Why are drawings generated by artificial intelligence controversial?

Artists are threatened by this new trend which uses the works of others without prior authorization.

If you are used to surveying social networks, you have surely already come across images generated by artificial intelligence. For a few months now, new tools like Dall-E and MyHeritage’s AI time machine have been all the rage on Twitter and Tiktok. From reference images or a simple description, it is now possible to produce an image, a photo and even a drawing in a few seconds.

The result is often stunning, especially in the ability of these tools to reproduce the style of great artists. The problem is that this mimicry is not without danger. Image generators cannot create art out of thin air. They will therefore dig into image banks that contain almost an infinity of data. And in this ocean of information are images of artists who publish their works on Twitter, DevianArt, Pinterest and other networks conducive to this kind of sharing.

With the sudden advent of “AI Art“, some artists discover with horror that their drawings have been reproduced almost identically. This strange variant of plagiarism threatens the artistic professions, pushing those concerned to launch various awareness-raising movements on the networks. Their first demand: to avoid the standardization of these practices on platforms dedicated to them.

AI images are not art

Artistic professions from the video game or film industry are used to publishing their works on ArtStation, a platform that acts as a giant portfolio. This site is a real springboard for professional artists who can put their talent forward in order to land a mission or a position. Posted illustrations often require hundreds of hours to achieve such a result, proof of long-honed skills.

But now that drawings generated in seconds are starting to blend in, users are revolting (rightly so). The “AI artists” get a surprising result using correctly used words, all associated with images produced by others. Even if these tools are interesting and can have useful applications, the behavior of some is plagiarism.

The magic of art also lies in the efforts made. The smallest details are often fine-tuned to obtain a perfect rendering. Except that an AI is not capable of reaching such a level of detail. Thus, many errors hide behind an astonishing rendering, but it is not difficult to notice them. The hands don’t have the right number of fingers and the clothes have strange cuts that blend in with the hair, for example.

What future for digital drawing?

Epic Games, owner of ArtStation, explains to Kotaku that “the terms of the site do not prohibit the use of artificial intelligence tools in the creative process of works shared with our community.“Finally, the problem lies mainly in the moderation of content and the use made of images generated by AI. A few days ago, a Twitter user made the buzz with a children’s book entirely written and drawn by an artificial intelligence.

Unsurprisingly, the result leaves something to be desired, but that’s not the most disturbing part. Is it justifiable to generate income based on this kind of content? After all, the idea belongs to this user, but the data used to obtain this result does not belong to him. The rising intellectual property debate of AI promises to be one of the major issues in tomorrow’s digital world.

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Why are drawings generated by artificial intelligence controversial?

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