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June 1, 2025
The field of artificial intelligence is about to become significantly larger, more important, and more lucrative than just a few years ago. “Artificial intelligence is the next big thing,” says Hank Greely, the director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University. He anticipates AI selling at or near $10 trillion by 2050. That’s significant not only for AI’s new creations, but also its potential market for products of its own — specifically, AI-powered artwork.
A new field has emerged on the global art market, with AI software allowing artists to present their works to the public. Despite the more-than-absurdly high prices typically paid for AI artworks, the market is booming. According to a new report by investment bank UBS, AI art is already a $5.8 billion-per-year business. In fact, the annual growth rate of AI-powered art is so fast that it could surpass the pace of the budding market for similar digital content, i.e. music, movies, and mobile apps. “Art is the ideal marketplace for AI,” the report’s authors note. “Artists need to figure out how to display AI art and then how to reach buyers.”
Artificial intelligence can transform art entirely by making it less laborious and thus more practical for the general public. “People think AI is a scary thing,” Michael Downes, CEO of art start-up Netviewer, told UBS. “AI art is neither.”
Artists have already begun to experiment with AI. Some have used AI to create images of random game pieces, a la Alice in Wonderland, or to simulate the colors and sensations of dancing. One startup uses AI to animate film scenes, or as it puts it, to “animate a beloved classic into the future.” Even more alarming for human artists? The applications of AI are just beginning to be realized.
Back in April, for example, Con Ritucci, a Brooklyn-based artist, created a piece of AI-generated photography using data from the field of infomation analysis. For example, he was able to create a photograph that would have “looked silly” in real life. With his AI, however, it became perfectly accurate. The result: The strange-looking, glow-in-the-dark green line that radiates from the floor is now accurately depicted as a “candy striped dog.”