The A.I Art Problem

Over the past few months a debate has been raging on Social Media and across the wider internet on the ethical implications of A.I art. For those sitting in the back, or who have had their phones off for the past six months, maybe a quick précis is in order. A.I art platforms offer the user the ability to create art from just a few keywords, cutting out the need for that user to create the artwork out of whole cloth. We first wrote about A.I art in a blog post a few months ago and concluded that A.I art could be used as just another tool in the artist’s arsenal, useful for quick mock-up and proof-of concept for making artwork.

            There are those who would say that any engagement with these platforms in unethical, as they are in essence, creating very intricate collages of artworks by ‘scraping’ work made by humans and recombining it in intricate ways based on the keywords that the user inputs into the platform. There is a very vocal contingent of artists online who have said that this is a complete breach of copyright and will be deleterious to their careers.

            Speaking to the guardian artist Harry Woodgate said, “These programs rely entirely on the pirated intellectual property of countless working artists, photographers, illustrators and other rights holders.”

On the other side however are A.I art boosters and technology gurus, who insist that A.I is about to transform every other aspect of our lives, so why not how we create and share artwork.

            Into this breach steps adobe, the industry -leading producer of creative software. They have launched the first ‘ethical’ Ai platform, Firefly, which creates A.I art from artwork that has specifically been licensed for use through their stock website, adobe stock.

            According to this piece in the verge, “Adobe is putting one big twist on its generative AI tools: it’s one of the few companies willing to discuss what data its models are trained on. And according to Adobe, everything fed to its models is either out of copyright, licensed for training, or in the Adobe Stock library”

This will be seen as a salve for the artistic community, who feel that until now, there has been no recourse to stop A.I bots running wild and ‘ripping off’ their work. It’s a complicated situation and one that’s developing quicker than we can take in, it seems. Where do you fall, are you an A.I Art sceptic or a fan? You can get in touch to talk about this or anything else social-media related with the IF team over here.  

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