The rapid progress made by artificial intelligence has led to the mass-scale sharing of computer-generated images, texts, music and videos on the internet. While some people find this trend concerning, younger generations seem to be embracing it with greater enthusiasm.
Just enter a few keywords and let the algorithms take care of the rest – that’s the way AI programs, such as ChatGPT, Bard, Midjourney, DALL-E and Stable Diffusion, generate an infinite amount of content at the request of internet users.
But these strikingly realistic creations are often shared online without context, or are even presented as authentic creations. This makes them hard to spot, and raises many questions about the creative potential of machines.
A new US report examines this phenomenon, compiling data from several surveys of thousands of Americans. A large proportion of respondents from Generations Z (45%) and Y (or millennials, at 53%) consider AI-generated creative content to be art in its own right.
This opinion is shared much less widely by their elders: only 17% of baby boomers (those born between 1940 and 1959) consider artificially produced images, videos and other cultural outputs to be works of art, suggesting a generation gap when it comes to the acceptance of AI in the creative realm.
While this technology is controversial in cultural circles, especially among artists whose work is fed into generative AI software, it is more enthusiastically welcomed by young people.
Two-thirds of those surveyed from Gen Z and Y said they already used generative AI for humorous or artistic purposes, compared with 34% of Gen Xers (those born from 1960-1980) and 10% of baby boomers.
In their view, this recreational use is destined to expand in artistic circles, until it becomes the norm. Indeed, 41% of young Americans believe that most movies, artworks, songs and books will be generated by AI within the next 20 years.
Even more surprisingly, 39% of them even claim that this artificially produced content will be of better quality than that produced by human creativity… all of which might serve to revive fears that algorithms could one day replace human artists.