**All right guys, it’s time we talked about AI Generated Art**

Hey there! If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve probably seen a lot of talk about AI-generated art. In order to understand the severity of the issues surrounding AI art, we have to understand how AI works. When an AI creates a piece of art, it doesn’t generate that content out of thin air. Instead, there needs to be an input for there to be an output. In the big picture, machine learning companies such as Stability AI generate profits from high-quality media, and the creation of this media depends entirely on training their AI on a specific data set.

These images are made by assembling visual data that have statistical correlations to each other to produce a final result that looks acceptable. That’s a very simplified explanation, but that’s the gist of how AI systems work. All you need to know is that in order for an image to be generated, there has to be a data set. And that is where the problem comes in.

In these data sets, there exist billions of copyrighted images of artworks, photographs, people, all of which were collected from the internet without the consent of the intellectual property owner. My personal artwork that I share on my Instagram page has been used to train AI models. Chances are, if you’ve shared your work online or images of yourself, your house, your environment, you might have been included in these data sets.

The problem here is that your artwork and my artwork, the moment we share them online, they are opted into the system. If your work so much as exists online, it will be found and used in a piece of AI art. And we, as artists, are not being protected. This is genuinely an industrial-scale violation of each and every one of our rights.

Stability AI has claimed that because the fusion models are prone to overfitting, releasing a model trained on copyrighted data could potentially result in legal issues. Basically, admitting to the fact that their models directly use copyrighted content. Many of these generated images tend to look identical to their original copyrighted counterparts. Images and text descriptions are taken from the internet through a practice called Data Mining, which allows these companies to accumulate an incomprehensible amount of data.

These corporations have intentionally targeted legal loopholes to allow them to do this. Stability AI itself funded the creation of the largest data set being used, which is called Lion 5B. This data set contains 5.8 billion points of image and text data, including copyrighted and private data. This non-consensual practice of using copyrighted data in commercial products is illegal.

But here is where it gets really messy. Now, this database Lion 5B, which is most widely used for AI generation, was created with the pretext of research. But the corporations behind the funding of this research quickly turned it into a commercialized product. This app Lenser AI has been charging money for specific Avatar packs. As a result, these companies are now making massive amounts of profit.

This loophole allows these companies to weave their way through legal regulations that are put in place to protect the copyrighted work of artists and creatives. This process has been fittingly described as data laundering. Many users even go as far as using directly the names of certain artists to create their generated content. For example, concept artist Greg Rutkowski has had his name used 250,000 times between Stability AI and Mid-Journey’s AI platforms.

Not only is the collection of copyrighted content of legal concern, but so is when AI generations are made to look like an artist’s work. This has the potential for reputation damage, forgery, fraud, identity theft. And what’s most concerning is that when these models are trained on images of your artwork, they are unable to forget. So almost all these models are now working with tainted data, their generations now all involve copyrighted content, which has been gathered without the knowledge or permission of the copyright owner.

It is directly hurting artists who have put their passion and their soul into everything they create. Only for their work to be scraped from the internet without their permission and used in training AI models. The large corporations and businesses behind AI, the perfect world would mean one where there doesn’t need to be a middleman, there doesn’t need to be an artist. It’ll be a world where these large businesses can capitalize and monopolize an entire industry.

The worst part of it all is you and I, we don’t have the option to opt out, and the AI does not have the option to forget. Even with all this being said, a lot of people who are in support of AI will still try to dismiss this point. But if you’re on the fence about this, all I ask is that you take a look at the music industry. There have been AI models made to create audio content.

But when it comes to audio content and the data that’s being used for that, these companies go out of their way to mention that everything being used is copyright-free and that every aspect of that creation process is based on a fair and ethical system that doesn’t infringe on the rights of music artists. So please tell me now, why is there such a double standard when it comes to visual artists?

Visual art, just like music, has been around since the beginning of humanity. It’s been such an integral part of our culture. From being found on ancient artifacts, carvings on stones, art is one of the backbones of our humanity. And I absolutely love that music artists have their rights protected. But why should visual artists be literally trampled on on an industry-wide basis?

This is simply not artists crying and whining over something unreasonable. This is our creation that we hold so near and dear to our hearts. In some cases, it might be our livelihoods, our way of putting food on the table for our families. But in every single case, this is our passion. This is what makes us who we are. And all of us, me and you, we have a right to feel angry, to feel the way we do right now about this unethical system.

