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AI makes us rethink art

Excerpt via Angelist

Picture by Jon Tyson

The Internet is going wild for OpenAI’s new text-to-art generator. From dinosaurs playing frisbee to horse-riding astronauts in space—you type it, and DALL-E 2 will make it.

Whether all this tech will help or hurt artists is an open question.

“Not gonna lie, didn’t expect ‘illustrators’ to be one of the first human jobs that artificial intelligence completely displaces, but here we are,” one user tweeted.

There’s little doubt AI can be a terrific tool for people in creative industries. Here are some early-stage companies advancing the age of synthetic media.

NFTs is one area benefiting from all this innovation. On sites like Hotpot.ai, people can generate NFTs using text-to-image AI software. Singapore-based Alethea AI recently raised $16M from Mark Cuban, Alameda Ventures, and Dapper Labs to develop “intelligent NFTs that can talk” using OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model.

Toronto-based Wombo (they’re hiring) is grabbing eyeballs in the app space with its recently launched app Dream, which also uses AI to create artwork from text prompts. The company raised a $6M seed round in June led by Global Founders Capital and Sofreh Capital.

Video editing startups have also been early leaders in AI software integration. For example, AI-powered image enhancement led Fast Company to dub  Dallas-based Topaz Labs (they’re hiring) “the ‘ENHANCE’ meme in real life”. The company can convert iPhone images into sharp 80-inch prints, and its software is used by Lucasfilm, NASA, and Netflix.

New York City-based Runway is bringing machine learning to video creation with its tools allowing users to remove any object from any video in a few brush strokes. Similarly, ImagenAI, based in Tel Aviv, is fast-tracking Lightroom photo editing with an AI that learns to replicate a user’s unique editing style.

San Francisco-based Instapainting.com is giving a reason for artists to remain hopeful. The Y Combinator alumnus is leveraging AI to preview its painting service and land artists more jobs — with a current emphasis on supporting Ukrainian artists.

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