Key idea: “We should all be concerned about what’s included in the training data sets of AI models, especially as these technologies become a more crucial part of the internet’s infrastructure.”
Original author and publication date: Melissa Heikkiläa (MIT Technology Review) – September 20, 2022
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: AI is reshaping all aspects of our lives, even those aspects we thought were totally human.
From the article:
I’m Melissa Heikkilä, MIT Technology Review’s senior reporter for AI. I’m so happy you’re here. Every week I will demystify the latest AI breakthroughs and cut through the hype. This week, I want to talk to you about some of the unforeseen consequences that might come from one of the hottest areas of AI: text-to-image generation.
Text-to-image AI models are a lot of fun. Enter any random text prompt, and they will generate an image in that vein. Sometimes the results are really silly. But increasingly, they’re impressive, and can pass for high-quality art drawn by a human being.
I just published a story about a Polish artist called Greg Rutkowski, who paints fantasy landscapes (see an example of his work above) and who has become a sudden hit in this new world.
Thanks to his distinctive style, Rutkowski is now one of the most commonly used prompts in the new open-source AI art generator Stable Diffusion, which was launched late last month—far more popular than some of the world’s most famous artists, like Picasso. His name has been used as a prompt around 93,000 times.
But he’s not happy about it. He thinks it could threaten his livelihood—and he was never given the choice of whether to opt in or out of having his work used this way.
The story is yet another example of AI developers rushing to roll out something cool without thinking about the humans who will be affected by it.
Stable Diffusion is free for anyone to use, providing a great resource for AI developers who want to use a powerful model to build products. But because these open-source programs are built by scraping images from the internet, often without permission and proper attribution to artists, they are raising tricky questions about ethics, copyright, and security.
Artists like Rutkowski have had enough. It’s still early days, but a growing coalition of artists are figuring out how to tackle the problem.
In the future, we might see the art sector shifting toward pay-per-play or subscription models like the one used in the film and music industries. If you’re curious and want to learn more, read my story.
And it’s not just artists: We should all be concerned about what’s included in the training data sets of AI models, especially as these technologies become a more crucial part of the internet’s infrastructure.