Recently I have been listening to artists moan and complain, some people also saying this is amazing (in fairness) that we have ai that can make art. There is the terrifying prospect these ai are taking our artwork for training data without permission or pay which is something that I am wholly against. That notwithstanding I find Ai positive.
I enjoy having technological advancement, more tools the public can use the better. That is how I see it. Humans build tools to make our lives easier,
There is a sold difference between AI, Machine Learning, Natural Language processing, Computer Vision, etc. Studying the use cases for each of these helps you build picture of what the tool will be used for. That’s exactly what it is, a tool, at this point the layman can use it to help the computers train and get better and better over time. We will reach a point where AI will genuinely be able to make what we want fulfilling our needs. For now we have prompt-generated imagery.
Prompt Generated Images
PGI is the method of inputting a command and the computer will use what it knows to figuratively create what you told it to make in a picture.
Quite simple and quite powerful if you are someone who isn’t able to make your own images, paint draw etc, you can possibly create a whole comic book, visuals for your package designs and even graphics for your company using PGI.
There is a great use case for the masses to be able to generate visuals for things they want to create, technically the world is your oyster. these applications are not just powerful technology they are innovative and valuable, they will also get better from here
Fear of artists
Likely this created fear for artists, some of it warranted, in my humble opinion and parts of it cries of the lack lustre.
what we see is these engineers using art that modern artists created, living artists, who still run a business till today, having their art from the internet using training data from websites where Artists keep their portfolios, I personally see this as an invitation of intellectual property, just like engineers on Github wouldn’t want the code for their API being used without proper compensation it’s the same idea with artists and their intellectual property.
What qualifies these engineers to use artists as their training data for their computers. If the public at any point have to pay for these prompt-generated imagery machines that use their data, these artists should be fairly compensated handsomely. Further still even if the public don’t have to pay Artists whose art was taken should be compensated for their intellectual property being taken, certainly there should be a class action based on this.
There’s another part of artists complaining. A different lot who are in fear of AI taking their jobs, these are the people I don’t feel for, professional artists in studios and artists who have established careers, from what I see don’t even entertain this conversation. a key reason is that artists have had a race to the bottom from what I can tell, and take less and less monetarily for in exchange experience and Lunch. It by my estimation anyone who would take £30 for an art job is someone not serious about their career, let alone £5.
Fivver Era is Over
The fivver era is over and should be left for the PGI to deal with, let these people learn how to enact prompts or learn how to do prompts and don’t even put that much effort into that level of a job, it could all be that simple. The people who possibly have a right to complain are the students who cant design as well as us, but as a student you can be infinitely adaptable and malleable. They will figure out how to use it to their advantage.
Playing with Prompts
After some time tinkering with the PGI midjourney I have some findings, what I have noticed from the first instance is that it renders well, it can create a clean image quite quickly, incredibly powerful.
What I noticed aside is that when asked to create a portrait in an artists style as I prompted:
it failed in likeness and master quality. Another prompt
For reference this is Plato’s Atlantis
It’s safe to say that as it comes to layered prompts such as these they’re not just complicated the lack of computation in terms of reference points this generator has, is very few. Executing full body portraits like Sargent would isn’t the natural inclination.
This made me realise, designing hands and feet for this PGI is quite far from what it would naturally like to make. It even looks like it recuses it. Much like an art student who is just learning
When the imagery didn’t look like the person, (quite famous people) and the style it chose was unlike what I know from the impressionists.
The computer done it’s best just like you would ask anyone would, it’s best isn’t good enough in terms of master quality work, this is a hole in its image generation I did expect much more. A higher quality image and something that shows it is pulling references from the exact place.
When it comes down to it these PGI have trouble when it needs to go several layers deep into quite niche territory.
Moreover, the PGI needs to really analyse these artists just as you would do in any other art school when you’re learning how to paint a particular way. The PGI is quite good at rendering and airbrushing, that being said what about when the art style is of an impressionist quality.
Those nuances are yet to be discovered by these engineers, this will take time, my estimate is the time it takes to study at an atelier of a particular art practice, from hyperrealistic, to impressionist, surrealist, baroque and so forth. At least for now, I hadn’t the foggiest idea where the commotion was coming from. Unitil AI goes to art school just like we did I don’t see a qualm.
If from this, you’re an artist who looks at these and still imagines that the pieces the PGI makes is a threat to your practice, funnily enough, I can only say practice more. Or learn how to use prompts to their highest potential. If you are a well-studied artist who has dedicated their life to this craft I can say there’s not much to worry about. You can add to your practice and just be careful where you put your imagery.
Peace, Blessings and Salutations,
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