Owen Darlow Gold Unit 1: Part D

Is AI damaging to creators in artistic fields?

Arts Award Gold Qualification Specification:

  • ◗  a description of the arts issue and why they have chosen it
  • ◗  evidence of research into a range of views about the issue – both supporting, and differing from, their own views
  • ◗  reflection on the research and how it has influenced their views (started)
  • ◗  a copy of the final argument they have built up about the issue (started)
  • ◗  evidence of how the final argument was shared with others and their feedback

Why I chose this issue:

I believe that the increasing prevalence of AI is a damning threat to artists and creators. I think this because to the naked eye it is nigh on impossible to distinguish between AI generated art and hand-made art types. This heavily damages creators because music and paintings created by AI can be so convincing it may limit potential job opportunities in the future which will not be a positive thing. AI cannot differentiate between stereotypes/bias and reality and therefore will impact art work and society in the future which could still impact creators as governments may use AI art as propaganda.

Research into this issue

Against AI – Guardian Article, January 2023

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/jan/23/its-the-opposite-of-art-why-illustrators-are-furious-about-ai


The implications of AI image generation are far-reaching and could impact everything from film to graphic novels and more. Children’s illustrators were quick to raise concerns about the technology on social media. Among them is author and illustrator Rob Biddulph, who says that AI-generated art “is the exact opposite of what I believe art to be. Fundamentally, I have always felt that art is all about translating something that you feel internally into something that exists externally. Whatever form it takes, be it a sculpture, a piece of music, a piece of writing, a performance, or an image, true art is about the creative process much more than it’s about the final piece. And simply pressing a button to generate an image is not a creative process.”

Anoosha Syed: “AI doesn’t look at art and create its own. It samples everyone’s then mashes it into something else.”


Harry Woodgate says: “These programs rely entirely on the pirated intellectual property of countless working artists, photographers, illustrators and other rights holders.”

 Rob Biddulph says: “A human artist is also adding emotion and nuance into the mix, and memory – specifically, its failings.”

Anoosha Syed says, “another human will never look at an image the exact same way the original artist did. They will never move their hands the way the original artist did. AI doesn’t do the same – it can only copy.” When a human artist does “mimic a style, or pass off a piece of artwork as their own, it is incredibly frowned upon – and in some cases could be seen as copyright infringement. This is essentially what AI art is doing.”

Kaloyan Chernev admits that during the initial launch of Text 2 Dream, people tried to “generate images of nude children, despite the fact that no such images were present in the training dataset”.

He adds: “As AI continues to advance, there is a risk that it may be able to synthesise images of inappropriate or illegal subjects based on existing content. In response to this, we have swiftly adapted our tools to prohibit the generation of any inappropriate or illegal content, including nude images of children and NSFW material.

Pro AI – Make Use Of Article, July 2023

https://www.makeuseof.com/ai-art-generation-ethical-pros-cons

MakeUseOf (MUO) is one of the largest online technology publications. 

You just enter a prompt, and the AI generator delivers images to the best of its capabilities. The clearer and more detailed the prompt, the more interesting the results. Start with these AI art prompt ideas and come up with concepts of your own. Anyone can produce art for their amusement or projects, from character art and surrealist paintings to AI background designs for portrait photography.If nothing else, you don’t have to depend on expensive and time-consuming professionals to get the job done. Levelling the artistic playing field is a significant ethical advantage.

Another major perk of being able to generate your own designs with AI generators is that they’re mostly free to use. To be precise, some providers like NightCafé give you five free credits each day. Keep collecting them to create all the artworks you want. What makes this ethically appealing is that a human artist can charge a lot for a single commission, so if you’re strapped for money or need more artwork than you can afford, a good AI image generator is an asset.

The biggest problem with generative AI is the unparalleled copyright violation it causes, a matter to be discussed shortly. On the plus side, Shutterstock’s ethical AI image generator, created in partnership with OpenAI, sets a positive example by compensating artists whose work the engine uses. As a Shutterstock executive explains about the principles driving the company and its new AI tools: Our attention should be laser-focused on developing technology which will not create unintended consequences, such as infringing human rights or fundamental freedom. Other services are taking notice and should follow suit, what with legal action underway to combat the illegal use of copyrighted art.

