AI generated art

Laura R Hepworth

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On that point the answer is yeah it is a brand new image.

I've been testing it and running my own 2d and 3d work through and bypassing the perlin noise seed stage and it produces new works around those images. If you arrange some 3d primitives in blender into a shape (a castle / a hill / stream etc) and then render out a rough scene, the programme will add lighting / textures as if it were a painting all along. It doesn't always get it right, so I've been overpainting / comping different passes together.

Those are brush strokes in the style of someone else around shapes / colour / depth that I define up front, and definitely not a patchwork quilt of other people's images as if it were photobashed. It's pretty remarkable.

Definitely remarkable what they can do, that's why I specified the more advanced AI generators. Some really do just distort the original image or make a chopped up version and those would certainly not qualify as 'new,' but a clear derivative in copyright violation. As I said, I think the AI companies have a strong case to win the controversy, it's just that, as a professional freelancer, I have to wait until this plays out to fully jump on board or it could end my art career even as it's beginning.
 

Swank

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Unless you are the photographer of said photo, no, you can't. It's still stealing and people have been sued for it. Even bloggers have been sued or issued DMCA takedowns for the use of photos they didn't take themselves (and even when they give proper image credit and linkbacks).
I'm sorry I was unclear:

You are capable of creating a photo using your camera and then using that photo you created with your camera as the seed for making AI art. So you would be the "photographer of said photo".
 

Laura R Hepworth

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I'm sorry I was unclear:

You are capable of creating a photo using your camera and then using that photo you created with your camera as the seed for making AI art. So you would be the "photographer of said photo".

Yeah, using your own is no issue. Though, I have heard much concern over the images on which the AI models were trained. However, if found to be a copyright violation that violation would be on the company's part and shouldn't be transferred to those that, in good faith, used their software.
 

Swank

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Yeah, using your own is no issue. Though, I have heard much concern over the images on which the AI models were trained. However, if found to be a copyright violation that violation would be on the company's part and shouldn't be transferred to those that, in good faith, used their software.
So, what's the problem? Why not just snap some photos of the cat and go from there?
 

Laura R Hepworth

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So, what's the problem? Why not just snap some photos of the cat and go from there?

Because, right now, it's all speculation as to how a case would playout in court. As a professional artist, I can't take the risk that how I think it will (or should) playout is wrong. Personally, I don't see how they could transfer the violation to the users of the site as they are not responsible (and, in large part, aren't even aware of) the company's decision to ignore copyright laws. However, that doesn't mean a court will indeed see it the same way. I desperately want to play around with the AI software and was utilizing Artbreeder until the concerns over the site came to my attention. I just don't feel completely comfortable with continuing to use the software until this is actually cleared up by a court. I am really enjoying seeing what everyone else is making via the software though. It's just a little bit different of an issue when it's for business purposes rather than just personal fun. I'm still doing research though in hopes of finding a software that isn't trained on webscraped images that I could use in the meantime.
 

Swank

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Because, right now, it's all speculation as to how a case would playout in court. As a professional artist, I can't take the risk that how I think it will (or should) playout is wrong. Personally, I don't see how they could transfer the violation to the users of the site as they are not responsible (and, in large part, aren't even aware of) the company's decision to ignore copyright laws. However, that doesn't mean a court will indeed see it the same way. I desperately want to play around with the AI software and was utilizing Artbreeder until the concerns over the site came to my attention. I just don't feel completely comfortable with continuing to use the software until this is actually cleared up by a court. I am really enjoying seeing what everyone else is making via the software though. It's just a little bit different of an issue when it's for business purposes rather than just personal fun. I'm still doing research though in hopes of finding a software that isn't trained on webscraped images that I could use in the meantime.
Are you back to talking about the picture you use to start with, or the way the program emulates a style? Because it sounds like the first one is easy to deal with.
 

Laura R Hepworth

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Are you back to talking about the picture you use to start with, or the way the program emulates a style? Because it sounds like the first one is easy to deal with.

I'm talking about how the AI models are trained. In order to be able to follow the prompts to recognize and create different forms, styles, etc, the AI base models are trained off of real images and the companies don't always have permission to use the images they trained their models on. While the end product images created from the AI generators might be completely different from the images that the models were trained on, there is still a huge debate going on as to whether or not they still violate copyright. It's this that I'm most concerned about. I know I won't upload to an image I don't personally own the rights to, but it's the machine learning that concerns me as, many, of the AI programs didn't get permission for the seed images that they used to develop their software. I don't want their failure to adhere to copyright law to come down on me. While I don't see how it can, until there is an actual case before court I won't entirely know if I'm safe to use it. There are different types of AI art generators. Some combine images and/or prompts that you input with ones that they've already trained on, others work entirely off of the images they were trained on, and some give you both options. In all cases though, there was a point were the tech was developed around other images and, this, is where the problem is.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying everyone has to be as cautious as I'm being about it. Only that it's good to be aware of the possible risk around the software and, that, for myself, I've decided to be extra careful as it's not just me that it would be affecting but my clients also.
 
