I know I’ve been writing a lot about this stuff. It mostly has to do with the ton of self training I’ve had to embark on mixed with a ton of fun that it’s turned out to be. Well, outside of the conniption fits brought about by lacking time and getting stuff wrong.
To reiterate, I’d rather have someone else to do this so I can focus exclusively on writing, but I have too much darn fun! I started this so I could get a cover that was kinda what I wanted. Now six months later, I’m just astonished with what I can do with the software, and moreover, where this is going to lead I think.
Of course, I’ve written about the lawsuits, and the snowflake-pocalypse of artists melting down shrieking how this is theft. Well now writers are joining the chorus too over ChatGPT. It doesn’t matter that it’s so woke and broken and can fool law schools into passing the bar or getting the equivalent of a B- grade on SATs. It’s been discovered that it has strong socio-political biases AND has been caught lying, gaslighting and actually being threatening to people. So I’m not too scared yet, but I know these are first steps to a larger conclusion that unfortunately, I don’t see stopping.
People just don’t seem to understand that this is a tool. An incredibly sophisticated, Turing Test breaking tool. So far, I still see no ability for it to have the prime creative spark required to start all art. That is still strictly in the realm of God, and a subset given over to man.
There is no way these programs can replace the artist. The man or woman with their finger on the divine spark of “what if”? Their individually unique set of experiences that give us the vision to express our existence through a medium in which to share with others. Much like traveling for pleasure, art is best shared with others.
A select group of people keep telling me “that’s not real art!” I disrespectfully disagree with a healthy “bugger that”! If this isn’t real art, then word processing isn’t typing. Or even printing isn’t a method of producing writing because it uses a movable type press. It’s an advancement.
I’ve recently rediscovered Renderosity.com and noted it has an AI art section. If you’re into doing your own art, I highly recommend checking out Renderosity and joining up. Particularly if you’re going to want to do 3d modeling. The amount of free stuff and encouragement there is wonderful. I had an account back in the early 00’s but it’s long since lost. Oh well. That’s what happens when you ignore it for 15 years I guess. Acceptance is happening slowly. Artstation will let you post AI art as long as you are not copying other people’s work. Remember, a style is not copyrightable. On the other hand, drawing a picture of a trademarked character… is. Draw Grumpy from Snow White and see how fast Disney’s lawyers descend on you like Thor dropping by for a horn of mead on the rainbow bridge.
Unfortunately, this acceptance, because of the pushback by, >ahem< “GENNNuine AhhhrTEESTS!” has most comicons cowed in a way tables full of knockoff copies don’t. My problem isn’t in the fact that they refuse to allow it for possible legal reasons. Heck these cons have their right to do so. The same way they are free to tell people that they STILL must be masked and be fully jabbed before they’re allowed to enter their con. I won’t be attending those, and I won’t bring by any AI art prints to sell either. Essentially, there are two people their hurting: themselves and the public by denying them access to new and exciting product. AI artists will just go elsewhere (online) to sell (online) their (online) product and cut (online) out the inperson sales. On a positive note, that also hurts state sales tax collections… so… there is that. Silver linings!
What burns my cheese is the hypocrisy of that artist who’s made 30 digital render copies of the top 10 anime characters and is selling them and doing commissions for people of their favorite character… with no compensation to the owners of said copyrighted/trademarked works. I mean come on. At least AI art programs generally do transformative art rather than direct copies which they often are first in line to shriek about. These same artists who also use screencaps and photos that they did not take as references.
Now, there are those who will throw this back in my face and say “BUT WHAT ABOUT CHATGPT!!!!! It’s gonna take your job too!” as the big threat to putting all writers out of existence. There is a little point to this, the same way there is a point to artists being put out of work too. Not gonna lie. I’ve been considering this and there are some things about it all that bother the crap out of me.
I maintain that the biggest problem with this software is that these language models will destroy modern education, dumbing down the populace faster than CRT on Adderall and Meth. Kids being able to just prompt their way into a term paper? What could possibly go wrong, till the day where they have to prove they know these things in the real world. Talk about the utter devaluation of modern education.
Don’t forget that major software firms are talking about using programs like ChatGPT to take over the simple coding jobs. Yes, the program can write functional code faster than any human can dream. People used to say, “learn to code”. They better start saying “Learn to Farm” because you might need to in order to survive because there will be no entry level work left. (insert rant about the second dark age.)
What’s twice as irritating as that’s scary is the models are a bit of a cheatcode/life exploit in how public data is being scraped, stored and resold. I hate the fact that states sell your drivers license data to marketers, especially your telephone number. But that’s more of a direct invasion of privacy. Scraping data and the benefit of transformative works has become established law and acceptable in daily life. Could you imagine trying to use Amazon if you can’t see a picture of the product or read a small sample of the book? All the sales page has is a wall of text. How fast would you purchase that doodad from Shanghai without any idea really as to what it is? Let alone be able to leave/read reviews. Sadly, this type of data scraping is what gave us these monsters terrorizing art today. But it’s also not going away.
Quick side rant: Today I discovered the licenses for using models on SD have changed significantly. So many previously free to use and do whatever with your artwork models have tightened down. About 20-40 of them that I had downloaded, careful to only keep with creative common models that allowed you to sell your artwork have locked that down. Now I don’t mind for one moment a model maker deciding they want to make a premium product and charge for it. Go for it. BUT DON’T PUT IT OUT OPEN SOURCE THEN YANK BACK THE ABILITY TO USE THE ART MADE WITH IT! That’s like Microsoft Word claiming they own your book because you wrote it on their software. That’s not how open source is supposed to work! I learned from font foundries that you make it free, it stays free. You make it crippled, you don’t get customers. Don’t make something really cool free and cripple it or only to yank it back later. You just piss off people like me who might have decided to spend on your future cool stuff because you have a track record of cool stuff. Permafree should remain perma! Okay? On the same page here? Right. Back to my OTHER rant currently in progress.
Ultimately, I hope to start seeing the turn where this technology is harnessed and turned away from the destructive force so many seems to see it. Properly cultivated, this tech will become a friend to artists that increases productivity, provides new levels of expression, much like fire became a dear friend to mankind in cooking our food, warming our homes and helping us produce so much of the life we live. I wax rhapsodic, but the elemental theory is still there.
Why do I bring this up? I gots some new toys for Stable Diffusion that is starting to make it possible for me to have much more precise control of my pictures. I’ll be able to do more advanced things, and potentially create a lot better products. Ultimately, I could do some seriously auteur level of creations from graphic novels to gaming books and resources. If I decide to fry my brain I could always see about producing my own animated short films. Now not all these tools are there, but I’m seeing glimpses.
The worry about it all is that this technology, barring an emp-pocalypse brought to you by the fools who run our countries and globalist psychopaths organizing WW3 on us, this is a Guttenberg Press/Lightbulb/Steampower/Personal Computer level of transformation about to strike mankind. Upheaval will be intense, but now is definitely the time to start familiarizing yourself with the concepts so when they do break out into broad acceptance, you can at least weather the storm that will accompany it.
So consider this a little heads up to someone who grabbed on early in this new wave (for once). A long time ago I heard the expression if you really cared about people, you’d warn them of what you believe is coming. There you go. You’ve been warned. What you do with being for-armed is up to you. It’s going to be a time of horrors and wonders. Awe and tears.
The only two sure things in life are death and taxes. The only constant is change.
Vaya con Dios all! Catch you next time.