While AI Artists Thrive, Detractors Worry — But Both Miss What’s Coming

An original counterargument to “AI art isn’t art” and “there’s no skill needed to create art with AI” — and why this will be the demise of democratic art.

Alberto Romero
9 min readSep 6, 2022
Théâtre D’opéra Spatial. Credit: Jason Allen via Midjourney

Last week, game designer Jason Allen used the AI model Midjourney to create “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” the artwork you see in the cover image. It’s a nice piece that, although exudes a clear AI scent, has found a delicate mix between traditional baroque opera style, reflected in people’s clothing, and Dune-like sci-fi architectural features. Just another day in the AI art space. Except it isn’t. Allen’s Théâtre D’opéra Spatial has won 1st place at a fine arts competition at a Colorado State Fair in the category of digital art for emerging artists — not necessarily a big feat by itself, but maybe a hint of what’s to come.

Several major news outlets have covered the news which has had two effects. First, it may suggest the event has more significance than it actually has (Allen was competing only against 17 other entries), and, second, the coverage has directed unwanted attention to Allen and the field of AI art. This isn’t the first time people — traditional creative workers mainly, but also spectators outside of art and AI — criticize this new…