Artists Believe Their Artworks Were Stolen for AI to Generate Arts

Artists Believe Their Artworks Were Stolen for AI to Generate Arts
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

The arrival of widely available AI image generators such as Midjourney and Dall-E and now the coming of new open source image synthesis models Stable Diffusion has generated a fiery debate in the art community.

Now the concern is just not how the art is being made but the ethical part of this AI boom. Before the release of Stable Diffusion, several artists believe that AI image generators simply scraped their artworks on the internet to train their models. It is the nature of machine learning that needs a gigantic amount of data to train on to get a promising result.

For casual users or tech enthusiasts, this must have been good fun, but for artists, that have been putting in tons of hours on their works, this is where it creates an ethical and legal nightmare.

If a model is designed to generate artworks and they need millions of them to train the model, where would they get these datasets? Of course, they were from artists' artworks on the internet.

Little Havana, Miami
Photo by Frankie Cordoba / Unsplash

This was initially hard to prove because these models are not open-source. However, when Stable diffusion decided to go open source, that was the case.

Imagine without your consent, a big production company use one of your hard work for a machine to consume and then spit out a generated art from what they've learned. It's like Intellectual property will no longer have value for small authors.

Someone would say even technically humans are always inspired by each other's artworks and programmers are doing the same thing. but legally speaking your copyright is obviously violated when your art is fed into one of these models. Personally, I think they feel like their talent and labor got robbed which is ethically wrong and leads to all of these legal and ethical debates.

We clearly need a new law regarding this new technology. We know it's a great and beneficial tool, but it's a shame if it just benefits a handful of companies and developers and ignores some of the artists whose artwork has been used to make it successful projects.


Stable Diffusion is Now Accused of ‘Stealing’ Artwork
Stable Diffusion is in the news again, this time because a couple of developers decided to unveil how the AI generator is using the artwork of artists without permission.
AI Creating ‘Art’ Is An Ethical And Copyright Nightmare
If a machine makes art, is it even art? And what does this mean for actual artists?
What artist has the most artwork stolen?
Questions Surrounding AI-Generated Art

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