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Swank

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I'm talking about how the AI models are trained. In order to be able to follow the prompts to recognize and create different forms, styles, etc, the AI base models are trained off of real images and the companies don't always have permission to use the images they trained their models on. While the end product images created from the AI generators might be completely different from the images that the models were trained on, there is still a huge debate going on as to whether or not they still violate copyright. It's this that I'm most concerned about. I know I won't upload to an image I don't personally own the rights to, but it's the machine learning that concerns me as, many, of the AI programs didn't get permission for the seed images that they used to develop their software. I don't want their failure to adhere to copyright law to come down on me. While I don't see how it can, until there is an actual case before court I won't entirely know if I'm safe to use it. There are different types of AI art generators. Some combine images and/or prompts that you input with ones that they've already trained on, others work entirely off of the images they were trained on, and some give you both options. In all cases though, there was a point were the tech was developed around other images and, this, is where the problem is.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying everyone has to be as cautious as I'm being about it. Only that it's good to be aware of the possible risk around the software and, that, for myself, I've decided to be extra careful as it's not just me that it would be affecting but my clients also.
I guess I'm a little confused (and probably not the only one), where the line between "use" and "view" is. When I look at pictures I like, I am using them for entertainment, self training, etc. It seems like if the courts decide that a program can't learn by looking at pictures posted opening on the web, neither can I.
 

Laura R Hepworth

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I guess I'm a little confused (and probably not the only one), where the line between "use" and "view" is. When I look at pictures I like, I am using them for entertainment, self training, etc. It seems like if the courts decide that a program can't learn by looking at pictures posted opening on the web, neither can I.

There is a difference between you viewing a piece online and gleaning information from it to improve your own work and the images themselves being incorporated into a program in order to train the software, but I'm not really sure how exactly to explain it. And, absolutely, the whole thing is very confusing and it's partly this confusion that has me holding back lest I make a costly mistake. Personally, I don't see a whole lot of difference between AI training (as I understand it, which, admittedly, is still limited) and an artist compiling an inspiration mood board of indirect references and then creating a completely unique piece of art with the mood board simply guiding their composition and design decisions. Guess we'll just have to see what happens. I've seen some rather heated discussion over it in various artist circles so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before courts do get involved. I know some EU courts are already dealing with issues that are cropping up regarding AI generated art, including, whether AI art itself can be protected under copyright.
 

Swank

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There is a difference between you viewing a piece online and gleaning information from it to improve your own work and the images themselves being incorporated into a program in order to train the software, but I'm not really sure how exactly to explain it. And, absolutely, the whole thing is very confusing and it's partly this confusion that has me holding back lest I make a costly mistake. Personally, I don't see a whole lot of difference between AI training (as I understand it, which, admittedly, is still limited) and an artist compiling an inspiration mood board of indirect references and then creating a completely unique piece of art with the mood board simply guiding their composition and design decisions. Guess we'll just have to see what happens. I've seen some rather heated discussion over it in various artist circles so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before courts do get involved. I know some EU courts are already dealing with issues that are cropping up regarding AI generated art, including, whether AI art itself can be protected under copyright.
I'm not suggesting a legal principle, just pointing out that at one time the only way to see a piece of art was to travel to it (and often pay a fee), or to view a published print that publisher paid to print. The internet has, seemingly without any prior discussion, made image sharing/viewing something we expect to be able to do gratis. That essentially transformed many kinds of images into a kind of public use, even while music and print have remained at least partially protected.

It is a confounding situation.
 
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Laura R Hepworth

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I'm not suggesting a legal principle, just pointing out that at one time the only way to see a piece of art was to travel to it (and often pay a fee), or two view a published print that publisher paid to print. The internet has, seemingly without any prior discussion, made image sharing/viewing something we expect to be able to do gratis. That essentially transformed many kinds of images into a kind of public use, even while music and print have remained at least partially protected.

It is a confounding situation.

I absolutely agree. That's pretty much what I've been struggling with as, for years, artists have collected bits and bobs, cut out photos from magazines, etc., to use as an 'inspiration morgue' and I see very little difference between that and how they train AI models. I understand the concern and issues about image theft and why people would view this the same way and are upset about it, but I don't think it really is quite the same issue or what they think it is. It's a gut reaction to get upset if you think your images/artwork are being wrongfully used and there's a lot about how the AI art generators work that people don't understand and I think it's caused a lot of unnecessary alarm and accusations. I'm hoping it eventually blows over and gets cleared up as I really do want to do more with it. It has such huge potential to be a great asset in concept art that it would be a shame for it to be declared a violation of copyright over what I'm pretty sure is a misunderstanding of how the tech works.
 

