Will AI generated images replace artists?

How do AI image generators create art images that look so human-made?

Recently, AI-image generators like DALL-E and Midjourney have been making waves on social media with many regular people posting what they’ve prompted the AI to draw. But artists are increasingly concerned about the ever-evolving qualities of these AI-image generators: Will they replace human artists?

The quality of artworks created on AI has increasingly improved in a short span of time. It was only earlier this year that we were starting to see abstract and incomplete artworks from generators like WOMBO Dream. The improvement has been eye-opening. 

Another example of the AI image generator’s improvement in artwork can be seen below. Game developer Nao_u created a side-scrolling shooting game only using images created from Midjourney:

AI image generators learn how to create output by having a dataset (a bunch of data) fed to them. And it particularly feels suspicious that an AI image generator like Midjourney has not released any information about the datasets and methods used to train its AI image generator. 

RJ Palmer points out the following critical point:

It is clear from the above images that AI image generators learn how to draw by stealing the portfolios of human artists

AI could be a threat to artists, but could very well be a friend of capitalism.

On one hand, AI image generators can be helpful to artists in the sense that artists may use the generators to fill some parts of their works. For example, Japanese artist Abubu suggested that StableDiffusion could be used to draw backgrounds in doujin works. 

Abubu noted that while artists might have to fix parts of the AI-generated background themselves, it could still be helpful in a scene that only appears once in the story or a passing panel where extreme details are not needed.

However, on the other hand, corporations and people with capitalistic interests know no bounds on how low they can go. 

Artists could spend a tremendous amount of hours on their crafts, art degrees, and portfolios only to have their hard work stolen as a part of the dataset which allows their artistic styles to be plagiarized by AI image generators. Clients and corporations may be happy to just use the AI image generators if the quality of the work coming from them is indistinguishable from artwork made by human beings.

And to put a cherry on top, the developer behind an AI that steals off living artists’ works had this to say:

I believe that human artists are irreplaceable by AI image generators, but there will be forces wielding power and money that would try to utilize AI image generators for the sake of more profit without a single shred of mercy. That could lead to the destruction of artists’ livelihoods, but corporations often do not care about living people being harmed by their financial decisions.

And we know corporations can act in such a way, seeing how HBO Max recently culled Batgirl, a few hundred Sesame Street episodes, multiple animated series, and other content from its platform all for the sake of getting a tax write-off

Strict regulations must be put immediately to save the artists from this exponentially growing art theft by AI image generators.

Source: Twitter, HBO, Vice


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