Every single time an artist speaks out about this issue, I see the same tired, overused counterpoints to try to quiet that artist down. And I am just so tired of it. People saying things such as “you put your work online, it’s on the internet, it’s free for us to use.” That’s simply a misunderstanding of the law. Just because something is online doesn’t mean you can use it for whatever you want, especially not for commercial purposes.

I’ve also heard people say that AI takes inspiration from references just like artists do. When someone says this, chances are, number one, they don’t understand the artistic creative process. Or number two, they don’t understand how AI works. AI takes data directly from that data set, and it’s able to create a perfect replica. Humans simply cannot.

And if you point to examples of forgery in the art world, that practice is not something that we condone. That practice is highly frowned upon. A human has to literally look at the inspiration, process it in their minds, combine it with their life experiences, with the way they feel, with how they approach every single brushstroke.

I’ve seen thousands of studies of my work that people post online and tag me in. And in every single one of those pieces, even if it’s a complete one-to-one study, I can see the unique human touch that made that piece their own. So no, an artist taking inspiration from someone else’s work and studying a reference is not the same as AI image generation.

There is also that really weak argument that this technology is here to stay; it’s inevitable, so why don’t you just accept it and stop fighting? That just seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of why artists are upset and what we’re fighting for. I myself, and I know a lot of artists, are not here to erase AI technology completely. We don’t want to do that, and we know we can’t do that.

The thing is, AI is here to stay. I accept that, and I welcome that. But the way these systems are organized and structured to take advantage of millions of artists is something that we are not okay with. It’s not about pushing back against AI technology itself. It’s about pushing back against these unethical practices of using our work, commercializing it, all of which without our consent.

Artists such as myself are not given the option to opt out, not given any compensation, not asked for consent or permission before our images are used. I don’t even want an opt-out system; this system should be opt-in in the first place. Why should my work that I’ve put tens of thousands of hours into be scraped and taken without my permission and opted into the system automatically?

This system exploits artists; it’s unethical, and I don’t want to be a part of it. Just to summarize how bad it’s all gotten I’m going to give you guys some personal anecdotes and some experiences that I’ve had with the AI community. A few weeks back, I was made aware that somebody on Reddit had created a model based on 300 images of my work, all of which taken without my knowledge, without my consent.

Not only were these generations watermarked, but the poster also said that there was no need to ask for permission from the artist in order to make these models public. Naturally, I called it out; I put it on my story; I showed people what’s going on; I voiced my discontent with the situation. But the fact that I called this out caused a lot of anger on both sides.

Some people on Reddit decided that it’s a good idea to take more of my work, more of the pieces that I’ve put tens of thousands of hours into and just generated even more AI models based on that. And a lot of people have been releasing it to the public in that subreddit.

I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people saying how dare you react the way you did, how dare you call this out in your story, you caused all of this drama, so now this is all going to come back to you. And part of me is angry about the situation, but I think I’m more sad about it than anything else. It just seems there’s no empathy there’s no understanding; there’s not even an attempt to try to understand why an artist could be so upset about something like this happening to them.

Some people have gone as far as to directly email my business email about their competition that they ran to try to make a model that looks most like my work in a way that’s very passive-aggressive, very backhanded, and borderline harassment. And I can tell you right now I’m not the only one who has experienced toxicity like this. Greg Rutkowski, who I’ve mentioned before, has received comments and messages about how he shouldn’t feel the way he does, how he’s overreacting, just attempts to invalidate artists, calling us whiny, calling us complainers.

But with this video, I’m hoping to reach people, to educate people, to let people know about how big of an issue this really is. And honestly, if you’re an artist, or even if you’re not an artist and you just care about the rights of artists, I wholeheartedly stand with you, I stand beside you. Educate people on this, post it on your story, let your voice be heard, even if people in the AI industry do try to silence you, just know that there are millions of artists who stand with me and with you, who stand behind you to make the changes that we need.

It’s going to take all of us knowing about this issue, talking about this issue, and educating people who don’t know just how messy the situation is. And I don’t want this video to make you feel like there’s just no hope in the future because there absolutely is. If you don’t know, DeviantART recently tried to opt every single RPS ever posted on their website into their AI system. But guess what? Artists on that platform pushed back against that.

They made their voices heard, and that decision was reversed by DeviantART. So there is a way to make a difference, even if AI is here to stay. Your voice and my voice will make sure that the future we live in is an ethical and fair one to artists. And to all the artists out there who have a following who have not spoken up on this topic yet, I understand it’s hard.

