A painting created by a neural network won the main prize at an exhibition of works by real artists

Board game company CEO Jason Allen won first place in the Colorado State Fine Art Competition for a painting he created using the Midjourney neural network.

Allen’s Spatial Opera Theater took home the award in the digital art category. The canvas depicts a mesmerizing scene as if from a space opera: singers in magnificent dresses perform against the backdrop of a huge portal illuminated by bright light.

Image: Jason Allen

The reaction of artists to Allen’s victory was not long in coming: the author received a lot of comments with accusations of “pushing the creative professions into oblivion.”

Artists do worry that machines will outperform them not only in jobs that require attention to precision and high performance, but also in the creative arena. One of the commentators asked the question: “What will a person do?”.

However, Jason Allen does not consider himself just a neural network intermediary. He said that he took an important part in the creation of the Spatial Opera Theatre, without which the picture would not have turned out so outstanding. In particular, he developed special tips for Midjourney and received hundreds of images for his requests, and then selected the top three paintings and edited them using Gigapixel AI. The author notes that it took several weeks to create the canvas, and when he submitted the painting to the competition, he honestly indicated the process of its creation in the description.

Jason Allen believes that it is not so important how the picture was born, if it is really good. What do you think?

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