Take a look at the picture above. What comes to mind? If your guess was “an oil painting of a happy raccoon taking a selfie while surfing a massive wave into the sunset,” you would be correct! This one of a kind picture was generated by DALL-E 2, a machine learning (ML) model developed by OpenAI. All it required was a detailed description and then the AI searched the web to find relevant content in order to translate my text into a digital image.

Among DALL-E 2 are several other AI art generators, like NightCafe, Deep Dream Generator, and Jasper, which, at just 18-months old, raised a $125 million Series A at a $1.5 billion valuation. Over the past few years the potential applications for AI art have proven to be very promising. Not only can it positively impact artists, but also a diverse range of professionals across a myriad of industries. 

AI art will prove to be extremely useful for professions demanding creativity and artistic abilities, including graphic, interior, apparel, and product designers, to name a few. These tools will help minimize and even eliminate some of the tedious tasks involved in producing creative content, which will prove crucial in maintaining productivity and reducing burnout. They will also simplify the ideation phase and speed up the process of creating new designs, resulting in higher-quality work in a shorter amount of time.

The success of these tools and algorithms raise the question: will AI art tools lead to  creative professionals becoming obsolete? The answer is no, or at least not for a very long time. In a 2019 study conducted at the Oxford Internet Institute, it was found that a majority of professionals agreed that the relationship between artists and their media remains unchanged with the presence of AI in creative work. In other words, creative work– for the foreseeable future– will continue to require a human artist. AI art generators operate and evolve because of ML, but are not autonomous, and still require a human to make the ultimate decisions.

The advancement of AI in creative industries is quite fascinating and society is only just beginning to experience its potential. As AI and ML continue to gain popularity among venture capitalists ($123 billion in capital raised in 2021), it will be interesting to see how new startups operating in the AR and VR space begin integrating AI generative art tools into their product. If today anyone can tell a computer to generate a precise image of an idea in their head, maybe one day we’ll be able to tell a computer to generate an entire virtual reality world simply by entering a few words into a textbox.