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Aesthetics, Artifcial intelligence, Visual art, Creativity, Judgements


With the recent proliferation of advanced artifcial 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, Efort, and Time to create) intended to elucidate why people more-positively appraise Human-labelled artworks. The main fndings from Study 1 were replicated, with narrativity (Story) and perceived efort behind artworks (Efort) moderating the label efects (“Human-created” vs. “AI-created”), but only for the sensory-level judgements (Liking, Beauty). Positive personal attitudes toward AI moderated label efects for more-communicative judgements (Profundity, Worth). These studies demonstrate that people tend to be negatively biased against AI-created artworks relative to purportedly humancreated artwork, and suggest that knowledge of human engagement in the artistic process contributes positively to appraisals of art.


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences (FHASS)


Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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Original Publication Citation

Bellaiche, L., Shahi, R., Turpin, M.H., Ragnhildstveit, A., Sprockett, S., Barr, N., Christensen, A., & Seli, P. (2023). Humans versus AI: Whether and why we prefer human-created compared to AI-created artwork. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 8, 42.


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