“I worry about the future of human creativity”

In recent weeks, artificial intelligence apps have gone viral on social media because they allow users to create avatars in the style of various famous artists. However, these powerful new tools change more than just people’s profile pictures; According to artists and creatives, they potentially change the face of creative work in permanent, frightening ways while raising serious privacy and intellectual property concerns.

AI-generated art is suddenly everywhere you look.

Apps like the photo editor Lensa allow users to create “magical avatars” in an almost infinite variety of genres. It’s been a huge hit with users: since Lensa launched the avatar feature in November, over 4 million people have downloaded the app. Spend $8 million on internal functions, corresponding WIRED.

But it’s not just photos. OpenAIs GPT-3 can create eerily human-like writing based on text prompts from users.

Big companies like Microsoft and Adobe also integrate AI tools in their offers.

The prospect of readily available tools that closely resemble human artistic output worries many creatives.

“I’m incredibly concerned about the future of my career, more than ever,” said artist Kelly McKernan wrote on Twitter. “I’m also worried about the future of human creativity.”

Ms. McKernan’s art, a painter and illustrator with a cosmic, surreal style, was one of the early installments of images used to train Stable Diffusion, a popular tool used in AI art apps.

In one thread, the artist described how “at first it was exciting and surreal” to help an AI study the building blocks of creativity, but later it was a journey through the “uncanny valley” as a stable diffusion user began spewing out close imitations of their work en masse.

Additionally, some of these users began taking images that were clearly based on Ms. McKernan’s work and using them for their own purposes, commercial and otherwise, and were reluctant if she would request that their name be removed from tagged images in their style Will get removed.

“Please do not support the unethical use of AI image generators while hurting thousands of artists,” she concluded. “You’d better ask, and please keep talking! If artists cannot defend the use of their names and artworks, what do we have?”

General labor concerns aside, many in creative fields accuse AI of infringing on their intellectual property.

AI models like Stable Diffusion, the basis for Lensa’s magical avatars and other tools, use vast caches of publicly available images to practice the nuances of different artistic styles.

As a result, these AI models harvest the stylistic DNA of individual artists and then allow strangers to borrow elements from their work without offering a loan. Additionally, since many AI models are prompt-based, this borrowing process is sometimes incredibly direct.

For example, nearly 100,000 users of Stable Diffusion receive prompts directly naming Greg Rutkowski, a fantasy illustrator who worked on games like dungeons. The images they create are based on his work but can be used for any purpose.

“We could say that ethically it’s theft,” Mr. Rutkowski said the CBC.

Despite these concerns, AI is such a new area in the legal world that it’s unclear how an artist like Mr. Rutkowski could protect his intellectual property from being sucked into AI models, even if he tried.

“I see that people on both sides are very confident in their positions, but the reality is nobody knows,” says technologist Andy Baio said The edge. “And anyone who says they know for sure how it will turn out in court is wrong.”

Other critics point out how apps like Lensa, which are essentially based on a sample of the entire web, reinforce the misogynist and predatory aspects of some corners of the web.

Some users report that AI image generators spit out highly sexualized photos, including nude picswhen fed harmless selfies and childhood photos.

Prisma Labs, the company behind Lensa, has defended its app and similar products.

“AI produces unique images based on the principles derived from data, but it cannot invent and imagine things on its own,” the company wrote in a Twitter thread. “Since cinema didn’t kill theater and accounting software didn’t wipe out the profession, AI won’t replace artists, but it can become a great tool.”

“We also believe that the increasing accessibility of AI-powered tools would only make man-made art more valuable and appreciated in its creative excellence, as each industrialization brings greater value to handcrafted works,” the company added.

Indeed, some in the creative professions have argued that AI is a help, not a threat, because it gives them fast and inexpensive ways to create professional-quality images.

“I think there’s an element of good design that requires someone’s empathetic touch,” says Sabella Orsi, a San Francisco-based interior designer, said The New York Times. “So I don’t feel like it’s going to take my job away from me. Someone has to differentiate between the different renderings and at the end of the day I think that takes a designer to do that.”