You want to avoid drama; you don’t want to be pulled into something that you’re not ready for. But this affects all of us. It doesn’t matter how safe you feel, how much you feel like your work is not going to be affected. Oh yeah is here, but I’m still going to be drawing in ten years, so I’ll be fine, your job is secure. And that’s great, I’m happy for you.

Think about the young people right now. I get so many comments and messages from people telling me how they feel hopeless. There are literally kids out there, babies who are in art schools going through a four-year program to hopefully work in the industry, and they feel like there’s no hope for them. If you’re an artist with a voice, with a platform, you don’t have to do it for yourself.

Do it for the younger generation. There are so many people, young people, counting on you. I don’t know about you guys, but I want a future where there’s an option to pursue the passion of art as a career. I want a future where the kids want to draw, create, make things that mean something to them.

Right now, we’re at a very pivotal time in history, and there are big changes coming. And it starts right now with me and you. So if you’ve made it to the end of this video, I want to thank you for being here, for listening, for trying to understand the situation. I do want AI to be part of our future, but just not this current version of it.

Feel free to share this video with people who might not know as much as you do about this current situation. And please look up some information on this topic, talk to people about it, educate yourself, and educate other people as well. And with that being said, I’ll see you guys in the next video. Thank you for your time and attention.

**The End**

23 COMMENTS

  1. I think the whole AI art hate is a bit hypocritical. People hate it because it will take jobs away from artists and uses machines to create it, and all the work put in is just people trying different prompts to see what works. All of that is correct, right? Then why does this logic not apply to music? Programs like FL Studio have taken away jobs from instrumentalists that took years for said instrumentalist to learn by having people paste different things and seeing what works. And then there's autotune, also took jobs away from people that actually learned how to sing. Music is more robotic than it was in the 20th century and many dream jobs that people worked years for were taken away, and not nearly as many people cared as they do with AI art. "Pick up a pen" artists say, as they support music where they refused to learn how to play a real guitar.

  2. Lets be honest the only reason artists are mad at AI art is because they feel insecure. They spent hours drawing their favorite waifu and now you can copy that style (Which is no different than copying it by hand) and now artists feel like theyre being cucked because they feel like their waifu is being stolen.

    You never hear any environmental artists complain about AI. Its always weird guys who are weirdly possessive of their OC waifu.

  3. If I have to be honest i'm happy more and more people talk about it. I practicly graduated from art school last year. I did my dyploma with thanks from the president of my city. Now i'm at uni and want to continue my art future but ai makes me dougtfull. I feel like I did it all for no reason whatsoever and all people around me that aren't artists themselves also get angry because they know how much time it takes to be a full time artist and get through. Currently im thinking about my bachelor degree and i think I will write about the topic of coppywrite and AI because it's what hurt me most. We should not stop it. Ai helps a lot with reasearch of art and documents but seeking fraud and using it, signing and saying it's your art just hurt. Reason is not only because of coppywrite but aso misstratment of ammount of time spent on art we create. I'm still scared of the future but our community gives me hope.

  4. Growing up, it was sort of distilled into us that automation would make our lives easier while reducing the need for real humans to do certain jobs, then provide a basic income for those who are no longer needed. I never could have thought that AI would steal art which is one of the most human things ever created. I see photographers go from producing their own work, to using AI to create images that would have been impossible to create as a photograph. I saw one photographer do a series where it's older people looking fashionable and he exploited the ignorance of older people because they didn't understand the images were fake even though he had the tiniest of disclaimers that they weren't real photos, and he was selling prints of AI "photos" for $700-$2000 per print. Did the math one time and if he sold every print he offered he made a cool $1,000,000. Which… he did indeed sell all of the "limited edition" prints because older people felt represented in PHOTOGRAPHS. No one noticed that the hands had seven fingers, the legs and bodies were physically impossible, the wrinkles on their faces were so exaggerated to the point that once more– if you know what's AI art– you know you're looking at a fake photo. They thanked him for taking photos and felt seen under the pretense that those were real people being styled. And it was all fake.

