Artists go to war: Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt have been the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in California by a group of artists on behalf of the art community. The images generated by artificial intelligence have created great controversy within the creative sector and it is not for less.
In several articles we have explained how these AIs work, but here is a summary: generative models are fed by large databases, which in this case translates into images. Many artists have seen how their work has been used to “train” to these models, without consent and without any credit or compensation. In response, the art community has come out strongly against AIs and has shown it on numerous occasions, such as the mass protest against ArtStation.
In this case, the lawsuit has been filed by three artists from California: Sarah Andersen (from Sarah’s Scribbles), Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz, all great leaders within the sector. The complaint has been made on behalf of all affected artists and “request compensation for damages caused by Stability AI, DeviantArt and Midjourney”. In addition, they also require “precautionary measures to avoid future damage“.
As the lawyer Matthew Butterick writes in a post, the three companies are in the crosshairs of “writers, artists, programmers and other creators”. Stability AI (developers of Stable Diffusion) and Midjourney are two of the most popular companies in the field of AI. On the other hand, DeviantArt is a platform with many years behind it and that is supported by a large community of artists. However, in recent months it has been the subject of controversy because of DreamUp.
DreamUp is a tool that uses the drawings uploaded to DeviantArt to train itself and generate images in the style of Stable Diffusion or DALL-E.
As you can well imagine, this did not sit very well with the user community. Shortly after this tool was introduced, artists took to social networks to complain and publicly denounce the situation. Fortunately, DeviantArt finally decided to back down and removed the option of having the works automatically added to the image base used to train DreamUp.
After all this, the conclusion is clear: artificial intelligence is here to stay, whether we like it or not. Can we live with them peacefully?
Cover image: Andrey Lazarev