AI art has become of the most contentious topics of 2022. For every impressively detailed ‘piece’ spat out by a text-to-image generator, there’s a question over the ethics of the entire enterprise. And now, even the Hollywood celebrities are getting angry about it.
Unless you’ve been living under an AI-generated rock, you’ve probably noticed those ‘Magic Avatars’ doing the rounds on social media. The app responsible for these AI-enhanced selfies, Lensa, is topping store charts – but concern about the tool is growing just as fast. (New to AI art? Check out out guide on how to use DALL-E 2.)
Right now, the most common complaint levelled at Lensa is how Stable Diffusion, the AI tech used as its foundation, is known to co-opt the work of existing artists. We’ve already reported that the app is even spitting out artworks with evidence of the original artist’s signature still visible.
But now, actress Megan Fox has complained about a different issue – namely the over sexualisation of the app’s AI-enhanced selfies. “Were everyone’s avatars equally as sexual?” She asked in an Instagram post, “Like, why are most of mine naked?”
Is it just me or are these AI selfie generator apps perpetuating misogyny? Here’s a few I got just based on my photos of my face. pic.twitter.com/rUtRVRtRvGDecember 3, 2022
AI art generators have come under fire for similar reasons before, with one Twitter user accusing them of “perpetuating misogyny” (above). Lensa developer Prisma even responded to such claims, as well as those about the existential threat to artists, insisting in a Twitter thread, “AI produces unique images based on the principles derived from data, but it can’t ideate and imagine things on its own. As cinema didn’t kill theater and accounting software hasn’t eradicated the profession, AI won’t replace artists but can become a great assisting tool.”
This is by no means the first AI art controversy we’ve seen in recent months. From AI art scooping first prize in an art competition to Getty banning AI-generated images from its library over copyright concerns and people using the tools to copy specific artists’ styles, the tech is causing all manner of disturbance online. Indeed, even Adobe recently offered a message for creatives worried about the rise of AI art.