wow, OK...I haven't posted in a long while, but with all the recent AI drama going on, I felt I needed to voice some concerns, and bring up some perhaps controversial thoughts and opinions.
I feel a lot of the discussion so far has been either based on fear-mongering or naive short-term thinking.
We pretty much have two sides right now, The deniers, taking the "Cars only gave horses new jobs" approach to the situation, which is technically true, but there are also a lot fewer horses around.
Then we have the other group: which is basically, and perhaps rightly so, terrified their artwork is being used without their permission, and that they might lose their jobs in the process.
Honestly, I dont know where I stand personally, but here are my two cents so far:
1. Resistance is futile. AI art is here, and can not be un-invented.
Going down the path of protesting, banning, and working against AI art seems like a long, slippery road that will eventually lead nowhere. In the end, AI art is here, and will, at some capacity be here from now on. We should probably try to come to terms with that.
2. However, I don't think it's ethical to go through other people's catalogs of artwork without their permission to use for AI models either. Here we should probably try to take a stand on a legal level in some way or another.
3. Our response so far, as a community has been very unprofessional. I dont think statements like; "AI art is not real art", or "people who use it are despicable" are not very fruitfull pillars to stand on. If anything, it signals to people outside the community that we are emotional, irrational, and much easier to dismiss in a courtroom or any other serious forum where real change could actually happen. This is of course not everyone, and there are definitely people out there trying to have a nuanced discussion on the subject, but unfortunately, they are far and between compared to the majority of arguments I see out there.
If change is something we want as a community, the way we are currently approaching this feels very fear-based, and taking a step back to separate and compartmentalize our opinions seems very much needed. Basically, "AI is not real art" is a very different discussion than "It will take our jobs" and should very much be treated as two completely separate issues in my opinion.
4. Another aspect I think a lot of people miss in this discussion is where this is going long-term. I hear a lot of people say things like "Don't worry, AI art will never be good enough to replace humans". This statement, though maybe comforting, is objectively false. Just looking at the progress AI art has made in less than a year, it's very apparent AI art will very soon not only be as good as us, but better.
This does not mean AI art is worth more. We still play chess, and even though computers can do it better, we still weight-lift, we still paint after the invention of the camera, and so on. Accepting AI will be better, or at least just as good is not the same as saying it's worth more. It might be, but it doesn't have to be unless we give it credit for it.
5. There will most likely be fewer jobs for artists in the future. Junior positions will go first, leaving art directors with smaller teams, that use AI to block out the majority of the "grunt work" in the studio pipelines. Yes, there will be new job opportunities as well, as "AI prompt generators, or AI touch-uppers or whatever we end up calling them" Indie game developers will now be able to produce more and better-looking art with smaller teams, and opportunities for solo games, art projects, movies, etc. will increase.
The end sum of jobs will be fewer, just like cars replaced horses. This however is nothing new, as humanity is clearly going in this direction anyway. this will be a global issue, probably within our lifetime. where not only our jobs, but almost all jobs will be replaced by robots/AI.
In short: AI art is here, and It will definitely stay, whether we like it or not, we should try to come to terms with that. It will soon be better than us, and I predict at least 20% of our jobs will be replaced by AI in 10 years, if not sooner. We are currently flailing around like an angry child having a tantrum, and if we don't take control over our narrative, our opportunity to affect change is slowly going to disappear as corporations and policymakers will start to ignore us.
With that, Im very curious what the rest of you guys think. Maybe being angry and rioting is exactly what we need right now to make our voices heard? maybe I'm too pessimistic about our future, or maybe I have missed the point entirely?
You tell me, because I honestly don't know where I stand on this thing yet.
Okay, that ended up longer than expected, sorry about that xD