Lensa & the Law: A Story of “Magic” or Theft?
Protecting Your Artwork in the Age of AI: Leveraging
the Center for Art Law
SEPTEMBER 25 2023
“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.” —Eliezer Yudkowsky
Again and again, artificial intelligence (AI) has demonstrated its sheer power to create and tell stories by making visual art, writing poems, code, composing music, and even testing astrological compatibility. Or has it? AI seems to be (machine) learning and doing it all—perhaps, it has taken a step even further to play a little on the human psyche and create “magic avatars” envisaging who one may want to be. If one has ever imagined what they might look like if they were Monet’s or Van Gogh’s muse or if they were animated by artists from Disney or Pixar— AI has got it covered. Now, one can get stunning portraits of all these and many more at the low cost of $10 and likely a few morals here and there — if one is willing to ignore some major ethical red flags (as tempting as that may be…) as well as concerning legal and privacy issues.
Screenshot of the download window for Lensa AI on the iOS App Store
In the recent past, AI-generated art has become increasingly ubiquitous owing to the quick turnaround time and detailed prompts to collaborate and create artwork. With the accelerated rate of improvement and enhanced neural networks, AI is becoming more talented, more quickly. AI software (or the people behind the code) like DALL.E 2 among others, is now being accused of stealing artists’ protected works without consent to generate “new” images. Only days after South Korean illustrator Kim Jung Gi passed away (October 3, 2022), his work was fed into an AI model and reproduced. A 34-year-old Polish artist, Greg Rutkowski also stated that AI models should exclude the work of living artists after learning thousands of AI-generated images were copying his fantasy style and the fact that his name was searched over 93,000 times while the images were being produced. Lensa’s “magic avatars” is one such AI model that is being accused of copying artists’ work to create “magic avatars” or AI-generated portraits. Lensa’s magic avatars grant instant gratification to those who want to see themselves exactly as they desire, making it an instant darling of the digitally savvy… while possibly/
probably referring to works of real artists’ and our
contemporaries’ styles, leading living artists and artists’ estates to ask
for accountability.CONTINUE READING
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