Photography tools

AI tools creating generated art

AI-generated art is forging a new path for experienced artists and consumers alike. But critics say AI art systems steal intellectual property from real people.

Great AI models like GPT and art-generating tools like Midjourney and OpenAI’s Dall-E have made it easy for art lovers to create striking and original images, sparking a busy conversation about the nature of art. art itself and whether the AI ​​will eliminate the artists. and professions of illustrator.

Renowned supernatural fiction author Stephen King even joined the debate when he posted an image of “Pennywise on a bicycle” on his Twitter page, noting that it was “made by an AI robot”.

The image of the novel shape-shifting monster created by an AI system – it’s unclear which system created King’s image – looks like a masterpiece, but for one small detail. In the lower right corner is a signature, noting that at least some of the artwork generated by the AI ​​system is from the one million artworks that are online.

The uproar over the issue has grown so intense that some photography agencies have begun removing their work from the internet. Additionally, a new website, Have I Been Trained?, allows artists and consumers to check if their images are in the LAION-5B training dataset – a library of images used to train Stable Diffusion and Google Imagen, another AI-powered text. -to-image system.

Additionally, the speed and reach of AI text-to-image technology could raise concerns about the overflow of AI-generated art into the realm of video editing.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, announced its text-to-video tool Make-A-Video on September 29, which allows users to create a video by typing what they want to see.

AI’s large text-to-image models might hijack some actual artwork.

AI fires the artist

One artist caught up in the debate over AI-generated art tools and systems is Grzegorz Rutkowski, a video game illustrator from Poland. He was an illustrator for games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Sony Forbidden Horizon West.

Rutkowski’s fans told him that his parts were used to create new images generated by Stable Diffusion. In fact, his name has been used about 93,000 times, according to Lexica, a website that tracks images generated by Stable Diffusion from user prompts.

It was a future threat to my online portfolio.

Grzegorz Rutkowskigame illustrator

“I realized that after a while I might find it difficult to search my images on Google because they would be inundated with AI,” Rutkowski said. “It was a future threat to my online wallet.”

AI systems like these could remove the need for mentorship between experienced artists and younger artists, Rutkowski said. Younger artists might decide to use the systems instead of getting tutelage from those who are more experienced.

Additionally, the system can incentivize organizations to stop hiring junior artists and illustrators to create mood-boosting visuals, such as landscape images, he added.

“Right now we can see that at least some of the industry is going to lose jobs,” Rutkowski said.

The role of the artist

Although AI-generated art tools may change the role of the artist, it will not erase the artist and their art, said Cansu Canca, founder and director of the AI ​​Ethics Lab.

“It might even become more valuable,” Canca said. “You can imagine that human art is this hard-to-find and even very expensive artifact, whereas computer-generated art wouldn’t be so appreciated.”

The controversy over AI systems stealing the work of others to create a work of art raises questions about plagiarism. But the evolution of art forms from generation to generation and the custom of younger artists using the works of older artists as inspiration blurs the lines of traditional ideas about art, said Ricardo Baeza-Yates, research director at the Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern University.

“Let’s say you use chunks of 1,000 images to create a new image. Are 1,000 pieces of other images plagiarism? I’m not sure,” Baeza-Yates said. “If you say 10, I’d say yes. If you say 1,000, I don’t know.”

Additionally, AI-generated art could help artists create their artwork faster, saving them time by relying on the engineers who created Dall-E and other AI art systems that took years to create their systems, Baeza-Yates continued.

‘Space Opera Theater’

Faster does not necessarily mean that the work did not need time to generate creativity.

Jason M. Allen, artist and president of Incarnate Games whose Space Opera Theater won first place at the Colorado State Fair on August 29, said he spent 80 hours working on his piece.

The artwork was generated by Midjourney and submitted in the digital arts and digitally manipulated photography category.

Allen started using Midjourney earlier this year after being invited to join the beta testing group. He said he was drawn to the program because the artwork he saw online looked like something that had never been created before.

“It’s cutting edge,” he said. “It’s a new art movement.”

He didn’t start his award-winning project until he learned how to use the software to generate the images he wanted to see, he said.

“You have to learn how to manipulate the software because you might not get the results you want to see,” Allen said. “You have to constantly try different phrases and words and creative inputs that give you the results you’re looking for. And that’s a skill.”

The backlash to his winning entry was unexpected, but understandable, Allen said.

“It comes from a place of denial,” he said. Until now, many were convinced that AI could never be as good as humans when creating artwork, and now they have been proven wrong, he said.

“It would be better if they [didn’t] deny the power they have,” Allen added.

Businesses and AI-generated art

Meanwhile, businesses, in addition to artists and consumers, are using AI technology that creates art.

Omneky is an AI marketing provider that uses its own machine learning, GPT-3 and Dall-E algorithms to generate advertisements for its clients. The provider also offers custom prompts for image generation.

“AI creates a free and flexible design process that inspires creativity and ultimately improves performance,” said Hikari Senju, Founder and CEO of Omneky. AI helps creators boost creativity and productivity, he added.

Virtuous AI, an AI ethics company that helps developers build explainable and unbiased AI systems, uses Omneky to generate advertisements and as a marketing tool.

While aware of the controversy over AI-generated art, Virtuous AI CEO Rory Donovan said some applications of the tools can be useful.

“If, for example, you displace a person by creating the same content in the same style as them, that’s definitely, in my opinion, immoral,” Donovan said. “But I don’t think that’s really the case in these kinds of apps. We’re not trying to generate Picasso paintings or anything like that. It’s more, you know, advertising content.”


However, for Rutkowski, the problem lies in the consequences of using AI-generated art tools and the vendors behind them.

“AI affects many fields – science, technology, health – it’s unstoppable and inevitable,” he said. “We will learn to adapt to this world, but for now, as much as possible, we must treat artists and different people with respect.”

For this reason, Rutkowski and other artists are pushing for regulations to protect the kind of data that AI-generated art tools can access.

Artists like Rutkowski, who can show strong similarity between their works and those generated by AI systems, have a strong copyright infringement claim, according to Michael Bennett, director of education program and business manager of responsible AI at the Institute for Experiential AI.

“It will depend on how similar this generative art is,” said Bennett, who has more than 15 years of experience as an intellectual property lawyer.

However, if the AI ​​system has created a work that does not show strong similarity, “there is nothing that living human artists can do,” he continued.

Using existing images to inspire and help artists create art with AI tools is analogous to a young artist drawing inspiration from older works, so there’s not much harm, Bennett said.

As for the creators of AI tools and systems, many artists, including Rutkowski, believe they have a responsibility to other artists. In practice, this could mean removing works of art by living artists from AI training datasets and prohibiting their use, much the same way some systems prohibit nude photos or images of celebrities or women. well-known individuals.

However, the art of generative AI is already proliferating rapidly and stimulating more creativity, with popular tools like Dall-E offering free introductory credits and affordable fees to use the system. Technology and its use by people are bound to grow.

“If this technology is going to increase the rate of introduction of new artwork, increase the ability of more humans to produce art, then I think ultimately that’s a good thing” , Bennett said.