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"AI art" is Just Reheated Leftovers
All these programs are just a bunch of microwaves!
Welcome back to another installment of whatever the hell this is. Every two weeks this newsletter actually comes out on Monday at noon feels like a miracle low key. So get for a long one, folks, because I have some things to say about all this.
But before I start: Deer Girl Sticker Sheets are back up on my Ko-fi shop! You can check them out here, available until September 30th!
This week I bring you some thoughts that I’ve been having lately about the state on the online world as an artist. I was hanging out with some friends last week end and one of them mentioned how she uses almost social media outside of mainly Facebook. At this point in my life I almost can’t fathom being without social media in some compacity. I owe a large chunk of my artistic career to being visible online. And with that comes all the perils of your work stolen by someone…or something.
A couple of weeks ago back in July we have a power outage for a few days so I was unable to check sites such as Twitter (or X if you wanna be factually correct) and Tumblr. I mainly use my Tumblr and Instagram as a “dumping ground” for my artwork or projects, instead of place to really follow others and get informed about things. Twitter however, I do still get information from from time to time — which is becoming less and less — and felt like I had missed a few things while I was away.
Apparently, Elon Musk new apendage of his tech empire, “xAI will use Twitter data for training the “maximally curious” artificial intelligence systems and products [Musk] hopes to build there,” according to CNBC. Honestly, at this point, I’m no longer phased. When all this machine learning AI bullshit first came out, it was genuinely a little terrifying. what was going to happen to working artists, would we even have jobs to in the near future? There were doomers, as per usual. It felt like a final curtain call for illustrators and fine arts. But as time went on and we all began to learn more about these tools, turn out they aren’t what we should afraid of. It’s the who’s going to be using them.
Machine learning have been around for a long time now, such as speech recognition. A simple Google search can bring you tons of articles and videoes out there breaking down what this stuff is on a base level. We’re about a year and a half out from the intial impact of this newer version of it all, and I think those in the creative space at least have gotten past the intial shock. The shocking thing now is seeing companies like Disney, built on the backs of real human beings, with their Secret Invasion title sequence that’s completely made up of machince generative art. Later it was pointed out that artists did in fact work on the title sequence afterwords, using AI as just a “tool”. But really it’s the principle of it all. Today they say “no artists lost their jobs to this!”, tomorrow it’s “We’ve completely downsided our operation by 75% since we only need one or two people on staff while using AI.” Like you hope that companies won’t do the shitty thing, but expect them to do it anyway.
Being an artist has always been a precarious profession. Always beholden to whoever had enough wealth to afford “artwork”. I think one of the saving graces is that human beings are unpredictable. We’re creatures of habit, there’s always those people who’ll switch shit up, just because they want to. Because they can! You don’t know what' their thinking! It’s new, fresh, exciting. But a computer program that just scrapes everyone else’s work? That’s just reheated leftovers. This tweet is my favorite critique of “AI” art:
You can see that people are already getting tired of the AI. They see how it’s negatively impacting their fellow humans. It’s pretty easy to spot a “painting” made with MidJourney, or sus out if something was written with Chat GPT. I was just looking at an AI art account a little while ago, and almost all of the compositions were completely the same. A figure with a blank/smiling face, placed in the middle of the canvas. The people are getting bored, because there ain’t no magic to that shit!
All this to say, I’m not scared anymore. There’s a class action lawsuit going on. There’s even artists trying to talk with Congress to get a handle on all this. I’m gonna keep creating my little drawings and posting them online. Maybe not on X or whatever the fuck Elon plan to call it next, but I’ll keep posting. Because I do find fulfillment in not just in making it for myself, but sharing it with other as well. the entire internet seems to be going to shit right now, maybe it’s time to go back to conventions and festivals. Life finds a way.
If you’ve made this far, I wanna say thank you for taking time out of your day to read my rambling thoughts. Before I go, like I mentioned at the top, the Deer Girl Sticker Sheets are currently once again up on my Ko-Fi shop (not made by AI lol)! I’ve extended the ordering period until September 30th. Here’s a look at the new product photos that I took!:
I’ll have more illustrations and such to help push the campaign going out in the coming weeks, so please look forward to that and spread the word! Also, if you’re so inclined, maybe pick up a sheet for yourself. :) Once again, you can find the link to them here.
Take care of yourselves!