Monday, February 5, 2024

Art Unites Community Conversation: AI Art and the Future of AI

 by Blanca Lucia Bergman

On January 12, 2024, I hosted AI Art Refana, an online exhibition featuring outstanding representatives from San Diego’s AI Art community. To supplement the exhibition and promote critical thinking, the art of conversation, and leadership development, I hosted Art Unites Community Conversation: AI Art and the Future of AI.

“This was one of the few “sketches” I did with the Unstable Diffusion platform, which, for the most part, largely produces over-sexualized images of women. I had to manipulate the prompt with modifiers such as “man,” “male,” “masculine,” and eventually had a sketch which resembled men struggling on all fours. It ultimately became the painting, Side Effects by Adrian Huth / #ArtUnitesFeatured

Part 1 of the conversation took place via Zoom on January 19. We had a diverse group of friends: artists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, youth, and one interior designer. To my surprise, the youth in our group expressed higher resistance to using AI tools for art and other purposes than the adults. Their insightful comments included, “My school discourages the use of AI for homework assignments” and “AI generated art is inauthentic.” The popular perspective was that AI is a useful “tool” for starting the art creation process, simplifying tasks (such as sketching), drawing inspiration, and testing visual ideas.


Children of The White Sun by Paul B. Drohan, Partner and Executive Director of Creative at Folklore Digital ( Created with AI tool, Midjourney. This image presents the hope children have of a path to paradise. / #ArtUnitesFeatured

Part 2 of the conversation took place at Lestat’s On Park cafe one week later. This is where things got exceptionally interesting! Before we began, I stated the conversation purpose, goals, and guidelines, including the goal “listen to understand” (a valuable leadership skill). We debated the timeless question, “What is art?” as well as: AI generation transparency, AI’s impact on creative careers, conceptual art, art disciplines, fact versus opinion, art valuation (from personal and cultural perspectives), and the meaning of learning, randomness, and free will. Not your usual Friday night topics! All comments shared were intriguing and thought-provoking. Two were prominent in my mind: 1) it is crucial to notify art patrons about an artist’s use of AI as it may influence their purchase decision and 2) AI will inevitably reduce the number of creative positions available (e.g., entry-level graphic design positions). I found myself raising my timeout robot twice during our conversation. The cute, seven inch metal robot proved to be an excellent laughter-inducing device.

I supported the beautiful and complicated web of topics we spontaneously created, because I recognize the power of uninterrupted speech and attentive listening. We eventually returned to the agenda and one friend voiced the opinion that AI can be an artist, based on his inclusive definition of art. Collectively, we made two adjacent lists of AI dual-use applications. Under the “Beneficial Purposes” list, we came up with seven points, including: anyone can create with AI, AI generated art can be inspirational, and some services are starting to pay original artists. The “Harmful Purposes” list was shorter and it contained broader concerns about AI, such as: convincing fake news, AI scams, and Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS).

What did we learn from our conversation? We learned that “it’s the wild wild west with AI right now,” listening to understand is a challenging yet powerful skill, and conversations like ours can inspire new endeavors, such as the pursuit of facilitation mastery and the public display of works that are, in a friend’s words, “intended to not be art” (in part, to stimulate dialogue about the meaning of art). I look forward to this non art exhibition!

I would like to thank Michele Marlo, Lauren Patch, Kazmier Maślanka, and Jess Bergman, for being the stars of this Art Unites Community Conversation and encouraging its extension by one hour!

Pictured (bottom row): Michele Marlo, Kazmier Maślanka, Lauren Patch.
Pictured (top right): 
Jess Bergman, Blanca Lucia Bergman.
Pictured (largest image): 
Wrap Your Head Around It from the series Idioms. A Celebration of Language and Artificial Intelligence by artist Johno Wells. Created with AI tool, Midjourney. / #ArtUnitesFeatured

Blanca Lucia Bergman, MBA, is a business consultant, public speaker, and entrepreneur with a diverse background in the arts, cognitive science, technology, and biotechnology. Her brands include Art Unites, Mental Wellness for Artists, and Cycad Gallery. For further details about Art Unites Community Conversation: AI Art and the Future of AI, please email Blanca at

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