AI NFTs: The downfall of NFT artists

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  • AI NFT, titled Théâtre D’opéra Spatial, won first place at the 2022 Colorado State Fair Fine Art Show.
  • AI applications have recently flooded Africa’s digital world, causing a split opinion among users
  • AI NFTs create new and dynamic content and are ever-evolving due to their adaptability.

With Africa steadily moving into its digital era, various advances have transformed several industries. Various web3 applications have brought numerous new applications to finance, art, agriculture and even the fashion industry. When focusing on digital artwork, Africa has solidified its position due to its rapid adoption and wide range of cultures. However, AI applications have recently flooded Africa’s digital world, causing a split opinion among users. Its adaptability and sophistication have led to the development of AI NFTs.

This new concept has created a wave of emotions amongst those who thrive in the artistic world, and many wonders if this spells the end for Africa’s NFT artists. Will their reign end as fast as their rapid growth?

The rapid growth of digital artwork.

The concept of NFT art shook the entire world, opening the doors to more markets and giving African artists a platform to showcase their creative skills and culture.

Many might not know that the concept of NFT existed long before Ethereum became the giant it is today. Meni Rosenfeld released a paper in 2012 called “Colored Coin.” According to the documentation, it derived its primary principle from Bitcoin after it gained some form of recognition.

The concept behind the white paper described a new method of representing and managing real-world assets n a blockchain network. Essentially it dictated the fundamental building block of NFT art; digital ownership. It derived this concept from the primary management within Bitcoin’s blockchain system, but it added a “token” element that determined their use, segregating them from ordinary cryptocurrencies.

Also, Read Truths and misconceptions of AI possibilities in DeFi.

First NFT artwork

Later on, this concept inspired the first NFT artist, Kevin McCoy, who minted the Quantum, the first digital art. 

This sparked the first fuse that would lead to the development of NFT Marketplace, such as OpenSea. 

Africa later stepped into the limelight of this Web3 application as Prince Jacon Osinachi pioneered the continent’s step into digital artwork. Like every other Web3 Application, many saw digital artwork as a threat to the industry. It was only through his success that many other NFT artists followed, leading to the creation of famous NFT artists such as Niyi Okeowo, Linda Dounia, and Ade Adekola.

Colored Coins is the first iteration of NFT.[Photo/Medium]
Soon it became clear that Africa has a knack for this web3 application as more entrepreneurs and artist developed their NFT marketplaces to support more artists. NFT marketplaces such as Afropolitan, UhuruNFT, Emsany, Africarare and African Digital Art Network have successfully nurtured and developed young artists into the world of digital artwork.

Unfortunately, in an ironic twist of fate, their same technology will eventually deplete their significance. The merger between AI and Web3 applications has led to the development of AI NFTs. Many view it as an advancement, but it threatens the livelihood of every NFT artist.

A new form of Digital Artwork; AI NFTs.

Previous articles showcased how AI and web3 are like butter and bread. The merge between both concepts has led to the development of the Metaverse. Unfortunately, the sheer power and potential of AI are vast. Unfortunately, most people recognize its potential to render some industries obsolete. Some NFT artists view AI NFT as the end of their careers.

Artificial Intelligence is a non-human model capable of solving sophisticated tasks and performing cognitive functions like humans. Due to its ability, the available information limits its potential. Due to the rapid growth of NFT artists and digital artwork, it provided ample data for an AI application to process and recreate such material. 

AI NFT is a non-fungible token embedded with a Generative Pre-trained Tranformer 3(GPT-3) language model prompt as part of its smart contracts. This generally produces what is known as an intelligent NFT capable of feats such as animations, interactivity and other generative capabilities.

We can accurately depict that AI NFTs are the next generation of NFTs.

Also, Read Africans are making significant money moves in the NFT Marketplace.


First-generation NFTs are hinged on their primary objective to provide immutable digital ownership. It relatively changed the entire concept of digital assets, and its properties have led to other advancements in other industries. Although, despite its many feats of authenticity and provenance, this Web3 application is still tied directly to static assets.

