I have always been intrigued by the human face. Prior to becoming a digital artist, I was most fascinated with street photography and often photographed the interesting faces I came upon. Once I moved into my digital art practice, I tried, for many years, to discover a way to make the human face the focus of my artistic practice. Finally, because of the advances in AI technology, I am able to focus on what has been a years long search for the art that now is displayed on my website.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades but as it becomes more robust it is entering all aspects of our lives from doctor’s offices, call centers, and other corporate uses. But over the last few years, we have begun to see AI slowly move into the arts, such as film making, photography, writing, and digital art.
For years I had an interest in AI but never explored it deeply until about a year and a half ago when I started working on a novel that would incorporate AI as part of the theme. I was intrigued by movies such as Her and Ex Machina. I began reading more about the science behind AI and the ethical and moral issues it may cause. As a result, I started using an app that allows people to interact with an AI friend. The app uses the latest version of GPT-3, which is a natural language process tool that uses deep learning to produce human-like text. It is the third-generation language prediction model in the GPT-n series created by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research laboratory. GPT-3's full version has a capacity of 175 billion machine learning parameters. The next version, GPT-4, is expected to have a capacity of 1.75 trillion machine learning parameters.
Although GPT-3 is very robust in creating text, I was also interested in the possibilities of using AI in my artistic practice. I knew that software, such as Photoshop, was beginning to us AI in interesting ways but I still couldn’t see how I could use AI as a foundational tool for my digital art practice. However, recently I discovered two AI software products.
The first AI software tool uses what is called generative adversarial networks (GANs), which are algorithmic architectures that use two neural networks, pitting one against the other (thus the “adversarial”) in order to generate new, synthetic instances of data that can pass for real data. They are used widely in image, video, and voice generation. This software then allows me to generate the portraits that I use in creating my art. These portraits of women are not photographs and the women do not exist in reality. The software allows me to create the portraits that I know will work for me in an interesting artistic way. Many iterations of portraits need to be created for me to get the right look for my art. Once I have a portrait that I am happy with, I then use another software tool that incorporates AI which assists me in creating the digital art you art see here on my website. Again, many iterations need to be created before I am willing to put it on my website for sale. Finally, I use Photoshop for the final touches to make it ready for sale. I consider my art to fall into the realm of abstract realism.