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  • Ben Wild

AI Art. What's the big deal?

I have had so many messages, DMs & emails asking for my thoughts on this.



So...



I thought I'd dive into my opinions on the subject.



This opinion is coming from the perspective of a business owner who has 6 fabulous creatives on my team & from my creative brain as an illustrator myself.



Over the last few weeks, I have seen the media revolving around AI & especially the impact on the illustration, design & creative community. I have also seen the barrage of 'AI Portraits'!



Let's initially start with how AI is impacting the creative industry. As 'AI' has broad opportunities (not just for portraits believe it or not). AI is being utilized in programs such as Photoshop, After Effects & In-Design to eliminate drawn out & sometimes time-consuming elements & thus save creatives time. This is a great example of the human creative working hand in hand to utilize AI... This leads to part of my opinion that creatives need to be open to AI & new tech in general.


But...


As with everything, this comes with a pinch of salt.



For every creative empowering element of AI, there seem to be 2 or 3 creative crushing elements to it. None more than the portraits you've probably seen popping up & down your news feeds of late.



The portraits are a perfect example of AI in its worst form. For those know don't know much more than the novelty of a computer designing an avatar I thought I should jump into why it's so damaging.



To generate one of these portraits you make a payment (Instantly enabling the platform to make a profit) the software then uses data from a collection of none-permission giving creatives, illustrators & designers from the world wide web to produce a collection of 'mind-blowing' portraits. Bad right? The worst part is there is no acknowledgment, compensation, or mention of the creatives used in this process.



I have seen people & journalists compare the battle between the AI portraits & human illustrators similar to when Spotify first came on the scene & yes the mention of past tech seems to be buzzy and trendy, yet this is illogical and frankly silly. Spotify changed the way people consumed music & affected revenue streams in some form however AI portraits are directly stealing artists' work without mention or payment which is terrible.



AI is here to stay, SO, we need to find a solution in a speedy manner that prevents software as the above-mentioned from profiting from stolen work & we need to find a way where the AI works hand-in-hand with the creative to speed up their workflow & help make creative choices accessible and possible without ever taking away from their process.



As a creative company, we won't be using the portrait-creating software & will continue to work on human-created illustrations. Paying humans to make art. However, we hope the balance of empowerment & fair work is soon realized within this space.



What are your thoughts? From one human artist to another.

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