The history of AI art: it goes back further than you might think

Two historic pieces of AI art. Text reads AI Week
(Image credit: Harold Cohen / Obvious / AI generated / Future)

There has been an explosion of AI art in past two years, but the history of AI art goes back long before the arrival of diffusion models like Midjourney, DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion in 2022. In fact, it goes all the way back to the 1960s, and humans' interest in the possibility of machines that can make art goes back even further.

Today, many artists are among the fiercest critics of AI art generators, but over the years, artists have also been at forefront of developing new technology that can create images, sometimes in their own style. Below we look at where AI art came from, how it evolved and where it stands today.

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.