Why Artists Are Against The Use Of Artificial Intelligence

By Brian Scheid | Published

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The idea of harnessing artificial intelligence has been around for the better half of a century and has been depicted by Hollywood movies more times than one can count. The common thread between all these movies is that it usually doesn’t turn out to be a good thing for all of humanity. Now, most of these movies were written with the premise that if AI existed, then it would yield catastrophic results. Well now, it is a reality, and the first group of people to raise an argument against its impact on their livelihood is the artists of the world.

Artists around the world have started to protest publicly on the networking site ArtStation. This is a platform that is intended to connect game, film, media, and entertainment professionals together and provide a place where they can share their experiences and portfolios. Artists are standing up to a trend they have been seeing on the site where Artificial Intelligence generated art is being featured on the site, which they feel undermines the years of work and dedication they have put into becoming the artist that they are today.

When hearing how an AI goes about creating the AI art piece, it lends a lot of weight to the artist’s claims. Artificial Intelligence will scan through millions of internet pages and copy all the images it comes across to build its database. Then it takes those images and modifies and distorts them to create its piece of work. In most cases, you can see an easy resemblance to the images it took from other sites.

According to Vice, “Artists claimed that the AI was trained on their artwork without permission, which was confirmed when many artists saw aspects of their work appear in the AI-generated art, including their own mangled signatures.” The question that the Artists are asking is how AI-generated art can be considered creatively unique when it uses already human-created art is beyond my comprehension. However, it seems apparent that if it is using other people’s work as the foundation for the work it creates, then yes, artificial intelligence needs to be reprogrammed not to do that.

The groundswell began on ArtStation when Nicholas Kole saw costume designer Imogen Chayes post a “No AI” Illustration. Nicholas felt solidarity in the fact that he wasn’t the only one that wanted to stop this abusive practice before it was too late. As he saw it descending his news feed, Cole knew exactly what he needed to do, which was share it and try to make it go viral.

That is exactly what it did and users’ news feeds were littered with the “No AI” image. It garnered national media attention. It has brought awareness to a subject that has not been morally or ethically debated beyond its depiction in movies. Hopefully, this will open the conversation about what types of uses AI should be restricted to before we realize it’s too late to stop it from taking control of our planet.