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  • Amal

How AI Generative Tools like Midjourney & Leonardo will impact the NFT Digital Art Space

Updated: Jul 2

NFTs and AI generative art has been the talk of the town for quite a few years. A good number of youngsters have been exploring the world of NFTs to make some bucks. For those who are novices in the space, NFTs are Non-Fungible Tokens which are digital assets that represent ownership or proof of authenticity of a unique piece of content. In this case, content can be anything such as artwork, music, videos, collectibles, or even a virtual real estate on a blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, which are commutable and can be changed on a one-to-one basis, NFTs are unique and can not be changed on an equal basis.

One of the key features of NFTs is that they enable creators to monetize digital content that was previously easily copied and shared without ownership rights. NFTs allow artists, musicians, and creators to sell their work directly to buyers, who can then prove their ownership and potentially resell or trade the NFT in the future. This has created new opportunities for artists and other content creators to reach a global market and be compensated for their work. NFTs use blockchain technology, typically built on Ethereum or other similar networks, to provide a decentralized and transparent record of ownership and transaction history. Each NFT has a distinct digital signature that verifies its uniqueness and ownership. This digital signature is what gives NFTs their value and distinguishes them from other digital assets.

NFTs have gained significant attention and popularity in recent years, with high-profile sales and auctions making headlines. However, it's important to note that the NFT market has also attracted criticism and scrutiny due to concerns about environmental impact, speculation, and potential copyright issues. As with any emerging technology, the NFT space is still evolving, and its long-term impact and viability are yet to be fully determined.

Coming back to our topic, let us discuss what the impact of the new text-to-image generation AI technology will have on the NFT marketplace. Before the advent of text-to-image generation tools such as Midjourney, Leonardo AI, and multiple other tools, creating digital art was a unique skill that a few artists possessed. One of the criticisms faced by AI artists is that, with the availability of such tools anyone can be an artist. You just need imagination in your mind and the ability to give the apt prompt for generating the art. “Prompt” is a group of words given to an AI tool for generating art. For example, let’s check what is the art generated using the prompt “A realistic humanoid robot, doing the household chores.” Please forgive the novice nature of this prompt as it is only intended as an illustrative example, and I welcome the expertise of AI artists.

AI image generated using Leonardo AI
AI image generated using Leonardo AI

One other way to look at this is, a person without a digital art-making skill can generate a much better art than that of a skilled artist, if he/she has a better imaginative or creative skill. In other words, having an excellent imagination and communicating with AI to convert it into art is a whole new skill of the 21st century that never existed before. From that perspective, it is not fair to call an AI artist unskilled.

Does this mean that AI artists have an unfair advantage over traditional artists in the NFT market? Let’s find out. In the present scenario, it is impossible to ignore AI tools completely just for the sake of the authenticity or originality of traditional art. One major criticism is that people can make an infinite number of AI art in a few minutes and it may be impossible for art lovers to distinguish between real art and AI art. Also, since the user can create an unlimited number of artworks, it will oversaturate the NFT markets. In such a scenario, what are some possible steps that can be taken by the artists? If you are already an established artist in the NFT space and have created a brand for yourself, the entry of AI art into the NFT space will not affect your work to that extent. But if you are new to the field, it may affect your chances for the buyer to distinguish your work from the rest in the oversaturated market.

The artists can themselves declare the tools used in the creation of digital art. It can be Photoshop, Corel Painter or Krita, or whatever tools they use. The artist may even use AI-generated art using tools like Midjouney and can modify them using traditional digital art techniques using their own software. It can give the art a human touch which traditional art can provide. In the long run, it will be the amalgamation of human creativity, emotions, and AI generative art, that will decide the future of digital art and design space. Only time will tell how this space will evolve and humans will have to find new ways to deal with the inevitable entry of AI into their lives, be it in the space of art or anything in their life.

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