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AI Generated Art - Is it contraversial technology?

The internet has been flooded with incredible images created using Artificial Intelligence drawing/art software and apps. Text to art image generation is an exciting new innovation that requires very little artistic talent, just type in a description and the algorithm gets to work creating your masterpiece. You can also input an image to "seed" the algorithm.

Now, I am no technology nerd. I don't understand exactly how it works, but I am very interested in the current discussion surrounding copyright and the general rammifications for the art community.

The discussion is hot around copyright for the technology behind this amazing phenomenom. As I understand it, for AI to learn to create images from text, the developers have fed millions of images into the technology and AI "learns" to associate text with images it has in its vast data base. The more people "play" with it, the more it learns. The latest release of a more advanced algorithm that can produce life-like human images is evenmore contraversial.

The image below was created on Artbreeder - Which allows users to create lifelike images from "genes" , or from photographs; use multiple user generated images to remix an image and "spawn" new images. I used a selfie and evolved some fascinating fantasy and ultra realistic faces. You can also create 'art' works in the style of a long list of artists and photographers.

Why is this an issue?

Here's where the contraversy begins. While is it s fun "toy" for social media and tech-savvy fun, there are some serious questions being asked.

Before I delve into this muddy water, I need to say that I have used AI to create or develop my digital art. I do not claim to have created something if I used an image that is not my own. I do often source images from Unsplash, which has a clear copyright policy. I prefer to use my own photographs, selfies and physical art as source images.

Current concerns and discussions