Lately you have probably been hearing more and more about AI, or artificial intelligence, and how it is becoming more advanced in all aspects of our lives. One of the more controversial forms of AI as of late has been AI art, and exactly as it sounds it is essentially computer generated artwork that is made by feeding the AI various example images or descriptions of what it should be creating. Many people could argue both sides, saying that it has its benefits but that it also has its negatives as well. For example, maybe you aren’t the best artist out there and you want a quick and easy work that you can use, just input some information and off you go. Then again, doesn’t this take away from half the point of it all? To many, creating various forms of art is something that has taken them years to perfect, and what makes so much of it so great is the amount of time and dedication that goes into making that final result. However, it doesn’t stop there, AI art is not only ruining the creative journey that many artists embark on, but in some cases it is stealing artwork outright. Now a group of artists has decided to take legal action.
Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz have come together to bring a class action lawsuit against the Stable Diffusion AI tool, a bot which has collected information from billions of copyrighted images that it now uses to create images of its own. As stated before, this goes far beyond simply speeding up the process of making a complicated work of art, but it has begun to infringe on the rights of artists who have put lots of time, money, and effort into the things that they have created. It might be a different story if the AI tool collected data from strictly non copyrighted images, but it instead learned how to create art by taking these legally protected works of art. Even if it used non copyrighted images, some might consider that scummy, but at least it would have a better argument on the legal side of things. Within the lawsuit they draw the comparison of streaming music, saying that they want AI products to follow the same laws that other mediums of art follow. There is a lot of intellectual property within the music scene, and copyright laws must still be applied and followed by streaming services, so they argue the same treatment should be applied to this AI art. In addition to these three artists, Getty Images is also said to be pursuing a lawsuit as they claim millions of their copyrighted images were taken and used to program the Stable Diffusion AI tool.
Setting the legality aside, AI art is still doing more harm than good for the world of art, many would argue. With such an influx in high level art being pumped out by these robots, it is going to make it that much harder for people to get into the industry, hard working people who have a dream of becoming a well respected artist. Hopefully these lawsuits against the AI art bot send a message to the art world, saying that the people who have dedicated their life to the profession are much more worthy of recognition than the robot who stole images from real life people.