What for tech enthusiasts is fun, for many artists is worry. I miss tools like Dall-E🇧🇷 Stable Diffusion and midjourney🇧🇷 There is a fear that these systems of artificial intelligence (AI) devalue the work of designers, illustrators and the like. The most recent complaints come from the anime and manga crowd.
To outsiders, all the controversy surrounding AI-generated arts may sound like resistance to the new. One might even argue: it’s just the artist starting to use Dall-E or Stable Diffusion to keep up with trends. But the hole is further down.
Most implementations of these systems are based on command prompts. The user simply enters a phrase or a set of words for the AI to generate images that match the text.
Look what happened when I typed, in Dall-E 2the phrase “a duck using a MacBook”:
It’s fun. You can spend hours on it. And by refining the phrases, one can create impressive images. This is possible because these systems were (and are) trained with millions of images previously created by humans. But what if the AI is tuned to incorporate the characteristics of a specific artist’s work?
The case of illustrator Kim Jung Gi
The website rest of world reports the case of South Korean illustrator Kim Jung Gi, who died on October 3, aged 47. For having a unique style of creating arts for manhwa (South Korean comics), the artist was greatly admired.
A few days after Jung Gi’s passing, a former French game developer, who identifies himself as 5you, trained an AI system with the illustrator’s arts. It’s a tribute, he says.
The resulting template was shared on Twitter so that anyone could create works in the style of Jung Gi using just a command prompt.
Those who tested the system noticed that the AI-generated artwork was eerily similar to Jung Gi’s work. It was as if all the artist’s creativity had been assimilated by the algorithm. Reactions against 5you’s action did not take long to appear.
One reaction that has gone viral is the tweet by fellow artist Dave Scheidt🇧🇷
This is why we talk so much shit about AI “art”. Kim Jung Gi left us less than a week ago and the AI brothers are already “replicating” his style and demanding credit. Vultures and cowards, talentless losers. This sets a horrible precedent.
To rest of world, 5you said he even received death threats after releasing the AI model. “I think they fear they’re training for something that they won’t be able to live with because they’re going to be replaced by AI,” he added.
Legitimate concern or exaggeration?
Some online platforms for hosting artistic images, such as Inkblot Art and Fur Affinity, are restricting the reach of AI-generated works🇧🇷 This is a way to prevent these images, which can be generated quickly, from overshadowing the work of human artists.
There are those who consider all this movement an exaggeration, after all, AI generates images following the aesthetics it has learned, but does not create the concepts itself. See the case of Kim Jung Gi.
But artists do have reason to be concerned. O kotaku talked to some of them. RJ Palmer, who previously worked for Ubisoft and on the film Pokemon: Detective Pikachudoesn’t see artificial intelligence replacing well-established artists, but with the potential to harm those who are just beginning their careers.
“I could easily imagine a scenario where, using AI, a single artist or art director could replace five or 10 budding artists,” Palmer added.
AI systems are fast. The results may not be as demand-driven as the work done by a human, but someone may simply be hired to make adjustments or add finishing touches. That’s what Palmer means.
also to the kotakuartist Karla Ortiz, who has worked for Ubisoft, Marvel and HBOwarns that some companies may simply not value the care that an illustrator or designer would take with the work:
[A IA] produces results that will be “good enough” for some, especially less thoughtful companies that offer low pay for creative work. Since the end result is “good enough”, I think we could see a lot of entry-level loss and less visible jobs.
Some artists are having to deal with indirect consequences. O rest of world mentions the case of a Japanese artist who posted the screenshot of an illustration software to prove that he wasn’t using artificial intelligence to generate his art.
Is there a solution to the impasse?
in conversation with the technoblog for the Technocast 256, researcher Sergio Venancio declared that the solution may lie in the appropriation of AI systems by the artists themselves. In other words, make this type of technology a work tool.
Maybe that’s really the way, but it’s not easy to walk it. Haruka Fukui, a Japanese artist specializing in anime and manga, believes that AI should transform the industry, so she has already considered using this type of technology in her work. Therefore, she understands that it is important that the artist can still express himself and, of course, be paid.
But would Kim Jung Gi have approved of assimilating his style to an AI system? “You cannot express your intentions after death,” admits Fukui to the rest of world🇧🇷 And we don’t even talk about possible legal implications.
Definitely, this is a novel that will still yield many chapters.