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First Anti-AI Generative Art Tool Fed By A Willing Crowd Amuses And Amazes


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Images by Prompt-Brush and featured with permission

Whatever your thoughts about artificial intelligence-created art may be, this wave of automated tools will have left a mark on you somehow. Prolific graphic designer Pablo Delcan is making waves with his unique project, Prompt-Brush, which stands out from the rest as “the very first” non-AI generative art model. In a world increasingly overrun by AI and machine learning, this fun endeavor reintroduces the human touch to the art of creation.

You enter a text prompt and wait for the magic to happen. Not for a few seconds; it’s more like days.

While AI art tools like Midjourney and DALL-E are pretty hands-off, Prompt-Brush curiously blends audience interaction with artistic expression. Delcan, a frequent New York Times contributor and a member of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2017, invites the public to send in illustration prompts, and he manually interprets and visualizes them to put pen to paper. Every piece is personally crafted.

The project quickly gained popularity, with Delcan receiving a multitude of prompts from his audience. To showcase the fruits of this initiative, he created a website displaying the diverse range of prompts he received and the corresponding, often hilarious, artworks, each bearing Delcan’s unique artistic signature.

This process stands in stark contrast to the rapid, algorithm-driven output typical of AI models, offering a more nuanced and personal touch to each piece. Delcan told PRINT Magazine in an interview that, at the time, he still had “an embarrassing queue of more than 200 prompts” to get through.

Prompt-Brush spawned as a joke while Delcan was drawing with his son. He found humor in the idea of transforming himself into a non-AI artist who creates simple drawings based on any prompt he receives. This light-hearted beginning has blossomed into a project that emphasizes the value of human creativity in art.

Participants can join in on the fun by visiting Prompt-Brush.com, where they can submit a text description and their email address to receive a personalized drawing.

Delcan highlights the project’s deliberate pace, a notable contrast to the instant gratification offered by AI models. 

“The biggest difference right now between Prompt-Brush 1.0 and any other generative model is how slow it is,” he proclaims. Prompt-Brush operates at a human speed, taking weekends and vacation days off, much like its creator.

The illustrator’s goal is for the drawings to become rougher and more childlike, conveying ideas in a direct, unfiltered manner—a huge departure from the increasingly detailed and hyperrealistic outputs of AI art generators these days. He relishes prompts that challenge him mentally, pushing him to create artworks that resonate with the input in a unique and complementary way.

It’s a big reminder that in the rush of technological advancement, there’s still a place to take it slow, and stand back and see the bigger picture.

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