Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you robots couldn’t take an artist’s job? Sadly, that has aged rather poorly in this day and age. Artificial intelligence art, or images generated using AI, has become a hot topic as of late due to the debate of whether it’s ethical to use.
The major issue is that AI steals pre-existing artists’ work without any recognition of the original work or artist. Obviously, that’s not only inconsiderate but also bordering on illegal. You can’t call something art if it’s just stealing the work of others. It’s the same issue as a human plagiarizing. Plagiarized work, even if it’s reformatted, is still plagiarized work. It’s the same with AI art.
AI is also becoming an issue with other forms of art, as demonstrated by the writers and actors strikes. The primary claim of the studios was that AI could, in theory, write and act for little to no money. As the actors strike continues, it’s been made clear this isn’t an ethical option; it ruins an entire community’s jobs. If the function of AI in art is going to be to satiate corporate greed, then it should not be involved in art. These issues have only been accentuated with the fact the actors strike is still happening. In fact, Hollywood officials have refused to make a better offer that provides protections from AI.
There are benefits to AI — don’t get me wrong — but the benefits are by far being misused by corrupt forces who don’t care about art or the people who make their livelihoods off of it. AI generated art isn’t an issue of just stealing work, it’s an issue we face in a capitalist society. AI is an amazingly potent invention that can be used for millions of beneficial applications, but instead of focusing on those benefits, the rich and the powerful choose to use it in a harmful way to a whole industry of people. Not just that industry either — the respective writers and actors strikes have cost the economy millions of dollars. There is no good excuse or justification for using technology that could benefit humanity to maim it.
AI art isn’t the issue. It is simply a symptom of sickness that has infected this nation to its very core. A disease that has been there since the very beginning: corporate greed and mistreatment of the general public.
Why should we tolerate this? The answer is that we don’t have to. I urge you to support artists and take a stand against the misuse of AI in art. Stand with the unions who are simply asking to be protected by something that shouldn’t even be a problem. We can’t stand idle while art, such a valuable form of human expression, becomes corrupted. We have an obligation to our fellow human beings to stand with them in the face of this great injustice.