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Ban on Ai Art

The current trend of Lensa, Midjourney, etc is rent seeking ghoulish behavior that seeks to destabilize  artistic labor even more than it already is. 

This is NFT shit all over again and theres needs to be a zero tolerance of it. This is automated theft and exploitation to be stopped.

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The conversation in this thread has ceased to be useful or constructive. I'm locking this for now. We do not have any pending community guidelines changes re: AI Art to announce at this time.

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This is extremely nit-picky and not very related to the general topic of discussion that has previously occurred:  How is a ban a feature?  This seems more like a request for site policy?

I think I generally agree with sentiments that have already been shared: a blanket ban on AI-generated art would most likely result in people not mentioning that the art they post or share is AI-generated.

Perhaps staff could write in scripts that scan posted art for certain informational tags (invisible watermarks of known AI artists, or other specific info that might be found within the images' metadata) that would generally indicate an image was a result from an AI generator, but removing those information tags can be as easy as taking a screenshot before posting.  At what point do we start asking staff to go snipe hunting for us?

If staff cannot reliably and effectively ban AI art, then it would fall to the users of cohost to report it.  Some images are obviously generated by AI while others are not.  Many artists have a period of fine-tuning in their creation process; there is nothing stopping an AI-generated image from being run through photoshop before posting.  How many times have we fallen for a slick photo edit?  

I am not a fan of AI-generated art and never really have been.  In its current state I especially do not want to interact with it.  The decision for me comes down to 1) being able to knowingly block/ignore users who post AI-generated art or 2) spending time trying to guess whether or not any image I come across has been generated by a program.  The latter option seems inherently toxic to artists as a group.  I would rather have AI-generated art allowed on cohost so that I can better ignore it.

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I told myself I wouldn't jump into this argument, but eh.

I personally believe that there's little value that could be added in repeatedly attempting to make this entire debate about one single argument based purely on shock value. It makes the arguments against AI art look simpler than they actually are, and makes the actual hard-hitting arguments take a back seat. Not to mention the article itself that this info came from (which I definitely think hasn't helped here with its clickbait title) also goes into detail on the ways they're already trying to combat stuff like this - how they're trying to completely filter out extreme materials like that.

Finally, I personally believe it's not even relevant unless you're actively trying to produce materials like that, in which case, you're a sicko (derogatory). If you tell it to generate stuff like that, I feel the fault lies more with you than whoever trained the model - which also included things like safety filters that you likely had to disable to make it output such things. Depending on what horrible things you chose to create, you might even be violating the license you had to agree to before downloading the model. Regardless, I don't exactly think any good model is referring to revenge porn or ISIS beheadings when you tell it to create a picture of a cute kitten.

I think the biggest argument against AI art has to do with its capacity to displace artists, and the impact it will have on artists looking to make a living if its existence is normalized. This is a problem that can't be solved by a model from someone who actually completely filters out the bad material - it has to be solved outside of that.

I like to think that moves that places such as the US Copyright Office are making helps (in the US, AI-generated art can't be copyrighted as it lacks "human authorship", and multiple AI-generated works have already been rejected for copyright due to that reason), but not all governments are the same in that manner, unfortunately.

My opinions on this topic are a bit mixed, admittedly. I think, in some regards, there has been a Pandora's Box that has been opened - AI art won't cease to exist, even if it were completely and totally outlawed. I think the ideal solution would be making it completely unviable to use in any situation that involves the exchange of money - but that involves some massive systemic change, and I'm sure companies that want to profit off of these models won't like that.

As far as if it should be banned from Cohost, though? I think that'd cause some problems - mainly, how can you tell what art is AI-produced and what isn't? Sure, some models invisibly watermark their output, but then there's folks who will remove those functions, or will destroy the watermark in some way through manipulating the image. Even worse, some folks know the watermarking is so that the generated works won't be included in newer datasets, so there might be a few artists that deliberately watermark their own works so they won't get trained on.

Sure, some images might be more obviously AI-generated by just how badly they fudge fingers or other artifacts, but not every AI-generated image is like that, and what if the poster made a very minor edit to fix such details? Even worse - what if someone's art style involves some level of simplification of features that looks similar *enough* to how AI fudges those features?

I think a blanket ban on AI art will just lead to people obscuring the fact they generated their works through a neural network, and will lead to people trying to witch hunt folks that they *think* are making AI generated art - even if they aren't using neural networks in their art. I think it should be a situation where people are encouraged to tag AI-generated works as such, so that tag muffling can do its job.

If there was some way to identify, with perfect accuracy, which images are and aren't AI generated, I think a ban would be a better idea. As is right now, however, I feel like it'd just lead to more toxicity, with AI art wordsmiths trying to obscure the fact their works are generated by neural networks, and some folks choosing to try and hunt those people down and perhaps not always coming up with the right answer.

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Putting words in people's mouth by using imaginary quotes conceding your absurd premises makes it clear that the threat you are upset with exists only in your imagination, Kaden. 

The best part of Cohost are its extensive controls to curate your experience, and a userbase eager to accommodate people who require material that upsets them tagged. You already have all the tools you need to curate your dashboard and limit your exposure to this material.

