Trash AI Art: Studio Ghibli-inspired LOTR pics causes outrage

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the idea of AI (thank you Elon Musk!) but are you aware of its use cases?

One such use case is the AI art form, which has recently created quite a buzz over the internet. AI art uses artificial intelligence algorithms, such as machine learning and deep learning to create original artwork, generate variations on existing artwork, or assist in the creative process.

Incredible artwork can be made just by a flimsy description of whatever you imagine and be turned into an image.

In September of 2022, an artwork made by Midjourney, an AI program that creates images from textual descriptions, won first place at the Colorado State Fair’s fine arts competition, sparking controversy about whether AI-generated art can be used to compete in competitions.

Jason M. Allen’s Théâtre D’opéra Spatial

Recently as well, a fan account of a very famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, has come under the scrutiny of the public for posting imitation artwork of Lord Of The Rings in Studio Ghibli’s art style made through AI.

https://twitter.com/TheGhibliFamily/status/1610684077987749888

For those not familiar, Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio that is known for producing anime films and television series.

The studio was founded in 1985 by filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and others, and has produced many critically acclaimed and popular films, including “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”.

Studio Ghibli’s films are known for their beautiful animation, compelling stories, and strong characters, and have a dedicated fan base around the world.

Hayao Miyazaki, the founder, has some strong ideologies about AI art itself. When shown a presentation of some artworks created by AI, his response was as follows –

“Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted,” he shares. “I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself.”

Miyazaki’s hatred stems from the very lack of emotions in the AI artworks shown which is also a major reason why AI art is trashed on the internet.

While the art can be credited to looking beautiful or astounding, at its very core it lacks emotion. It lacks the artist’s intent or vision behind the artwork, making it seem hollow or lifeless.

Now coming to the artwork posted by the fan page, it has been trashed by Twitter not only in consideration of sentiments held by Miyazaki about AI but also on the various discrepancies in the artwork itself, with Frodo seeming to possess multiple fingers to Gollum’s face resembling more of a frog than the character itself.

The images lacked emotional insinuation of any kind that was so promiscuously shown by the great author J.R.R. Tolkien himself and primarily was not even close to any of Ghibli studio’s artwork published yet.

At the end of the day, Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to assist artists in various ways, but it is unlikely that it will be able to completely replace them.

While AI algorithms can be trained to generate images or music that are like those created by humans, they are not able to replicate the creativity, emotions, and personal experiences that artists bring to their work.

It’s possible that that day will also come. But it is not here now. And for the sake of all the artists and creatives around the world, we certainly hope that that day never arrives.