  5. whats wild to me, is when people have such little disrespect for artists, and act like AI will replace artists and what we should just accept it and stop trying to make art… when in actuality AI art is dependent on said artist to function.. like how ironic can you be 😭

  6. AI generated art should be banned. Period. Maybe it is progress in the technological sense, but in terms of creativity it leads nowhere. Today's man constantly tries to live along the line of least resistance. And unfortunately it's the same with AI art. There is no human touch at all in it. It is only the art of the engineers. Art used by lazy people who constantly label their works as painting and drawing when they are definitely not. It is annoying to see whole Instagram tagged with AI art as drawing and painting. Human art is developed for centuries and yet some lazy guy writes few words and AI generates "artwork" which is sold as art. It is not art. And person who state it's his art is not artist at all. I know many digital painters, illustrators, concept art creators who create amazing looking art without art schools and they doing it excellent. But considering computer generated image as art is top of nonsense of modern humanity. Digital art is already appreciated, but it is maded by humans. Not generators. I'm not hater and I respect all kind of art, traditional and digital but AI generated images labeled as art, I will never support. And copyright issues are another beast to discuss.

  7. while people think humanity is going to grow and evolve with all their new technology, I think the opposite is quite happening. People won't be able to do the most simple shit anymore because machines are gonna take over and will suck out the last drop of humanity we still have left within ourselves. We constantly try to find the easiest and most comfortable ways. Look at the architecture nowadays. It's plain and boring compared to what we were able to build years ago. Movies are no fun anymore because they lost their realness and their soul. The future is going to be so boring, I mean life already feels boring with all that social media crap. In my city for example clubs and bars are closing because the young generation prefers to stay inside. It took me a while to rekindle with the "real world" again because I myself unfortunately was so dependent on the media to keep me entertained and happy. It consumed me. One day I deleted all socials and took out my old digital camera and went outside taking real pictures. How refreshing that was.. I wish more people would realize that and start living man.. L-I-V-I-N
    missing these good old times where people were more connected in real life rather than on social media which is not very social in my opinion (

  8. What art is really about Is expressing or showing your imagination. While ai just doesn't express or show imagination. It just grabs info about other art works then just make it. They don't have feeling.

  9. I have a genuine love for art, drawing is easy to me, but i like using A.I as inspiration. However, what is weird is i spent three to four days drawing something on my sketch pad, then thought to try to explain the basics of what i drew into an A.I. and i kid you not, besides the proportions and certain flaws, it was pretty much exactly what i had already drawn on my sketch pad. It redrew what i already drew. I think what has made me decently okay with it is when i use it never really comes out with exactly what im looking for, so i use photoshop and actually merge 4-5 of real and a.i to make art that i genuinely love. I consider it mine because while let's say 2-3 photos are a.i. i just spent 3-6 hours turning into what i actually envisioned for my stories. Also because i know i can make real art that can look like what the a.i generates, i make it challenge for myself to outdraw it lol. There are a lot of people who have stories and dont know how to express it on paper so i actually enjoy seeing what they come up with, however, i would always choose a real commissioned work of art over A.I. everyday, even if it's not my style because it's real. I think if anything, A.i's should make it so you literally have to guild them step by step on exactly what you want, instead of immediately coming up with immaculate photos, i feel like that would make everyone using it actually having to explain and understand what they want to see first.

  10. Someone should make an ai program that will flood all social media with ai posts, im thinking thousands of accounts a minute making dozens of posts each at that point we either kill social media or regulate ai.

  11. Maybe. Artists should unite and start massive class action lawsuits against Ai art models. And demand a cease and desist on use of any of their art.

  12. I believe in order to educate the first thing we all gotta do is actually know what we are talking about, for both sides i mean, its true that in the AI community there is a lot of trolls and just despicable people, but its also true that the way most of the artist community took the AI thing, its exagerated. We all gotta understand what copyright is and what actually protect us from. As the sole name of it says, it ensure our right to copy and distribute our own material, just that. So legally speaking, nobody is infringing any copyright, or stealing anything, because nobody, not AI, not AI users are actually preventing all of us to keep making, copying and distribute our art. I believe we all should just sit down and figure out how to work together instead of turn this into a war, because, ironically the only ones who could "win" after this "war" ends, is exactly the big corporations. If we all just cry to daddy government to make laws about this issue, guess what, now AI wont be able to be accessed by individuals, YET big corpos will have access to it, and also make their own models. AI should stay open source as it is right now, so we all can benefit from it. I see a huge part of the community is sad and angry, and some even insecure about their livelihood, but at the end of the day we all should just be cold minded about it and think this through as in bussiness; a person who rather make something through AI instead of contacting you, wasnt even a potential client to begin with, or even a fan. So, business-wise, nothing has changed. I believe Sam and some others youtubers that talks about it are nice and good people that you can talk to, and dialogue about the matter, but there is also a dark side of the artists community where there is people acting like antifa groups, wildly, i would say even violently, and thats a bad thing.

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