This week: Artificial Intelligence: How art you? Edited by: ~Minja~
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|Will Smith: "Can a robot paint a masterpiece?"|
Robot: "Can you ?" ~ "I, Robot" movie
“I care about three things: Reflection, coordination, and imagination. To make a better world, we need to be more reflective, more imaginative and we need to be better at coordinating. And I want to build something big in each area, and then bring them together one day.” ~ David Holz, founder of Midjourney
"AI is neither good nor evil. It's a technology for us to use." ~Oren Etzioni~
“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~ Andy Warhol
|ecently, there has been a lot of drama surrounding AI art generators. Maybe you've heard of it, seen it around, or even taken a part in it but if you haven't let me introduce you briefly to the latest breakout in the technology field that boils blood of many artists as soon as you mention Artificial Intelligence. First of all, AI has been around for a while now, whether you were aware of it or not. It was only a matter of time before all of us will be part of the big game. And, as much as I would like to quote Dr.Strange's famous line "We're in the endgame now", I can't because, truly, we are not there just yet. We are somewhere along the way, in the mid-journey to be precise. |
So, what exactly MidJourney is?
MidJourney is AI art generator that can make extremely high-quality images based on text or so-called prompts. That's right. You don't need pastels, kists, drawing tablets, or a good knowledge of Photoshop. Just a fair knowledge of art in general and of course you must be good with words. Instead of doing it through its own website, users are directed to join Discord (messaging social platform) and after setting an account they'd be able to generate images through MidJourney's Bot simply by writing a set of descriptions in chat. This act of typing text descriptions in Discord is now called prompting. From this point on you can sit back and watch AI accept your prompt and, inspired by it, generates a high-quality image in less than 60 seconds. It then offers you 4 similar images that you can upscale to your liking until you are fully satisfied and settled with one. Scary fascinating, is it not? Pretty much. I mean, just look at these amazing images.
How does this benefits me as a writer?
Being a writer means spending most of the time in the world inside your head and trying to show everyone else what that world looks like through writing. Being a writer also means suffering from a well-known condition called writer's block. If you are a fantasy writer especially, you look for inspiration in the most unusual places. Many writers get inspiration from digital concept art around the internet. Now you can easily generate your own, and use it as a mood board when you feel uninspired for example. It's mind-blowing just to think about it.
But how does it really work?
In order to be able to produce countless different images using various styles and ideas, an AI image generator needs to be trained first by going through millions of images around the internet and their text descriptions which website owners insert for search engines. And while we might think that an AI generator simply copies and paste pixels of whatever object we prompted, from one or a few images it has in its training data, this is not what happens. The newly generated image comes from something called latent space. Now, latent space is simply a representation of compressed data in which similar data points are closer together in space. But, latent space in AI is a mathematical space that maps what a neural network has learned from training images. It is multi-dimensional. When AI is prompted to create an image, it is actually prompted to make a point in that mathematical multi-dimensional space and translate it into something (an image) that is acceptable and recognizable to the human eye.
What about the copyrights?
This is where things get a little bit tricky and confusing. As mentioned above, AI has been trained on millions of images from the internet without knowledge and consent from the original artists in order to produce its own. This is one of the main reasons why artists around the world feel offended and damaged. Imagine you spent your whole life dedicated to your art and someone else makes a profit from it.
Copyright of AI-generated images is pretty much unclear because, in the first place, we can't even understand the complexity of the process from the point when AI picks up the prompt until the final result. Also, as per my knowledge, USA copyright law doesn't explicitly mention AI-generated images in its Copyright Act so one might think he owns the copyright for his creation since laws don't apply to AI. However, in the case of MidJourney, here is what you get:
Rights you give to Midjourney
By using the Services, you grant to Midjourney, its successors, and assigns a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare Derivative Works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute text, and image prompts you input into the Services, or Assets produced by the service at your direction. This license survives termination of this Agreement by any party, for any reason. (this means that whatever artwork you create is owned by MidJourney)
Under free membership, you are under Creative Commons Noncommercial 4.0 License (this means that you can't sell any of your generated images and they are fully at the disposal for other users as well to use them as they wish)
If you are a paying member, you are classified as the owner of the artwork and you can use your images for commercial purposes (but all images are public and still available to everyone else to use them as they wish and MidJourney still owns the rights to it even as sublicence)
Midjourney is an open community that allows others to use and remix your images and prompts whenever they are posted in a public setting. This means even if you spend a lot of time generating unique artwork, someone else can simply pick it up and use it as a base for their own. Before you blink, you have another image very similar to yours in style and concept and you don't get to complain about it. And so on, and so forth.
I still think this is an amazing discovery
Let's be real: AI art is going to stay with us, no matter the current issues it faces. Last time I logged in, it showed that MidJourney Discord has over 8 million members and there were over 800,000 of them online at the same time as me. This is so powerful and advanced, terrifying and exciting at the same time. I know and understand the frustration between artists; these are the most difficult times for them. But I don't think AI art generators are 100% bad idea. Does it raise copyright and ethical issues? Yes. Is it affecting major artists' jobs? Yes. But the creativity behind all this is something that you simply can't deny.
I enjoy getting myself lost in some fantasy scene creations I see around. It's a beautiful and inspiring world. It is only bad when it comes into the wrong hands. Before using it, ask yourself how to use it ethically. Surely, you can turn a blind eye and say no in a protest of support of the real artists out there and be 100% ethical about it, but AI still won't go away. This is a big deal. It will rather find its own audience as time goes by.
For now, I think MidJourney AI art generator is a good tool for expressing yourself just as you would in any other medium. It's good for social media shares, for blog posts. It is an amazing tool for writers in case you lack inspiration somewhere in the process of bringing your characters alive. The world is hell right now and art in any form was always escapism for me. I see no difference when it comes to AI art generators. I will still want to bathe with fairies in a hidden fountain in the forest, in baroque style.
Until next time,
Excerpt: Anger was not in his programming, but an icy, hard resolution seized the knight as he considered his options. He could go immediately to the Geek and get everything wiped; that would stop this evil game. But Sir Gawain knew already that things had gone beyond that. He wanted to break this case himself, to prove that nothing could challenge him on this, his home ground. The Geek was no longer an option.
Excerpt: One of the earliest pioneers of virtual reality, Jason Lanier, himself a prominent critic of social media companies which he refers to as “behavior modification empires”, gives a contrasting view on virtual reality versus the real world:
We take what we have for granted so easily. But if you’ve spent some time in virtual reality and then you go into a real forest, I think you’re able to love that forest in a more visceral way than is readily apparent otherwise...Just looking at someone else’s face is astonishing after you’ve been in virtual reality for a while (The Metaverse: Expectations vs Reality, New York Times, November 11, 2021)
| ||Fool Mortals All (ASR)|
April 9 Ninesquare poem for for Katya the Poet's Dew Drop Inn - based on AI or robotics
#2247803 by winklett
Excerpt: I share my sight with you who are blind
processing reactions, equations;
a perfect byte displays my power.
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