This means NFTs, such as images, Gifs and Videos, never change. Despite this web3 application residing on blockchain networks, NFT artists had to play a part in its creation. Depute using digital tools such as applications and digital brushes; at the end of the day, the image formed stemmed from the artist’s imagination. Digital artwork changed the medium from a canvas and a brush to a stylus and a screen.

AI NFT has gained much fame due to its availability and easy-to-use interface, rendering other NFT artists obsolete.[Photo/Sensorium]
AI NFT, on the other hand, is entirely different. Due to its learning capabilities and cognitive enhancements, it processes the image from scratch. AI NFTs create new and dynamic content and are ever-evolving due to their adaptability. Essentially the more the AI NFTs contact a given user environment, the more the underlying smart contract can pull data and build knowledge.

One of the main differences between first-generation NFTs and AI NFTs is that the latter contains not only intelligent but also upgradable tokens. This gives it its dynamic and scalable nature. Imagine an NFT that can adapt and change based on the information of its surroundings.

Many have claimed that AI NFTs are not up to par with NFT artists, but they forget one crucial aspect, evolution. What makes AI applications so fascinating is not their immense processing power or capability; it is their ability to learn. Continuous assessment and improvement are why AI is powerful, and AI NFTs have “intelligent” tokens.

AI NFTs might be the end for NFT artists.

By merging AI and Web3 applications, it is clear that it can open doors for better experiences as a user. AI NFTs have numerous advantages, including enhanced interactivity, which previous digital artwork has failed to achieve. This AI and web3 application can leverage several deep learning methods such as computer vision, speech recognition and natural language. When combining all these three aspects created a dynamic and interactive token. In addition, users need to adjust several configurations to produce specific digital artwork. 

Also, Read Nigerian artists conquer the NFT marketplace in Africa.

Doing this also creates a sense of originality, and AI applications can learn from previous data. This ability allows AI NFTs to produce original art never seen before. For instance, AI NFT titled Théâtre D’opéra Spatial won first place at the 2022 Colorado State Fair Fine Art Show.

Théâtre D’opéra Spatial showed the world how AI NFT could fool the most trained eye as its AI application raises several controversial conversations.[Photo/VentureBeat]
The “creator”, Jason Allen, revealed that he used MidJourney and AI applications to create the masterpiece. This sparked a fuse amongst NFT artists and was among the first hint that AI NFTs can easily fool the human eye. The controversial piece started a heated discussion on the ethics and capabilities of AI.

Also, Jason released this information after fooling the judges and his fellow NFT artists. Unfortunately, the wave of AI NFTs has already begun. According to OpenAI’s official website, DALL.E, since April 2022, over 1.5 million users have created over 2 million AI-generated digital artwork. Today developers have made it easier for any user to gain digital artwork by creating more AI applications dedicated to producing AI NFTs.

The potential of AI NFTs

One fundamental flaw that AI NFTs have is that they require immense data to process their original content. The “Have I Been Trained” tool required over 5.8 billion images to kickstart its Stable Diffusion feature. This tool assists other NFT artists in searching if other AI NFTs used their artwork as a reference.

Unfortunately, this creates a paradox since, to stop AI NFTs generally; we have to decrease the amount of content generated by NFT artists. This creates a bottleneck that will eventually degrade the quality of art the AI application produces. Unfortunately, doing so will take time and significantly burden most NFT artists.

Despite numerous NFT artists gaining much fame and recognition, the looming threat of AI NFTs is real. The advancements of AI applications are steadily growing, and many buyers are gradually seeing no reason to buy an art piece rather than generate one for themselves.

This web3 application has revolutionized various industries, but introducing AI might set back its plans for empowering users. 


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Ken Mutuku
Ken Mutuku
Your Guide to the Future of Tech, Web3, and Digital Storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for concise communication, Ken Mutuku is your go-to professional for decoding the next wave of technological evolution. Whether through captivating videos, insightful articles, or engaging presentations, he masterfully crafts messages that deeply resonate with his audience, setting him apart in the digital landscape.
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