Artificial intelligence (AI) tattoos have arrived and they are more beautiful than we could have imagined.
Like a signal flare to the dawn of a new era, in April last year, a tech junkie called Everett Randle asked an AI-art generator to design a tattoo for him.
The San Francisco-based investor liked the design so much that he decided to rush out to the nearest tattoo parlour and get it inked onto his inner bicep.
Randall wanted to be the first person to be branded in a design conjured up by an AI. And as far as the world knows, he achieved this.
AI tattoo generation
To make the tattoo design, Randle used the AI art platform Dalle-2, which is owned by OpenAI. (OpenAI are currently in the news for their AI assistant called ChatGPT, an AI product that is so wildly popular that the site keeps going offline.)
Dalle-2 creates totally new images from text descriptions that are input by humans. While Randall’s design wasn’t anything hugely intricate, it was enough to light a fire in both AI enthusiasts and in tattoo aficionados.
VP for OpenAI, Peter Welinder, confirmed it to be the first tattoo designed by the platform.
Now, everyone is asking AI art generators to make bespoke tatts for them. And the results are utterly stunning.
The ink-art is of an amazing calibre, and it makes us all ask the same question: Will AI-Art generators put artists out of work? Will it put everyone out of work?
It might. But probably not.
Some of these designs are creations that tattoo artists would not have come up with by themselves. However, they still need to be inked by a human. Or do they?
Enter the tattoo robot
Another interesting development on Planet Tattoo is that there have been multiple attempts to create a tattoo machine. More or less, the design is fed into the robot, which then creates the artwork onto human skin, like a modern branding machine.
However, the attempts at this over the past 10 years have looked painful and have been hugely unsuccessful. So far, it has produced the kind of tatt that looks like it was made in a jail cell with a lighter and an old pen.
But more recent offering may be a contender.
Tatoué – a 3D printer
A robot tattoo machine called “Tatoué” has been invented by a French team, and while it is early days yet, this machine is a contender. It operates in the same way that a 3D printer works, using pre-loaded designs.
While touring around with their robot, the team have used it to tattoo a leather iPad cover, much to the interest of the crowd. They are now seeking investment and collaboration for their idea.
While the robot works without a human, there is an emergency stop button that can be activated by one of us living beings, thankfully.
Artificial intelligence is a brave new world, and so far, it is making life really fun. And we all hope that these won’t be our famous last words.