Artificial Intelligence is one of the biggest buzzwords in the tech world at the moment. From excitement about ChatGPT writing people’s wedding vows to anxiety about AI potentially taking away people’s jobs, AI has affected everything, and the NFT space is not exempt.
The last few months have seen NFT creators dabble more and more into the AI scene, with some rather interesting projects coming from this experimentation. However, will AI’s inclusion in the NFT space benefit the industry? Or does it create a problematic landscape that could negatively affect NFTs as a whole?
AI in NFTs
One of the most interesting applications of AI has been in the field of generative content creation. In fact, it is this aspect that has perhaps gained its notoriety on the internet. People have used AI to generate songs, wedding vows, emails, pictures, and much more. It has revealed the potential of artificial creativity and has caused controversy.
It has also, naturally, found its way into the NFTs space. As most of us know, NFTs are often used as a way to document and monetize content. The most expensive NFT ever sold was artwork by the artist Beeple, and when thinking of the biggest NFT collections like the Bored Apes and Doodles, they are essentially collectable art.
This art is typically made by trained artists and creatives but AI has helped lower the barrier to entry. Rather than having to make the NFT art from scratch, entrepreneurs can have an AI generate the art based on prompts and then tokenize it as a digital asset. This has created an entire sub-market of AI-generated NFT content such as art, audio, and so on.
Besides the creation of NFTs themselves, AI also plays a role in the business aspect of the industry. You see, just as AI is able to create content, AI can also be used to verify whether certain content was human-created or not. This has been done with images, articles, and much more.
While AI has created a market of artists who are upfront about their work being created by a machine, some are not. In fact, there have been instances of people creating copies of others’ works through AI and trying to pass it off as the real thing. However, with AI detection software, fakes can usually be distinguished from the real thing.
Is This Good?
With the use cases that it has secured in a short time, it is safe to say that AI will continue to operate in the NFT space for some time to come, but is this a good thing?
Like anything else, there are pros and cons. On one hand, AI-generated content tools mean that the barrier to entry is lowered and more people can get into the NFT space. With that comes more financial benefits for entrepreneurs but more competition for creators, and the use of AI to essentially plagiarise NFT content cannot be overlooked.
However, as also seen, AI can be used to prevent counterfeiting within the NFT space, which had been an issue before AI even got popular in the industry. If the capabilities for AI are properly managed, it could go on to benefit the NFT space. For example, marketplaces and prominent platforms could put systems in place to make sure that buyers are duly informed about whether the NFTs they are buying are AI-generated or not.
This transparency would allow the burgeoning AI-generated NFT market to flourish while giving consumers a choice in the matter. On top of this, proper checks to curb any AI-powered counterfeiting would be a net positive for NFT buyers and creators. Those who want to buy or sell AI-generated NFTs will be able to do so freely and those who want human-created works can do the same. There has been debate about which type of art has more intrinsic value but at the end of the day, we can only let the markets decide.
However, a situation where the influence of AI is left to run rampant would only do the opposite; create a marketplace that is run amok with counterfeiting, misinformed consumers, and ultimately, resentment among creators.
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Tokoni Uti has written extensively on blockchain and cryptocurrency for years. Her work has appeared on sites like BTCmanager and Blockchain Reporter. She has a degree in Corporate Communications.
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