Only in these days of AI (artificial intelligence) can you create a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece while seated at an Italian restaurant between the time the wait staff clears the chicken parm and returns with the pasta and marinara.
My personal masterpiece was created on the phone of a friend who is the King of Tech. We had been talking about AI when King Tech pulled out his phone and opened the Wonder app, an AI art generator. I gave King Tech a prompt to enter, “kitchen sink,” and selected the Van Gogh painting style. A little circle spun ‘round and ‘round and then a sink tinged in blue, nestled in a bright yellow countertop against a bright blue background, all painted with thick bold strokes, filled the screen.
I was shocked that I could “create” art like Van Gogh.
No doubt Van Gogh would be shocked, too.
Watching the wheel spin, waiting for the art to appear, was similar to the excitement of spinning the giant wheel at a Shoe Carnival store anticipating your discount.
Unlike Shoe Carnival, if you don’t like your first results, you can try, try again, entering the same parameters but getting different results each time.
I preferred the second masterpiece to the first. It had more detail, including two orange circular forms on the countertop, which were clearly Krispy Kreme donuts.
That said, my initial reaction to both images was embarrassment. I felt as though I had stolen. From a dead man, no less.
Van Gogh created art from deep within, with an eye for beauty, color, wonder and from a heart often filled with anguish. I had created a knockoff with one eye on a spinach salad being passed around the table.
The power of AI can also create novels, research papers, emails, press releases, sales pitches and love notes, all with varying degrees of sophistication. It can mine data online and harvest the work of others without their knowledge.
AI has elevated the art of cheating. Software that detects plagiarism is scrambling to keep up. Some professors are going old school, requiring exams be written in longhand in blue books.
ChatGPT, an AI language bot, recently passed business, law and medical exams.
A few years from now you may be wondering exactly how a doctor, lawyer, or accountant got that certificate hanging on the wall.
On the bright side, AI can help power surgical robots, enhance cancer screening, perfect navigation systems, organize workflow and perform data analysis at incredible speeds.
It was fascinating tapping into a vein of AI, creating a kitchen sink with a nod to Van Gogh.
But I still feel like a thief.