A recent study has revealed that when individuals are told that a piece of art is made by artificial intelligence (AI), it is preferred less and perceived as less creative and awe-inspiring. The study, published in Computers in Human Behavior, explored how people respond to AI-made art and how it relates to beliefs about human nature.
Artificial intelligence describes computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, including artistic creativity. Researchers wanted to examine how people react to AI-made art and how their perception and experience of it is affected when they are told that it was made by AI. They conducted four experiments where participants were shown two pieces of art and asked to indicate which one they experienced more awe towards.
Results showed that participants consistently reported less awe and perceived less creativity for the piece of art that was labeled as AI-made. The bias against AI was more pronounced in individuals who held stronger beliefs in anthropocentric creativity, the idea that creativity is a uniquely human characteristic.
These findings have important implications as they challenge traditional beliefs about what makes humans unique and reinforce the security of the view that humans have a unique position in the world. Notably, however, the study has limitations as it only sampled individuals from two highly developed Western countries.
While the study contributes to scientific knowledge about how AI-artwork is perceived by the general population, the reasons for the negative bias against AI-made art among those with stronger anthropocentric creativity beliefs remains unknown. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that artificial intelligence may not be perceived as equivalent to human creativity and that labeling a work of art as AI-made is enough to shift people’s preferences towards the human-made one.