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Humans versus AI: whether and why we prefer human-created compared to AI-created artwork.

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Shahi, Rohin 
Turpin, Martin Harry 
Ragnhildstveit, Anya 
Sprockett, Shawn 


With the recent proliferation of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) models capable of mimicking human artworks, AI creations might soon replace products of human creativity, although skeptics argue that this outcome is unlikely. One possible reason this may be unlikely is that, independent of the physical properties of art, we place great value on the imbuement of the human experience in art. An interesting question, then, is whether and why people might prefer human-compared to AI-created artworks. To explore these questions, we manipulated the purported creator of pieces of art by randomly assigning a "Human-created" or "AI-created" label to paintings actually created by AI, and then assessed participants' judgements of the artworks across four rating criteria (Liking, Beauty, Profundity, and Worth). Study 1 found increased positive judgements for human- compared to AI-labelled art across all criteria. Study 2 aimed to replicate and extend Study 1 with additional ratings (Emotion, Story, Meaningful, Effort, and Time to create) intended to elucidate why people more-positively appraise Human-labelled artworks. The main findings from Study 1 were replicated, with narrativity (Story) and perceived effort behind artworks (Effort) moderating the label effects ("Human-created" vs. "AI-created"), but only for the sensory-level judgements (Liking, Beauty). Positive personal attitudes toward AI moderated label effects for more-communicative judgements (Profundity, Worth). These studies demonstrate that people tend to be negatively biased against AI-created artworks relative to purportedly human-created artwork, and suggest that knowledge of human engagement in the artistic process contributes positively to appraisals of art.



Aesthetics, Artificial intelligence, Creativity, Judgements, Visual art, Humans, Artificial Intelligence, Judgment, Paintings, Beauty, Emotions

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC