‘I’m concerned for the future of human creativity’
In recent weeks, artificial intelligence apps have gone viral on social media for allowing users to create avatars in the style of various famous artists. However, these powerful new tools change more than just people’s profile pictures; according to artists and creators, they may be changing the face of creative labor in permanent, terrifying ways, all while raising serious privacy and intellectual property concerns.
AI-generated art is suddenly everywhere you look.
Apps like the photo editor Lensa allow users to create “magical avatars” in an almost infinite variety of genres. It’s been a huge hit with users: since Lensa launched the avatar feature in November, more than 4 million people have downloaded the app, spend $8 million on internal features, According to WIRED.
But it’s not just pictures. OpenAIs GPT-3 can produce pieces of eerily human-like writing based on text prompts from users.
Big companies like Microsoft and Adobe also integrates AI tools in their offerings.
The prospect of easily accessible tools that can closely approximate human artistic output has many creative people worried.
“I’m incredibly anxious about the future of my career, more than ever before,” artist Kelly McKernan wrote on Twitter. “Furthermore, I am concerned about the future of human creativity.”
The art of Ms McKernan, a painter and illustrator with a cosmic, surrealist style, was one of the early portions of images used to train Stable Diffusion, a popular tool used in AI art applications.
In a thread, the artist described how “at first it was exciting and surreal” to help inform an AI studying the building blocks of creativity, but later a trip through the “uncanny valley” when Stable Diffusion users closely mimicked from beginning to spit out her work en masse.
What’s more, some of these users began to take images clearly based on Ms McKernan’s work and use them for their own purposes, commercial and otherwise, while she wanted to ask for her name to be included in her style of tagged images. be removed.
“Please do not support the unethical use of AI image generators while thousands of artists are being infringed upon,” she concluded. “Demand better, and please keep speaking out! If artists can’t defend the use of their names and artwork, what do we have left?”
Beyond general labor issues, many in creative fields accuse AI of infringing on their intellectual property.
AI models like Stable Diffusion, the basis for Lensa’s magical avatars and other tools, use large caches of publicly available images to train themselves on the nuances of different artistic styles.
As a result, these AI models harvest the stylistic DNA of individual artists, then allow strangers to borrow elements from their work without offering any credit. Furthermore, since many AI models are fast-based, this borrowing process is sometimes incredibly direct.
For example, almost 100,000 users of stable diffusion have requests for Greg Rutkowski, a fantasy illustrator who works on games like Dungeons & Dragons. The images they create are based on his work, but can be used for any purpose they want.
“We can say that, ethically, it is stealing,” Mr. Rutkowski told the CBC.
Despite these concerns, AI is such a new area in the legal world that it’s unclear how an artist like Mr Rutkowski could protect his IP from being siphoned off into AI models, even if he tried.
“I see people on both sides of this very confident in their positions, but the reality is nobody knows,” technologist Andy Baio tell The Edge. “And anyone who says they know with confidence how this will play out in court is wrong.”
Other critics point out how apps like Lensa, trained from what is essentially a sample of the entire Internet, reinforce the misogynistic and predatory aspects of some corners of the web.
Some users report AI image generators spitting out highly sexualized photos, including nude pictureswhen harmless selfies and children’s photos are fed.
Prisma Labs, the company behind Lensa, has defended its app and products like it.
“AI produces unique images based on the principles derived from data, but it cannot imagine and imagine things on its own,” the company wrote in a Twitter thread. “Since cinema didn’t kill theater and accounting software didn’t wipe out the profession, AI won’t replace artists, but could become a great tool.”
“We also believe that the growing accessibility of AI-powered tools will only make man-made art in its creative excellence more valued and appreciated, as any industrialization brings more value to handmade works,” the company added.
Indeed, some in creative professions have argued that AI is a help, not a threat, allowing them quick and inexpensive ways to generate professional-quality images.
“I think there’s an element of good design that requires the empathetic touch of a human being,” Sabella Orsi, a San Francisco-based interior designer. tell The New York Times. “So I don’t feel that it will take away my job. Someone has to differentiate between the different versions, and at the end of the day I think it needs a designer.”