Like many people I’ve been quite amazed by all the progress with AI-generated art recently. One thing that has been clear, though, is that even though the modern crop of AIs are quite capable, they still need heavy human guidance to achieve good results. This fusion of humans and AIs has an existing name: centaurs.
The main place I’ve heard this term used is in the chess world, where for a time the top competitors were these human+AI hybrids. It was a bit celebrated that for all their smarts, AIs still needed help from humans.
Unfortunately that time has passed and chess AIs have nothing to gain from human help anymore, and chess centaurs are no longer competitive.
It’s fascinating that we might regularly go through these centaur phases as AI tackles new areas. Coming back to AI art, I personally believe that we’re going to see a revolution in the art world where AI becomes an essential tool in the same way that photoshop has. People talk about AI displacing human artists, but personally I think that human artists who can embrace AI to enhance their art are going to do very well.
Will we see this centaur phase come to an end? I’m personally an AI-maximalist and believe that the answer is yes. But one thing that I think is relatively uncontroversial is that we’re going to see some really interesting centaur work very soon.