AI art generators face backlash from artists — but can they unlock creative potential? | Technology News

An AI art generator is facing backlash from artists who say the technology is “scraping” their work to create complex images without their consent.

Tim Flach, the world-renowned animal photographer and president of the Society of Photographers, is one of them, and he thinks it’s easy for artificial intelligence to imitate his image style.

Sky News captured Flach using AI to generate a photo that closely resembles his original.

Tim Flach was able to generate an image similar to one of his originals
Tim Flach was able to generate an image similar to one of his originals

“As far as my tiger is concerned, I have to invest a lot of resources — I have to be with the tiger,” he said. “The machine doesn’t have to do that.

“But the reality is that currently these images are generated by scraping our images, removing them from our site, and getting paid there.”

AI-generated image (left) and photo of a tiger by Tim Flach
AI-generated image (left) and photo of a tiger by Tim Flach

“Will there be a legal framework that allows us to invest creatively in the future in terms of our livelihoods?” he added.

Trade bodies have called for urgent regulation.

Isabelle Doran CEO The Society of Photographers told Sky News: “These huge data sets have been accumulated from images that have been grabbed without permission, so photographers have to be paid for their work…I think creators are paid for the work in these works It’s a fair database.”

The government is currently working on a code of conduct for AI, but this will initially be voluntary.

Mat Collishaw loves using new technology
Mat Collishaw loves using new technology

Some artists see the creative potential of AI.

Mat Collishaw will hold an exhibition of his new technology in London next week.

He told Sky News: “When photography was invented more than 150 years ago, for the first 50 years, most of it was just an imitation of painting… It took a long time for photographers to think ‘hey, we can Do this and we can go down here’… I guess that’s the same with any new iteration of technology.

“It will take time for people to learn to use this new tool in a way that realizes its full potential.”

However, some see just another artistic tool, while others worry about the outlines of a deeper, more troublesome transformation.

Dave McKean says AI presents 'redefinition of what creativity is'
Dave McKean Says AI Is “Redefining Creativity”

Comic book artist Dave McKean said: “I think it’s [is] Redefining what creativity is – There has never been such a gap between the total lack of effort or work or any input and the enormous complexity that ensues.

“And I think it’s a really terrible shame. I think what we’ve lost in that regard is enormous.”

Of the AI ​​companies contacted by Sky News, only Stability AI responded.

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A spokesperson said the company is “building AI tools to unlock creative potential”.

“AI can help simplify the creative process, but it cannot replace creators,” they said. “For example, when using a version of Stable Diffusion or one of the many text-to-image applications built on top of the model suite, artists can control the style, composition and arrangement of their work.

“The models are intended to serve as assistive technology and enhancements for artists, similar to what a digital camera or photo editing software does for photography.

“Like those technologies, we hope AI will open up new opportunities for the creative industries and make the pie bigger for paid artwork.

“We believe that a broad spectrum of creative and professional talent will embrace AI and use it to implement designs quickly and improve efficiency. AI can help professionals turn ideas into deliverables with greater creative control, less time and lower production costs.”

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A government spokesman said ministers were “looking for a balanced and pragmatic approach that enables AI innovators and creative industries to grow together”.

The Intellectual Property Office will work with AI companies and rights holders to develop a code of conduct and guidance on copyright and AI by the summer.

The spokesman added that the government office would also “aim to make it easier for copyright owners to enforce their rights”.

“This would include providing guidance, coordinating intelligence on any systemic copyright infringement, and encouraging the development of artificial intelligence tools to aid copyright enforcement,” they said.

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