Art and AI

April 16, 2024

“May you live in interesting times”—Thanks to the emergence of easy-to-use AI, this expression has never been so true as it will be in the next decade. Like it or not, we are in the middle of the next industrial revolution. As with other revolutions of the past, it will effect our entire lives, including how we work and live.

I’m not the type to fear change. I’m the type to embrace it (I even wrote a book about this). As such, I’m trying to figure out ways to use it ethically and usefully yet still keep my creativity as my own.

The use of AI to assist with the artwork in “Atom Bomb Baby” has caught some attention, and generative AI is clearly a topic that sparks opinions on both sides. First, to be clear: Atom Bomb Baby contains NO AI-generated prose. Every word was crafted by my two hands (well, fingers). In fact, it was written before ChatGPT even came about!

However, there is artwork in the book which was made with AI assistance. But this doesn’t mean that AI was used in creating the text of the story.

I know there are many extremely valuable uses of AI. is one such tool that I use heavily, let alone the grammar checker in my word processor.

But when it comes to writing, I don’t use it to generate stories! I take pride in my writing, and I use computer tools to help with editing and brainstorming ideas (it’s a great way to create a bunch of names for a thing, for example, even if 99% of them are garbage).

AI-assisted Art

While I’m primarily a writer, I also have a graphic design and art background. When I first tackled the cover design for ABB, finding an artist who matched my vision and timeline proved tricky, especially as a relatively unknown author.

That’s why I used Midjourney as a tool to assist with the artwork. But let’s be clear—it’s not simply AI-generated art; it’s AI-assisted. I composed the pieces using AI as a seed and layering my work on top of that (in some cases, I’ve spent hundreds of hours on the art).

That said, I would really rather have an artist who is interested in doing this for me! So, if you are one such and looking for work, please reach out!

There is an ephemeral connection between the creator and the audience of their work. I believe that is why, when that creator is an AI, people feel betrayed. If you’re curious to explore my thoughts on AI further, I invite you to check out my blog post, “Stop Fearing AI”. In this, I dive deeper into my perspective on the burgeoning AI Ethos and address many misconceptions and outright falsehoods surrounding this topic.