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AI generated images – craze and craziness

It’s amazing what AI image generators can achieve these days. Effortlessly your mobile phone app creates artistic portraits using your selfies. Seemingly in an instant, they can conjure beautiful fantasy worlds, and depict unicorns. Magically, epic space battles appear out of nowhere…

BUT all this happens without magic and far less glamorously. Ai is not creating these works from thin air. AI is not that good! It needs billions of images to create these ‘wonders’. Images it ‘learned’ from – where the learning part is very unlike human learning. Images ‘scraped’ or [as I prefer it] plundered from the internet. The biggest dataset at the moment contains 5.85 Billion images [https://laion.ai/blog/laion-5b/]. The crawlers don’t make a distinction between public domain and copyrighted material. Contrary to common belief, not everything on the internet is public domain. The art was created at some stage by artists, designers, or photographers. They are the owners of their works and should have the sole right to decide how, where, and by whom their content is used. Yet, they never gave consent nor did they have any knowledge that their art was used.

Major portfolio sites like Artstation or Deviantart allowed and encouraged AI companies to use their vast collection. Adobe [a company supposedly with artists to let them be creative] even sent art to data sets without the users’ knowledge. Fatal when you are working with NDAs [non-disclosure agreements that are very common when working freelance].

AI tech tries to justify their money-making plunder

The AI companies are trying to get by with loopholes such as research and fair use for educational purposes – along with massive lobbying to change the copyright laws [in the US]. They now offer [rather complicated and time-consuming] opt-outs [when it should always have been an opt-in approach] but the AI can’t forget what it has learned.
In my opinion, that’s nothing more than a tiny fig leaf covering up the illegal and immoral use of the work of thousands of photographers, concept artists, illustrators, and graphic designers.


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I mentioned the AI-generated images a few times in different art and design groups… but finally checked with a few images of this website via https://haveibeentrained.com/

It seems like ‘I have been trained’. My tutorial pages have been scraped as well – tutorial images, illustrations, and even the UI elements to go with the text.

It’s not just the big-name artists, the Artstation crowd, or the concept artists and illustrators – it’s all art and all the photos available online – yours, mine, and everyone else’s.

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[PS.: It took me all of 5 minutes to create the samples in the post’s image in nightcafe…🤔 I have also tried the AI on the Creative Fabric site [a company making its living as a marketplace for artists – WTF].]

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