34 Crazy Photos From Burning Man That Don’t Exist – AKA How Artists Can Embrace AI – Stuck in Customs

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Nov 2022 : Tuesday

I have an interesting theory on AI – I believe a very interesting future for all artists is to “team up” with AIs to form an UberArtist.

Chess Grandmasters who routinely get destroyed by AIs sometimes team up with an AI in competitions against other teams. Anyway, with photography and pretty much all other forms of art (and soon video), it’s clear to me that AI will be able to make some extremely interesting creations, often surpassing what the most creative humans can produce. And it’s only going to get better. So, rather than “fight” the system, it only makes sense to join forces as artists curate and coax their AI into creating things they think are interesting.

I’ve been deep into the AI world for about the last year trying all sorts of things. Before I became a full-time artist, I was all IT with my nerdy degree in Computer Science and Math, so I’m deep into all the facets of AI. It gets pretty esoteric, but I’m leaning more toward the art side, naturally.

I decided to take 34 of my favorite Burning Man photos of art, vehicles, and structures and create something that doesn’t actually exist. You can see the source of all my photos there in my portfolio from the last 11 years in a row at the burn. I hope you also have fun finding some of the originals in my Burning Man portfolio.

Naturally, these took a very long time to capture and create. It’s challenging to get the composition I want along with the light, background, and all the other factors that make for an interesting photo. And I love how the AI “respected” (if I can use that word) my original color treatment and composition to create something entirely new that pays homage to the original.

After you do a little mind-flip on the benefits of AI, it’s like having a very creative assistant around you all the time, making wild suggestions that you may never think of. It’s like having a coach in a way… or the way Tiger Woods has a caddy to make suggestions… Many great people out there have coaches and listen to ideas and thoughts that may never have occurred to them.

In many cases, to be honest, the AI made things that are even more interesting! There are still little problems if you zoom in close, but these niggling things will only get better over time. It’s quite bad still at creating new tiny humans in the image, but when zoomed out, the surrealistic effect still works. I think it especially works on my style which is already pretty surrealistic to begin with.


































Wild, eh?!
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