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AI Art Generation: Beneficial or Problematic?

How do you feel about AI art?

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Arting Starvist
Oct 3, 2023
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I went looking to see if a thread on this topic already existed. Please direct me appropriately if so.

AI Art Generation: Beneficial or Problematic?​

Everyone and their mama has heard about AI art generators and the various arguments and opinions folks have about them by now. Stable Diffusion, Dream, Craiyon, even applications like Lensa that use AI to augment existing images and countless others are arriving by the day. They've quickly become a mainstay in almost every artistic community I'm apart of or adjacent to. I've heard people argue both in favor and against their use, especially when it comes to collecting a profit off what people generate, and now I want to hear it from ya'll.

Which side of the spectrum do you fall? Is AI a legitimate tool for people to use in artistic "creation", or do you feel more strongly about how it borrows from the artists these various engines "sample"? Do you think it's ethical for people to make money using these programs? Do you feel similar about AI text generators? Would you play a game, read a book, or consume other media that was made entirely from AI? Do you feel that artists should disclose whether or not AI was used in their works?

Why or why not?
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It should be disclosed if a media is released that uses AI art.

AI is strictly unethical because the data it pulls for its generative database and algorithms are not taken with consent. Modern AI generation is pulling from images and texts made well before the current AI technology was made, so it's basically pilfering it in my mind.

Major studios are already interested in using AI to try and essentially cut actors and artists out of work and it needs regulationn now.

The closest thing I can think of as an "ethical" use of AI is this Yugituber I follow named The Duel Logs. They do mostly listicle style videos online, like top 10 best/worst type of stuff, and their voice is failing them. So they made an AI generative program using only their voice, which obviously they consented to. But even then, we shouldn't let mass corporations have this power.
I feel very strongly about this, honestly. AI usage in the arts (and honestly at times in the world sphere) is rarely ever going to be great in terms of quality (at least at current) let alone ethicality — for my TLDR of things it needs to be regulated extremely heavily, and I genuinely kind of hope it flops in general. Sometimes working smarter simply isn't worth it — that's why traditions have been kept alive, after all, and AI usage in the arts is the antithesis of what it means to be human, IMHO. AI usage in the arts is a net negative on culture if I'm being completely honest, and is an extremely dubious thing in general — there are cases for it to be warranted, but those are few and far between. I very much so hope it dies out, but again, I'm very biased as it is.
AI itself is a tool, and at it's core it can be used or misused by the humans that have created it. As an artist, I am very against AI art, however, I will preface that I blame the man-- not the machine. Like Teebs above me, I agree that AI at its core is unethical because it draws from already existing images, concepts, text... etc. However, AI has existed for a while now, if you remember machine learning chat bots such as Cleverbot or AI Dungeon for example. I believe what set these two machine learning tools apart though, is that the data was self contained and not used to generate a commercial product as AI of today often is. I think the ways to use AI learning innocently is a very very thin line, as machines can only learn from what they are fed. Data scraping is a massive issue these days and we live in an era where if something is free, that means you are the product.

AI is intriguing, and I think it would be interesting as a tool to garner ideas and inspiration from... if what it drew from was not already existing ideas and concepts and cheapened an already very hard to propagate industry because it's so brazenly hard to make it as an artist already. I just don't believe we exist in a world where AI can exist kindly because of the way tech and the digital world online is advancing. Everything is commercialized now, AI chat bots can't just exist as funny silly software, nor can they exist as cool art generating tools to draw inspiration from because every amount of data given to them is used to profit and cut out the need for the middle man to produce it (the artist) as Teebs also said.

