grandview Beach in Leucadia. I selected an area with the lasso tool.

A popup came up asking me if I wanted to use a generative ai tool to fill the selected area.

I asked for a dolphin jumping out of the water and morphing into a bird. 

No dice, I got a rather boring dolphin or two, on three attempts. 

I actually like the highlights on top of this dolphin but still, it was supposed to be half bird. Nothing.

But the pictures do fit nicely into the background, I will give them that. I shifted gears and went for a dinosaur coming out of the water. I got this brontosaurus, a little better but don't like how his tail is mostly lost and foreshortened.

The chimera was evidently beyond the capabilities of the machine brain still. Pretty cartoony too. I tried to fit some zap cartoon characters and an Ignatz mouse in a photo and was told I ran afoul of some copywrite gremlins. No go.

I am pretty ambivalent about ai. I won't even use cruise control in my car. I like to be in control and especially creatively. I don't think an artificial intelligence will ever match the human brain, in any artistic endeavor, but call me a hopeless romantic. I can see how this product would occasionally prove useful.

I can also see how people without their own creative or artistic vision might rely on a machine intelligence but can't see much benefit for me. I have very clear ideas about how I want things to look.



Jon Harwood said...

Interesting, I don't have Photoshop so I can't speak from experience. Photography has been screwing peoples heads up since the 1840s. It was such an insult to artists that it was not accepted as an art form for about 120 years. Then computers, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop came along and screwed people's heads up again. "That's not art!" Yet before long it was art. Now we have the advent of artificial intelligence and everyone's head, especially mine, is screwed up. So far Ai just learns from what's on the internet and synthesizes images on request but with a giant bias toward "the lowest common denominator". So, at present it isn't as big a threat as it seems--even with the hysteria in the news. Who knows? It might just get better and become genuinely creative but perhaps not. We don't understand human creativity very well so I don't know how Ai will learn creativity from us. Check again in a few years and perhaps it will be different.

What has been true is that photography is a dance between the "creator's" head and the equipment. The artwork is influenced by the tools. At present though I see a continuum with painting and drawing as fully human and with photography as human creativity using various tools with the tools exerting more influence over the work in photography than in painting. As we transition to more and more perfect photographic tools we get more and more uniformity in the image output. The pictures are near perfect but to me at least they often seem less interesting than the more imperfect images made by the tools of the 1930s to 1960s. We also see the emergence of a very small cadre of people using the older tools because of their flaws.

So photography may be doomed to a future of uniform technical perfection but I hope that instead it inspires at least some to pursue the other methods so we get a variety of human creations to go along with the robotics.

One thing is sure though, we will have vast fast and disruptive change.

I wrote this with Chat GPT. (just kidding)

RoxAnn said...

Mick’s comment “now we won’t know if the pictures of your food are real or AI generated! A comic in every house.