Resisting AI artwork

Last week, my social media feeds were swamped by AI-generated Disney Pixar-style avatars, a trend which is very popular. It seems that everyone was having a go at creating them. I didn’t find these pictures cute. I found them sinister. It was partly the illustration style – identikit characters with bulbous eyes, tiny reddened noses and syrupy colours – and partly the way that images produced by generative AI have wormed their way into the mainstream so that anyone can pretend to be an artist at the typing of a few prompts and clicks. Not only does generative AI infringe intellectual property, the ease and cheapness of production is threatening human-made creative arts. That same week, I heard of the following: an author specifying that a book cover be made without AI but then being sold an AI one by the designer; an author threatened with being kicked out of a promotion unless they changed their cover to one which used AI or stock images; yet more authors discovering that their work had used to train AI without their permission; and a group of artists attempting to sue the developers of AI creation tools for having scraped their artwork. When I search for books to read on Amazon, I see a lot of obviously AI-generated books, which are clearly intended as money-spinners but I hope the customers aren’t fooled. Going back to the Disney Pixar trend, no doubt a lot of people were doing this for fun and it doesn’t necessarily mean they support the use of generative AI images in the creative industries as a cheap alternative to paying real artists. However, I can’t help but be apprehensive about what the future holds as AI becomes increasingly embedded in literally everything. When I wrote the story ‘Art Club’ several months ago for my book After the Burning: Dystopian Stories, I thought the situation I portrayed was in the near future… now I reckon it’s just around the corner.

4 thoughts on “Resisting AI artwork”

  1. I’ve resisted this trend as well for similar reasons. There are lots of useful things I think AI could be used for but art can teach us so much about our shared human experience and creating stories, illustration and images with AI trend just seems like a way to maximise profit without paying someone for their imagination, skill and effort.

    1. Agreed! A lot of people feel the same way, I can’t help feeling very nervous about how far it will go.

  2. I have had fun using an AI prompt called NightCafe to make silly pictures, but they never match up to real artists and there’s still a long way to go before AI is perfect. But I am very upset about AI used not only in art but in writing too, and if it replaces people then that’s not good. Using something as a tool to help with giving you prompts for your own work is one thing, but having AI replace a person’s own creativity is a very different story which I’m very against. I review a lot of stuff on amazon and have found talk on reddit about people angry over AI even doing amazon reviews. There’s definitely too much AI around these days, but too many people also embrace it. I guess I’m not helping by using NightCafe 😮 though if you’ve seen my posts on it it’s just laughing at its stupidity and I hope it doesn’t improve to be honest!

    1. Good points, I have not heard of NightCafe, I understand it is a bit of fun for lots of people and they might not use it seriously. I think AI is seen as money saving and time saving but it’s at the expense of originality and real creativity.

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