One of the most inspiring aspects of AI art generation is that the software can learn from old images and breathe new life into classics. You can ask for Van Gogh or Picasso-themed designs, and the generator will respond accordingly with varied results. The best AI text-to-art generators are those with the most advanced data sets and the ability to accurately interpret prompts, all thanks to their machine learning. These services produce the most impressive images that mimic old styles and, in a way, pay posthumous homage to classic artists that shaped the modern art world.

Pro AI – Tech Edvocate Article, June 2023

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/the-ethical-pros-and-cons-of-ai-art-generation/

Efficiency: AI art generation can create large amounts of art within a short period. This can save time and resources that would have been used in traditional manual art creation.

Innovation: AI art generation can help artists innovate by providing new tools and techniques for artistic expression. This can lead to the creation of unique pieces that were not possible before.

Facebook Post in the Artists Against Generative AI Group – 2024

I’m an art director and supervisor for a large studio. The studio heads had the bright idea to hire prompters. Several bros were brought onto the film project. I absolutely hated myself for not quitting on the spot but stuck with it because it’s mercenary out there. Have a family to feed etc. I decided to use this time wisely. Treat them as I would any artist I had hired. First round of pictures of a sweeping Ariel forest landscape comes through and it’s not bad. They submit a ton of work and one or two of the 40 are ok. Nearly on brief. So first round feedback goes through and I tell them about the perspective mistakes, colour changes I want, layers that any matte painting would be split into. Within a day I get 5 variants. Not changes to the ones I wanted but variations. Again. Benefit of the doubt I give them another round of feedback making it clear. Next day it’s worse. I sit there and patiently paint over, even explaining the steps I would take as a painter. They don’t do it, anomalies start appearing when I say I want to keep the exact image but with changes. They can’t. They simply don’t have the eye to see the basic mistakes so the AI starts to over compensate. We get people starting to appear in the images. These are obviously holiday snaps. “Remove the people” “What would you like them changed to?” “… grass. I just don’t want them there”. They can’t do it. The guy that can actually use photoshop hasn’t developed the eye to see his mistakes, ends up getting angry at me for not understanding he can’t make specific changes. The girl whose background was a little photography has given me 40 progressively worse images with wilder mistakes every time. This is 4 days into the project. I’m both pissed about the waste, but elated seeing AI fall at the first hurdle. It’s not even that the images are unusable, the people making them have no eye for what’s wrong, no thicker skin for constructive criticism and feedback, no basic artistic training in perspective and functionality in what they’re making. Yes, the hype is going to pump more money into this. They won’t go anywhere for a while. But this has been such a glowing perfect moment of watching the fundamental part fail in the face of the most simple tasks. All were fired and the company no longer accepts AI prompters as applicants. Your training as an artist will always be the most important part of this process and it is invaluable. I hope this post gives you a boost in a dark time.

Gathering Opinions about the issue

I have commissioned a small survey to teachers at my place of education, it has given us a small pool of data which I have extracted answers from, however, I recognise another survey with more/different questions and may be needed to increase the strength of my argument.

Here is the form I created:

Here is the report on the answers:

My blog post on this issue

AI has been a huge development in recent years with online features like ChatGPT being widely used, I firmly do not believe in AI and dislike its real existence where I believe it should be a sci-fi concept and nothing more. I believe we might get to the point where people outsource jobs to AI rather than other people, damaging the economy and people’s livelihood; there is more at stake than what is just at the surface. But Artificial Intelligence is only rising with global hype and seems to be becoming more and more abundant, we see films such as “Terminator” where Skynet eliminates the majority of the human population and Earth becomes a dystopian society fighting to survive. Whilst we may not have or ever have T-2000 Terminator robots, could this become a reality with a different twist from Terminator? Let’s dive deeper into this later!

My thesis is the following:

“I believe that the increasing prevalence of AI is a damning threat to artists and creators. I think this because, to the naked eye, it is nigh on impossible to distinguish between AI-generated art and hand-made art types. This heavily damages creators because music and paintings created by AI can be so convincing they could limit potential job opportunities in the future which will not be a positive thing. AI cannot differentiate between stereotypes/bias and reality and therefore will impact artwork and society in the future which could still impact creators as governments may use AI art as propaganda. 

Here we have a few claims that I made about AI highlighted in varying colours, some of which may be refuted with a poll I show, however despite the grain of evidence possibly going against me on certain claims I will make counter-arguments with my personal opinion and fears on AI. 

Evidence of sharing

Unit 2 – Part A

Back to the start