How long will the naked eye be able to spot the difference between images made by generative artificial intelligence and art created by humans? Ari Melenciano, an artist who works at Google's Creative Lab, squints at her computer screen during our Zoom chat and scans artwork created with generative AI. “I mean, I can barely tell the difference now,” she says.
The public release of AI art tools, like Midjourney and DALL-E 2, has ignited contentious debates among artists, designers, and art fans alike. Many are critical of the fact that the technology’s rapid progress was fueled by scraping the internet for publicly posted art and imagery, without credit or compensation to the artists who had their work stolen. “I think the current model of AI art generators is unethical, because of how they collected their data—against the knowledge of, basically, everybody involved,” says Jared Krichevsky, a concept artist who designed the memeable AI-bot for the M3GAN movie.
Several artists continue to express anger about their original craftsmanship powering AI generators without informed consent. “Their works are being inputted into a machine against their will,” says Krichevsky. “This machine is specifically designed to replace us.” Companies behind AI generators will soon be in court to defend against claims of copyright infringement.