A.I art: a new threat to artists everywhere


By Jacob Trump

Art created by artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm, making it possible to create avatars and custom pieces of work without even picking up a pencil. On the other hand, many artists have found this to be a dismissing and stealing of artists’ work. 

Since the beginning of the year, many people have posted new profile pictures or pieces of AI art, mostly shown on social media platforms. 

 AI art generators use machine learning algorithms and deep neural networks to generate art. However, with this in mind, the machines need a reference to create these generated pieces. 

It’s been noted that these AI-generating websites have been using the art of other artists to create and implement the styles created for these “generated images.”

 “My understanding is that it’s just what our brains do at a faster pace and at a bigger scale,” says Ana Galizes, an art and design professor at William Peace University. “I think there are questions in ethics we haven’t worked through yet.”

A character designer and director, Jackie Droujko, who has made a name for herself on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube voiced her opinion on the issue on Instagram. 

“So the artwork created through Lensa is actually made with stolen art through stable diffusion,” Droujko wrote in a post. “Using the open source stable diffusion model the app processes your photo which generates avatars or how they look if they were created by a digital artist.” 

Mobile platforms like Lensa App are some of the examples introduced that use the concept of stable diffusion for the easier usage of compiling and using different artist styles for their system. 

Many artists took a stand regarding the recent success and notices of apps like Lensa and the concepts of stable diffusion were accessed more in the public light. 

“AI doesn’t reference art and create something new,” explains Droujko. “It samples a bunch of existing artwork and matches it all up to make something completely new, and doesn’t compensate the artist and doesn’t take consent from the artist.” 

It’s uncertain of where AI-generated images will go, but it is inevitable that this may never really go away. In the future, hopefully there will be a place where both human artist and A.I generated artist work together. 

  “I see it using the same function as photography,” explains Galizes. “Allowing the same type of media to go different directions forces us humans to be more creative.” 

Illustration by Jacob Trump