I can't really fathom a reality where it didn't grow the way it did, though, but I just don't think it can ever find a place as an innocent tool in today's age, let alone an innocent software because of the comments I've seen regarding it; such as people gloating that artists are no longer needed and selling AI art for cheap. So yeah, long tangent over, AI art sucks because of capitalist greed, sucks because it draws away from an already suffering field, sucks because it takes ideas made by humans to churn out something soulless. The goofyness of AI in the internet's infancy was fun while it lasted, but it's no longer feasible so it's best to just kick it under the door before society gets any more malicious ideas with it.
i know ai as a whole has more nuance to it than this but
to me ai art is just thievery tbh
can't be credited, can't be sourced. all it does is scrape art that living beings spent genuine time and effort on and regurgitate it into an expy, so to speak, of actual products of hard work and talent
tbh i believe ai does a lot more harm than good in general but it serves a purpose occasionally
but art is very, very far from being one of them
I'm extremely tired of AI-generated images, honestly. Like, they just feel like nyothing to me at this point. I don't think I have ANYTHING positive to say about them anymore... Earlier this year, I thought they were a good tool for use as inspiration to later make human-made art, but nyow I don't even think that matters at this point.
I don't want to repeat what has already been said in this thread, so I'll leave some relevant insight: recently I've been thinking about Video Killed the Radio Star...

"They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine on new technology
And now I understand the problems you could see"
"Pictures came and broke your heart"
"We can't rewind we've gone too far"

I have very strong feelings about AI art and they're not positive!
ai generated art isn't art. period. art is something made or curated human hands because of their genuine passion and to elicit an emotional response. ai generation is the pinnacle of greed and how capitalism always destroys art.
I don’t think that there’s much that I can add to the core argument for and against that hasn’t been already been said in earlier posts, and if you see my reactions to said posts (and to the poll, of course) you can probably guess where I stand on all of this overall. But to sum it all up pithily: technology is only as good as the people who use them and what it’s used for. Using technology to squeeze people out of work is thoroughly scummy and shameful on its face… although if you look at history, that’s been happening since arguably the beginning of time (or at the very least since industrialization became a thing). That said, in those cases that was all at least done in the name of progress, with tangible benefits for the world at large even as many people relying on the old ways suffered terrible consequences as a result. With that said, how exactly does replacing real artists with AI ones make the world so much better, to the point where artists should become an endangered species in the name of such essential progress? AI art isn’t the printing press or the personal computer or the internet; it’s not some great societal equalizer or something that makes the impossible possible. It’s just the same exact thing done faster, and without the need for someone to actually make it. Who does that all benefit? I can only think of companies looking to make more money by not having to pay artists said money…

With that said, I think that another great lesson that we should take from what’s currently happening with AI art — and, at this rate, what is very likely going to happen — is that those who consume our art aren’t necessarily our friends. And by that, I’m not even really talking about employers and people like that anymore, but rather the “end-users” who actually look at it and process it. Non-artists, in other words, who as a rule tend to see cool and pretty pictures first and the artists behind them second, third, or fourth. It’s all innocent, of course, but it does reflects a certain hierarchy between artists and non-artists, I think; one where I’d argue that the latter is dominant more often than not (and especially when money is involved). What are the implications of that? Well, the whole pilfering off of other people’s copyrighted works without their knowledge or permission thing aside, take a moment and think about it: is there actually a difference between a final result generated by a sufficiently advanced AI being fed prompts versus something made by purely human hands and minds? Even for a very much artist type like me who would very much like to believe that there’s some kind of essence in human-made work that a computer or algorithm can never capture, I can’t help but think that when actually looking at said artwork, the objective answer is… no, not really? And that’s what scares me above all, the idea that one day — possibly much sooner than we’d like — that we’ll have AI art that’s become so good that it basically is indistinguishable from an artist’s original idea and artwork for all intents and purposes. In which case we as artists won’t even have any valid arguments in the eyes of non-artists for our own existence as, well, artists, when for said non-artists actually consuming our art there’s no actual difference between our art and AI art as far as they can see. So why should they care, as long as they get something in the end? Besides the sheer artistic authenticity of something made from human hands that can’t be conveyed from simply a final result, of course, but then that’s an authenticity that has been increasingly shown to not be appreciated or respected by many people already. Because, alas, the world of art really does seems to be dictated mainly by consumers, rather than the people actually making the art…
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Im just gonna put this here

i saw a YouTuber getting annoyed at people for training an ai on her art without her consent. This isn’t ok. She (and all other real artists!) put so much effort into their art, then someone goes, clicks a button, and gets a Walmart version of their art. That’s not fair. Thats not ok.
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