AI tools can create new images, but who is the real artist?

Category : Technology/Innovations

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. conjure / ˈkɒn dʒər / (v.) – to create something or make something happen, as if by magic

    In the end, the weaker team conjured a victory.

  2. otherworldly / ˈʌð ərˈwɜrld li / (adj.) – relating to something that seems to be unusual or different from what people know

    Only otherworldly statues are displayed in this museum.

  3. customizable / kʌs təˈmaɪ zə bəl / (adj.) – relating to something that can be changed according to someone’s preferences or needs

    She’s opening a business that sells customizable mugs, shirts, and bags.

  4. churn out (something) / tʃɜrn aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to make a lot of something quickly, usually something of low quality

    That factory churns out 50,000 toys every day for the holidays.

  5. fight back / faɪt bæk / (phrasal v.) – to attack someone attacking you or to defend yourself when someone attacks you

    He didn’t fight back when the drunk man hit him.


Read the text below.

Countless artists have taken inspiration from “The Starry Night” since Vincent Van Gogh painted the swirling scene in 1889.

Now artificial intelligence systems are doing the same, training themselves on a vast collection of digitized artworks to produce new images you can conjure in seconds from a smartphone app.

The images generated by tools such as DALL-E, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion can be weird and otherworldly but also increasingly realistic and customizable — ask for a “peacock owl in the style of Van Gogh” and they can churn out something that might look similar to what you imagined.

But while Van Gogh and other long-dead master painters aren’t complaining, some living artists and photographers are starting to fight back against the AI software companies creating images derived from their works.

Two new lawsuits — one from the Seattle-based photography giant Getty Images — take aim at popular image-generating services for allegedly copying and processing millions of copyright-protected images without a license.

Getty said it has begun legal proceedings in the High Court of Justice in London against Stability AI — the maker of Stable Diffusion — for infringing intellectual property rights to benefit the London-based startup’s commercial interests.

Another lawsuit in a U.S. federal court in San Francisco describes AI image-generators as “21st-century collage tools that violate the rights of millions of artists.” The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 13 by three working artists on behalf of others like them, also names Stability AI as a defendant, along with San Francisco-based image-generator startup Midjourney, and the online gallery DeviantArt.

The lawsuit alleges that AI-generated images “compete in the marketplace with the original images. Until now, when a purchaser seeks a new image ‘in the style’ of a given artist, they must pay to commission or license an original image from that artist.”

Companies that provide image-generating services typically charge users a fee. After a free trial of Midjourney through the chatting app Discord, for instance, users must buy a subscription that starts at $10 per month or up to $600 a year for corporate memberships. The startup OpenAI also charges for use of its DALL-E image generator, and StabilityAI offers a paid service called DreamStudio.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you agree that artists should fight back against the AI software companies producing images derived from their works? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Can we consider images from AI image-generator software as art? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Would you consider using and paying for the service of these art-producing AI systems? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why do you think some people are choosing to buy art from AI tools instead of human artists? Discuss.
Category : Technology/Innovations