Article by David AnguloPosted

Towards the end of last year, I was fortunate enough to start playing around with the AI image generator Midjourney. I had my friends and digital artists @Boldtron and as mentors, sharing their insights from collaborating with a San Francisco startup and testing advancements in various AI and other digital tools.

My perspective changed as I delved deeper. At first, I used AI to give life to a predefined idea in my head. This proved frustrating. It took a lot of engineering in the prompts, and never quite led to my mental picture. But then I realized the real power of AI: experimentation. By mixing references, I saw amazing results. And by taking care of the final products - and taking them to new heights - I was able to focus my efforts on the concepts.

So how do I feel about AI now? I don’t see it replacing the human mind. Instead, I think it fosters a powerful synergy.

 It's a collaborative process where humans and machines bounce off each other. What’s more, it democratizes the creative process by adapting to each user's parameters, leading to unique creations that reflect an individual vision.

But the real challenge is finding originality among all the options available, and avoiding designs that resemble existing ones.

This challenge, however, isn’t so much about the tool itself, but the existing aesthetics and trends people follow. As we’ve been seeing, Midjourney already has an instantly-recognizable retro-futuristic theme.

Aside from the creative aspects of AI, I feel there are gaps and a lack of rules regarding both my work and also the industry. People and companies can use it without a clear roadmap of right and wrong usage.

As part of a creative company, we feel the need to set certain rules about the right ways to use AI. 

For example, using AI-generated images of people can be misleading and affect photographers. So we only use them for sketches and prototypes, never as a final product. AI laws and regulations might not be there yet, but we can still do our best to be mindful and ethical by our own standards.

I think it’s inevitable that on one hand I feel like my creativity has expanded, and on the other hand I’m full of questions and concerns. Is someone thinking about the future and how it impacts our jobs and daily work processes? Is this powerful tool destined to help society or fuel the wheels of production and consumption without considering the consequences? Is AI destined to do our jobs while we focus on higher pursuits, like the art of creation or caring for the planet? 

It’s such a powerful tool in the hands of an increasingly divided society that’s still learning about its dangers. So I can understand the warnings from some. 

But in the meantime, we’ll try to be conscious of the little steps AI lets us take, and the direction they lead us. It all reminds me of the myth of the Tower of Babel, where the lack of understanding among a world living in different realities ultimately led to its own demise. Except in our version, we might not know what reality even is.

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Article by David Angulo

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