Exploring the Impact of AI in Art: A Personal Reflection

Amidst the bustling streets of Auckland’s Queen Street, a remarkable new venture called HyperCinema has emerged, touting itself as “the world’s first live AI experience” and a “revolutionary leap in entertainment”. Created by Dr. Miles Gregory, formerly of the Pop-Up Globe, and Tarver Graham, founder of creative agency Gladeye, HyperCinema promises to blend theatre, film, and digital technology into an interactive art experience.

While I approached HyperCinema with a healthy dose of skepticism, my curiosity led me to venture into this realm of AI-driven entertainment. The experience began with participants receiving a cube, supposedly storing data throughout the process, followed by facial photography from multiple angles. With a disassociated mindset, I proceeded to answer a thought-provoking questionnaire, where I attempted to challenge the AI’s ability to understand my preferences.

After a brief wait, my personalized AI film, titled ‘Enter the Multiverse’, was ready for viewing. Yet, what struck me most was the disarming sensation of seeing my own face superimposed onto various AI-generated characters. Though the technical achievement was commendable, the lack of authenticity and specificity in the AI art left me yearning for more. AI-generated actors lacked the nuanced expressions and genuine human connection that I craved as an audience member.

The second part of the experience transported me to a gallery adorned with AI “paintings,” where my cube played a role in morphing the portraits to resemble my own face. Though an amusing novelty, it merely resembled the familiar concept of putting one’s face through a hole at a fairground. The AI’s limitations were highlighted by its inability to accurately depict hands, resulting in comically exaggerated features.

As a thought-provoking experiment on the intersection of AI and art, HyperCinema served its purpose well. However, as an artist in a struggling arts sector, I cannot help but find the use of AI in art to be spiritually bankrupt. The work produced by the arts sector often goes undervalued, both financially and culturally. Embracing AI in this context not only perpetuates this undervaluation but also raises questions about the future role of human creativity.

Q: What is HyperCinema?
A: HyperCinema is an AI-driven interactive art experience created by Dr. Miles Gregory and Tarver Graham, blending theatre, film, and digital technology.

Q: What does HyperCinema entail?
A: Participants are photographed, answer a questionnaire, and experience personalized AI films and AI “paintings” that incorporate their own faces.

Q: How did the author feel about HyperCinema?
A: While the technical aspects of HyperCinema were impressive, the author found the AI art lacking in authenticity and genuine human connection. As an artist, they viewed the use of AI in art as spiritually bankrupt.

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