Let’s be honest, we were all steamrolled when AI entered the scene. And if you are anything like me… my mind is unable to grasp the far-reaching implications AI will have on all aspects of life. But I do know it will impact the industry I chose to work in. We can wail and scream, but AI is here to stay.
My stance on AI
I started experimenting with text2image AI in July 2022. I might be one of a few illustrators and artists who is open about these experiments. I was in New York Magazine, Spiegel, and on German tv. People tell me I should keep these experiments to myself. It would hurt my reputation. I think transparency and an open mind are needed.
Right now, people are scared. Scared for their jobs, scared to lose the things they love (writing! drawing! music!) But fear clouds our judgement.
As my first experiment in August 2022, I combined ai-generated scenes and backgrounds with my own illustrations and storytelling. You can find the book here:
One thing I learned: people may joke about hands or other errors in AI output, but the speed with which these models develop will make the output flawless within the year.
I created a second book in a similar way, a Xmas present for my nephew. With the newer models, I could have gotten a lot closer to my personal style, and I will probably do that in future personal projects.
The legal and ethical implications
I watch the outcome of the legal battles with interest, especially the ones concerning the legality of the datasets. I believe the Getty lawsuit has a more solid base than the artist one, but I am not a lawyer.
I am vocal about not using living artist names in prompts. If all you enter is an artist name, and get output that vaguely looks like their work? The AI has too much work linked to that name. Legally, styles cannot be copyrighted. I believe with the advent of AI, this has to change. It is unethical to copy or steal an artist’s style and work.
In my professional work, there can be no question about who owns the copyright.