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Artists around the world are pushing back against artificial intelligence (AI) software that can mimic their creative styles.
The technology, which can generate art, images and videos with the same visual style as the original work, is being developed at an unprecedented rate. But many in the art world worry about its implications for their livelihoods, and the impact it could have on their creative copyright.
The issue came to the forefront this week after French street artist Philippe Baudelocque accused Snapchat of using AI to copy his signature style for a filter without his permission. Baudelocque, who is best known for creating large-scale murals that blend street art and cartoons, said that Snapchat’s filter was a “direct copy” of his work.
“I think it’s a very dangerous precedent and very worrying for artists,” Baudelocque told the BBC. “The fact that a company can just take a style and use it without asking the artist is a big problem.”
The controversy has sparked a wider debate about the implications of AI-generated art. Some argue that it could help democratize art and open up creative opportunities for people who might not be able to afford traditional art classes.
Others, however, fear it could lead to a commodification of art, with artists’ unique styles being co-opted by large companies or even individual users without any compensation for the original creator.
“Artists should have the right to control their artistic output,” said professor and copyright lawyer Annemarie Bridy. “AI-generated art can be an amazing tool for creativity, but it needs to be used responsibly and with respect for artists’ rights.”
As the technology continues to evolve, experts say it’s important to ensure that artists are adequately compensated for their work. They also point out that AI-generated art can never replace the value of a human-created artwork.
“AI-generated art can never replace the emotional power of a human-created artwork,” said professor and art historian Roberta Martin. “Artists should be compensated for their unique creative vision and should be given the right to control how their work is used.”