Digital art | Why has AI-created art become controversial?

AI art generators could eliminate the need to pay for licensed art by making it possible to mimic an artist’s style to create a customizable result in seconds – for free

AI art generators could eliminate the need to pay for licensed art by making it possible to mimic an artist’s style to create a customizable result in seconds – for free

The story so far: On October 3, acclaimed comic book artist Kim Jung Gi died after experiencing chest pains during a trip to New York Comic Con. He was 47 years old. A few days after his death, a Twitter user claimed to have trained a deep learning model to draw in the style of the South Korean illustrator and shared images allegedly created with the model. The backlash was swift and stormy as artists and art lovers expressed their feelings about advancing AI art – and what it could do to human artists.

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How AI creates art?

Machine learning and deep learning models are now available for people to create works of art. Stable Diffusion, published in August by StabilityAI, is one of the models that can be used because its source code has been made available.

Several AI-based art generators use Stable Diffusion to help people create their own images. Many of them ask users to enter a text prompt or even an image, which is then used to redraw, imitate, draw, paint, synthesize, adapt or modify images to create the desired result.

In other words, even someone with no artistic experience can input a prompt such as “a parent and child standing on the beach and watching the pink sunset together” to produce an image on an AI art generator, by using the stable diffusion model.

An AI artwork showing a parent and child enjoying the sunset on a beach

An AI artwork showing a parent and child admiring the sunset on a beach | Photo credit:

With additional keywords, image prompts, or even preset filters, this image can be infinitely modified to provide a certain flair (like photorealism or anime) and display specific details (like a dolphin in the background or even an asteroid crashing into the Earth).

Why are some artists against AI art?

While art created with Stable Diffusion can get the job done quickly, the result can also range from slightly unnatural to downright macabre. In order to learn how to produce passable images that conform to prompts entered by users, deep learning models are fed millions of artworks to analyze. These artistic datasets also include the copyrighted products of artists still living today. In the process, artists’ names can become prompts for the AI ​​art generator to mimic their style or aesthetic when producing images using Stable Diffusion. Non-artists can now freely use these produced images, and even monetize their artistic work.

Greg Rutkowksi is a digital artist who has been caught in this net. His name is one of the main prompts on AI art generators, despite his discomfort with the idea. Many of the pieces released on AI art platforms look suspiciously like his own extravagant projects featuring dragons and epic fantasy landscapes.

Critics claimed it was a violation of copyright law and that artists should have the freedom to remove their work from datasets used to train AI models.

The Twitter user who claimed to have trained a model to emulate Kim Jung Gi’s lush, ink-based drawing style has also come under fire for treating the illustrator’s working life as a generic end product that can be reproduced by a machine.

However, the Twitter user claimed he was paying tribute to Kim Jung Gi.

Could “AI art” replace human artists?

Freely available AI art generators could allow almost anyone to complete this task in just a few minutes, at much lower costs. These templates could also eliminate the need to pay for licensed art by allowing you to choose a subject, copy an artist’s style, and create a customizable result – all for free. This has the potential to completely restructure fields such as fashion design, architecture, film, book publishing, etc.

Artists are also concerned that any work they upload or share online could be used without their permission to train deep learning models. This could allow others to create derivative artwork and profit from it without having to give any credit to the original artists whose efforts made the AI ​​Art Generator possible.

In September, this scenario came true when American designer Jason Allen won first prize in an art competition for his piece “Theatre D’Opera Spatial”, created using an AI program. .

As deep learning tools reach more and more users every day, artists are waiting to see how different industries will embrace or reject the rise of AI art.

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