What is the Role of AI in Art? Veteran Artist Michael Cho Emphasizes Skill and Instinct Over Technology

What is the Role of AI in Art? Veteran Artist Michael Cho Emphasizes Skill and Instinct Over Technology

Michael Cho is a Toronto-based illustrator, cartoonist, and occasional writer, renowned for his award-winning work. While celebrated for his contributions to DC Comics, he’s also known for his captivating cover art for Marvel comics, including Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Spider-Man. We asked Michael about artificial intelligence (AI) and how he thought it might impact the comic book art industry.

In this enlightening and frank interview, Cho says that traditionally the addition of something like AI would be a tool in the artist’s toolbox but this time around, with AI, he’s not sure yet.

He adds that it always requires the skill of the artist and their decades of training as a creator to make something that follows their instincts and AI doesn’t yield the results of the artist’s instincts. He uses tools like Photoshop but he has full control over it which gets him the results he is looking for, for example to set up vanishing points and for ideation. The current state of AI technology does not have what he would need and so he does not use it.

Ho goes on to say that people who call themselves “AI artists” because AI is their tool, are not really artists. He finds this way of thinking very concerning. He compares it to a DJ who plays other peoples’ records and then calling themselves a musician. He insists that being good at prompting AI to copy other people’s art does not make them an artist.

This exclusive interview took place on July 16, 2023 at Montreal Comiccon.
Please note that Cho kindly requested that the interview be audio rather than video so you can listen while watching photos of his work!

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