Swank

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I absolutely agree. That's pretty much what I've been struggling with as, for years, artists have collected bits and bobs, cut out photos from magazines, etc., to use as an 'inspiration morgue' and I see very little difference between that and how they train AI models. I understand the concern and issues about image theft and why people would view this the same way and are upset about it, but I don't think it really is quite the same issue or what they think it is. It's a gut reaction to get upset if you think your images/artwork are being wrongfully used and there's a lot about how the AI art generators work that people don't understand and I think it's caused a lot of unnecessary alarm and accusations. I'm hoping it eventually blows over and gets cleared up as I really do want to do more with it. It has such huge potential to be a great asset in concept art that it would be a shame for it to be declared a violation of copyright over what I'm pretty sure is a misunderstanding of how the tech works.
I think the problem may simply be the monetization. If for-profit software company incorporates a work of art into its software with the intention of eventually selling the program, then that's arguably an infringement.

But if you buy a program with nothing in it and then train it yourself using art you select, that would be harder to show is a usage problem.

Personally, I don't know why people talk about the specifics of their process as programmers to put this sort of spotlight on the art they source. What happened to trade secrets?
 

Laura R Hepworth

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I think the problem may simply be the monetization. If for-profit software company incorporates a work of art into its software with the intention of eventually selling the program, then that's arguably an infringement.

But if you buy a program with nothing in it and then train it yourself using art you select, that would be harder to show is a usage problem.

Personally, I don't know why people talk about the specifics of their process as programmers to put this sort of spotlight on the art they source. What happened to trade secrets?

Oh, the monetization is definitely part of it. As well as, those that would use the software and monetize their creations. Plus, there really has been a ton of image/art theft so people are just a bit extra sensitive over it and jumping at everything they think might be infringing on them. With the way that they are being used though (if my understanding is correct on it), I think if/when this ever does come to court that there is a pretty good argument for fair use, at least for some of the AI programs out there. I've looked at several and some are definitely more infringing than others. With so many AI art generators popping up though, I have a difficult time seeing them being ruled against as you'd think that at least a few of these would have checked things out with an intellectual property lawyer first before getting into it too deep. I actually hope it come sup in a court sooner rather than later just so I can completely put my mind at ease and get back to using them again. I'd made over 20,000 images (mostly portraits and landscapes) on Artbreeder already when I found out what, exactly, was the controversy regarding AI art generators. It's incredibly fun and I really want to get back to it so this wait to find out how it's going to play out is seriously bugging me.

I mean, technically speaking, Pinterest is also in violation of copyright as people pin or upload all sorts of images without permission and I've seen almost this exact argument against them that's happening now with the AI art generators, yet, Pinterest is clearly here to stay. Though, with Pinterest, they will quickly remove any image that the copyright holder complains about having included and, with the AI sites, this is a little harder to do. I have been able to recognize some of the source images on Artbreeder that user uploaded that they didn't have permission for, but, most of the time, it's pretty impossible to know what images were breed together with the AI models.
 
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Swank

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I mean, technically speaking, Pinterest is also in violation of copyright as people pin or upload all sorts of images without permission and I've seen almost this exact argument against them that's happening now with the AI art generators, yet, Pinterest is clearly here to stay.
I would like to see the argument that Pinterest is doing something different than Google image search. Neither are printing products from the images, but both are for profit companies.

The cows are out of the barn. But judges are still catching up.
 

Laura R Hepworth

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I would like to see the argument that Pinterest is doing something different than Google image search. Neither are printing products from the images, but both are for profit companies.

The cows are out of the barn. But judges are still catching up.

I think the difference, in part, is that Google creates a lower resolution thumbnail of the images it crawls and links to, but Pinterest actually duplicates the full resolution image (and doesn't always link to the source). Google also generally has been granted permission to do so for site visibility (though they will also remove links to images that are found to be in infringement) while Pinterest users have not been granted permission from the image owner. Personally, I don't have much of an issue with the Pinterest itself, some of the users, yes, but not the site as a whole or the concept of it. The time I do have an issue with something being pinned on Pinterest is when the user doesn't pin it from the source, but either uploads the image themselves so that it is credited to them or changes the link to redirect people to something completely different than the image shown. I had someone pin my jewellery work, but they changed the link to direct to a site for jewellery making tutorials. Gave me a fright as it looked like they may have not simply taken one of my images for their own use, but stolen my designs to pass of as their own. Thankfully, I could find no trace of my actual photo or design on that site and they were simply misrepresenting their link. Still bugs me though. However, that's not Pinterest's fault, but the lack of ethics of one of its users.

Yeah, I don't think much of this is going to ever change. With all the AI stuff that's coming out though, it might be good for them to revise some of the laws regarding image copyright to set clear guidelines of how AI companies can/cannot use images to still ensure image protection, while not completely putting the kibosh on or otherwise crippling the tech itself.
 

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I asked for The Monkees. AI gave me this nightmare.
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Laura R Hepworth

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Curious, which AI programs are you all using? I'm making a list of AIs I want to play with at some point. There are a ton of them out there and I experimented with a few of them before taking a (hopefully) temporary step back from them, and some are definitely better generators than others :ROFLMAO: .
 

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