Simon Stalenhag, a Swedish artist, is known for creating spooky paintings that combine natural landscapes with the unsettling futurisim of huge robots, weird industrial apparatus, and otherworldly creatures. When Stlenhag discovered that artificial intelligence had been employed to imitate his style earlier this week, it gave the impression that he was going through his own personal version of a dystopian nightmare.
Andres Guadamuz, a reader in intellectual property law at the University of Sussex in the UK, who has been exploring legal challenges surrounding AI-generated art, is the one who imitated the AI and conducted the act of AI imitation. He created photographs imitating Stlenhag’s eerie aesthetic with the help of a website called Midjourney and then uploaded them to Twitter for others to see.
According to Guadamuz, he made the images to draw attention to the potential legal and ethical issues that may be raised by algorithms that generate art. Using machine learning algorithms that have consumed millions of annotated photos from the internet or public data sets, Midjourney is just one of the numerous artificial intelligence (AI) programs that are capable of producing art on demand in response to a text query. After receiving that training, individuals have the ability to conjure up practically any combination of items and scenarios and can imitate the styles of specific artists with an incredible level of accuracy.
Guadamuz claims that he chose Stlenhag as the subject of his experiment because the artist has previously voiced opposition to AI-generated art and can therefore be anticipated to raise objections. However, he maintains that it was not his intention to offend the artist or elicit a reaction from them. After the event, Guadamuz wrote a post on his blog in which he argued that lawsuits claiming infringement are unlikely to succeed, and the reason for this is that while a piece of artwork may be protected by copyright, an artistic style cannot be protected in this way.
Stlenhag was not in the least bit amused. This week, in a series of tweets, he stated that he dislikes AI art because “it reveals that that kind of derivative, generated goo is what our new tech lords are hoping to feed us in their vision of the future.” He said that while borrowing from other artists is a “cornerstone of a living, artistic culture,” he considers borrowing from other artists to be unethical.
Guadamuz has made a public apology to Stenhag, and he has stated that he has deleted tweets that included the derivative photos. Guadamuz also claims that he was sent threatening messages, including one that threatened his life, from other Twitter users who disapproved of the stunt he pulled. According to him, what was intended to be a thought-provoking exercise turned out to be misunderstood as an attack. Guadamuz makes light of the situation by saying, “By day, I’m a bored and mild-mannered academic, but by night, I become a supervillain and destroy artists’ livelihoods… or something.”
Stlenhag expresses his disagreement with the manner in which Guadamuz presented his stunt in an email, although he does acknowledge and accept the latter’s apologies. Because the AI images appear to be original in their own right, the artist does not consider them to be examples of plagiarism. Instead, he believes that tools similar to the one that was employed could be helpful in the process of exploring new artistic concepts.
However, Stlenhag is not a fan of the way that big tech corporations and CEOs might potentially benefit financially from the use of new technologies. He claims that artificial intelligence is the most recent and dangerous of these technologies. “It literally takes lifetimes of labor by artists and utilizes that data as the primary component in a new form of pastry that it can sell at a profit with the express objective of enriching a bunch of yacht owners,” the author of the article explained. “This is done without the artists’ knowledge.”
A new era in artificial intelligence art began in January 2021, when AI development company OpenAI announced DALL-E, a program that used recent improvements in machine learning to generate simple images from a string of text. Although algorithms have been used to generate art for decades, this was the beginning of a new era of AI art.
The business introduced DALL-E 2 in April of this year, which has the ability to create images, graphics, and paintings that give the impression that they were created by human artists. In July of this year, OpenAI made the announcement that DALL-E will be made accessible to anyone who wanted to use it, and they also stated that photos might be used for commercial purposes.
OpenAI places limitations on the activities that users can engage in while using the site by employing keyword filters and other techniques that are able to recognize specific types of photos that may be deemed inappropriate. Others have constructed similar tools, such as Midjourney, which Guadamuz used to emulate Stlenhag. The regulations governing the appropriate use of these tools can vary depending on who built them.
More and more artists are questioning the potential of artificial intelligence art generators to replicate the work of human creators as access to these tools becomes more widespread.
RJ Palmer, an artist who specializes in the sketching of fantastical animals and worked as a concept artist on the movie Detective Pikachu, says that curiosity compelled him to check out DALL-E 2; however, he also grew a little anxious about what such AI tools would mean for his line of work. Later on, he was astounded to see that users of the open-source image generator Stable Diffusion were exchanging pointers on how to generate artwork in a variety of styles by including the names of different painters in a text prompt. “When they’re feeding work from real, working artists who are, you know, struggling as it is, that’s just mean-spirited,” adds Palmer. “When they’re feeding work from living, working artists who are, you know, struggling as it is.”
David Oreilly, a digital artist who has been critical of DALL-E, has stated that the concept of employing these tools to generate new works that make money is inappropriate to him. These technologies feed on previous work. He claims that they do not legally own any of the components that they reassemble. It would be comparable to Google Images charging users for access.
The CEO of a Danish stock image company named Jumpstory, Jonathan Lw, has stated that he does not comprehend how artificial intelligence-generated photos may be used for commercial purposes. “I am genuinely frightened and dubious, but at the same time, I am fascinated by the technology,” he says.
A spokesperson for OpenAI named Hannah Wong issued a statement in which she claimed that the company’s image-making service was utilized by a large number of artists and that OpenAI had solicited the feedback of artists during the creation of the product. According to the statement, “Copyright law has adapted to new technology in the past and will need to do the same with AI-generated content.” (Copyright law has adapted to new technology in the past.) “We will continue to seek the viewpoints of artists, and we look forward to engaging with both them and legislators to assist in the protection of the rights of creators,”
Guadamuz anticipates that there will be legal action taken against individuals who use AI to steal the work of others, despite his belief that it will be challenging to bring such a claim. According to what he is saying, “There will definitely be all kinds of litigation at some point; I’m sure of it.” According to him, the act of infringing on trademarks such as the logo of a company or the picture of a figure such as Mickey Mouse may be more difficult to defend legally.
Other legal experts are not as confident that AI-generated knock-offs are on sound legal foundation. [Citation needed] [Citation needed] “I could see litigation arising from the artist who says ‘I didn’t give you permission to train your algorithm on my art,'” says Bradford Newman, a partner at the law firm Baker Mckenzie who specializes in artificial intelligence law. “I could see litigation arising from the artist who says ‘I didn’t give you permission to train your algorithm on my art,'” says Newman. “It is a totally unanswerable issue as to who would come out on top in a situation like this.”
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