Starry Night, a Protest against Tech

Starry Night, a Protest against Tech

I was thinking a bit about Technology and Art, and how the two seem at odds for the moment. Looking at you, AI. But astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a beautiful explanation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night:

You know what I like about [it]? It’s not what Van Gogh saw that night, it’s what he felt. [The painting] is not a representation of reality and anything that deviates from is reality that has filtered through your senses. And I think art at its highest is exactly that. If this was an exact depiction of reality, it would be a photograph and I don’t need an artist.

Van Gogh and the Impressionists came along at a time when a new technology, photography, created a huge shift in art. Suddenly, a perfectly accurate depiction of a person, a still life, or a landscape could be rendered in seconds. By a machine.

What’s an artist to do?

They needed to be different. To be creative. To be intelligent. And they were, creating a magnificent genre of art that is highly valued to this day. Pastis may have helped as well.

The development of generative artificial intelligence (AI) for text and images will change all types of human creative outputs, similarly to how the invention of the camera changed how artists painted. I believe this wave of technology will augment human creativity instead of replacing it completely. In the face of ever-improving generative AI, individuals can cultivate a competitive edge by expressing themselves more through their own unique experiences, emotions, and perspectives, which technology cannot replicate.


I mentor two kids and several entrepreneurs. Similarities are coincidental.