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  • Writer's pictureJay Abel


Updated: Mar 30

One breathless argument for the inevitable world domination of AI in creative art goes like this - People who possess no analog skill, or feel like expending any effort to acquire any, will at last have the means to realize their vast, untapped potential as artists, writers and musicians with the manifold wonders of an AI app. 

I will leave alone the fact that these stifled geniuses seldom imagine anything but exhausted, adolescent pop-bromides, such as may be expected from people who have never looked at a picture critically, never read anything but cable listings, or don’t know the difference difference between musical notation and tire rotation.  

I will address only one issue here, the quant, antique notion of painfully acquiring an honest  skill after years of effort, like artists and writers and musicians (who were worth anything) had to do in the dark ages, before AI, when aspiring to be an artist took more than just some casual, half-assed notion to be one. The AI pimps are now putting it around that the grim days of intellectual or manual exertion, once demanded of any skill, are done for. Occupational drudgery, a relic from the the 19th century, is no longer required of people who are delighted to lay in bed, binge-watching Gilligan's island.  

Outcomes, glorious as they are effortless, await. 

The reality is that work, discipline, setback and sacrifice are the only things that build satisfactory content in art, or in life, brick by brick, year by year. The the rest is popcorn. All that disagreeable labor is also the thing whereby a strong, personal, autograph chop is at last found in art, if it is ever found. The slick, lazy, vapid, absence of character that defines any AI production is identifiable as a cheap toupee, worn on the face.  

Contemporary drawing is predictably lousy. The no doubt hip young animators of  “Star Trek - Lower Decks”, for example, have at their disposal every imaginable AI application to make themselves look good, plus bottomless network funding….. and the graphics are still crap. It looks to me like none of those overpaid bozos can draw for sour apples, provided your idea of drawing ever got past the Flintstones. Compare that feckless drivel to a 1949, Fliescher Brothers “Superman“ animation, drawn 100% analog, with little better than stone tools, by cigar-chewing hacks who knew their shit.  

Them old geezers come away looking like Michelangelo. 

AI invalidates effort, discipline, growth, invention, criticism and the invaluable lessons imparted by a certain degree of failure. The AI “artist” is a feckless aesthetic freeloader who rips-off (superficially) the skill that real artists not only slaved to master but are no longer even paid to do. The AI freeloader will never progress or mature. He will remain a shiftless intellectual brat, with no reason to be anything else, but he won’t care.  

He probably won’t get paid either.

At last, AI will invalidate art itself, along with any meaningful education. AI will do everything for a generation of non-capable, video game addicted idiots. 

I’m not making up grim, idle predictions here. It’s already happening in real time.    

Acquiring a worthwhile skill not only demands effort, but homework. Shiftless sciolism is the new American virtue and sometimes considered honest, uninhibited or even liberating by people who don’t know any better. It is, in fact, just simple-minded and boring. (In politics it’s downright dangerous). People who do good art must critically understand how art is built. People who write good books must also read them. People who fancy themselves good musicians must learn to score music. If you don’t do any of those things you might get rich and famous. It isn’t likely, but you might. 

What you’ll never get is any respect from a real artist.  


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Feb 19

The greatest horror in what you're written here is, for me, your introduction to the commercial product called Star Trek-Lower Decks, which I was compelled to Google. "Let's add some of that kiddie snark that was so popular 30 years ago to our corporate IP. Eye-rolling cartoon characters really resonate with children under 50. We can't lose!" It's incredibly depressing. Which is to say that, predictably enough, AI best serves to replace the tired, soulless, homogenized humans who crank out commercial media products for a living. Some may gasp in horror at the thought that a robot can write a sitcom, but I'm not sure why anyone who has ever watched TV finds that idea surprising. As for art with more…

Jay Abel
Jay Abel
Feb 19
Replying to

The beach ain't so bad in California, just the other day I was dumper diving behind Albertson's with Boxcar Butch and Jake the Snake 'n we pulled out one 'o them big-ass bottles 'o Gallo port, what was near to full. Then we found us a couple 'o Subway sandwiches, what only had a bite or two took out of 'em, under some dirty diapers.

Then Jake ripped off a car cover to make us a nice big tent under the O.B. bridge.....

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