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We already have tag muffling, blocking and other features either implemented or planned for implementation which enable users to avoid content they are morally opposed to. It should be on the users to curate their experiences, not the site staff to react to controversial topics and take sides.

I am a digital artist myself and have used digital tools for many years, including AI, to assist me in my artistic process. That doesn't mean I support the bad practices that many visual AI have been built on at the present moment, but I also think it would would be incredibly shortsighted to ban an entire artistic medium based on a kneejerk moral panic. This is compounded by the fact that humans are often poor at telling the difference between AI-generated art and fully original paintings, or collage and photobashing techniques; I agree with the earlier point that a ban would only promote bullying and witch-hunting behavior toward artists, and create an atmosphere of accusation and distrust.

This isn't a defense of the ethical problems which concern AI art, but you could also make similar arguments for a number of other art forms or content which are already accepted on the site. Cohost is also not an image provider in the first place, so it also doesn't really make sense to compare it to a stock image website in terms of policy.

Regarding the concern of art theft, I don't see how it's any different from existing rules. If someone believes that their work has been stolen, they can report the offending user. I don't think it necessarily matters whether the theft is due to tracing, reposting or AI being used to alter it, all of which should fall under the same blanket of thieving behavior.

"I'm perfectly ok using a program that was trained on stolen medical, photos and isis beheadings because none of the actual pixels are in the new images! :)" 

This guilt by association talking point depends entirely on lacking the most basic education about how diffusion models actually work, which is probably why nobody bothered to address it.

But whether the argument has any validity or not, if someone experiences such a strongly negative emotional reaction to it, tag muffling has been implemented.

I am one of the most frequent posters of AI generated material, and systematically use the tag "AI Generated" for the benefit of anyone who wishes to block or seek out this material.

I posted encouragements to others to use this tag. If someone won't follow AI users, also blocks the Stable Diffusion, Dall-e 2 and ChatGPT tags, they will certainly remove 90% of AI generated material from their timeline.

The fact staff certainly received reports about my AI generation experiments and did nothing about it, while members of staff have also stable diffusion images for shitposting, should make it clear where the policy stands anyway. Nobody wants to import the sorts of bitter fights we're seeing on Reddit or Twitter here.

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My statement wasn't based on what people WILL do with AI art, it is based on the fact that AI is already trained on revenge porn, stolen medical photos, and isis beheadings. It has already been used. Every time you use AI image generator you are using someone's stolen private medical photos. AI art programs as it stands is not ethical to use in any capacity.

"Should we ban words.' Certain words have been banned. Common. You know this.

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As a BMA player, I have to vote against this. AI image generation isn't just 'omg lets replace all digital painters'- it is a tool that many people are using maliciously, or creating their own editions of in a malicious way, but it is not itself inherently evil. 

People post all kinds of heinous shit on twitter, including the revenge porn you use as your main talking point. Should we be banned from saying the word 'twitter', or embedding twitter posts? People write mean things with words, should we ban words?

I understand where you're coming from, but an outright ban would be overly hostile when the real threat is not AI image generation, but people who use it for evil. :/

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I do see the skill of art. I am an artist who has spent years honing my skills. I will repeat from my first post on the subject. I am a digital artist who has been creating online for over a decade. I have barely touched AI art. I know how digital art works. I am a part of the digital art community. AI art is not my shiny new toy. AI is something I've barely touched. I just know who my enemies are. I have seen digital artists fight copyright all their careers. And now I'm told we SHOULD become like the RIAA because we got a bit spooked by computer art? No thanks.

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Yeah, not just stolen ip but also revenge porn, stolen medical photos, and isis executions. If you want to build an ai off of completely public domain images and works that the authors themselves submit. Share fine whatever. But there is no current model that does that. This person is just clearly a troll hiding behind pseudo Marxists language and has never talked to an actual artist ever.

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Yeah this feels like working backwards to justify why it's actually fine the shiny new toy you want to play with was built with stolen labor.

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The idea that you think of art as only a physical resource and not a representation of the time, skill, and labor that went into making a piece is the issue.

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Artists are petite bourgeoisie, and hoping to charge rent on pngs that are infinitely replicable. You should get compensation for your labor. You cannot charge rent to a person duplicating an infinite resource. Artists, as idea landlords, do not withhold things needed for survival. Art is enriching and important for humans, but yes, you can technically survive an existence in an artless world. Other uses of copyright are not so kind. Poor people or inexperienced artists should have luxuries, too. Anyone can be an artist - I agree - and extend that to people who use AI. I think poor people should have nice things. I'm not helping landlords build a house, I am just sitting here. If somebody scraped my PNG, that's their labor, not mine. I guess technically Stable Diffusion is not immune to Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish. These are however tactics that FOSS communities are familiar with, and I trust they will fight to prevent such an outcome. This is a worry with AI art though, so its worth keeping an eye on! All AI art should be public domain, and I wish the huge pushback on AI art was instead refocused to this end. A compulsory public domain art fabrication technique... It would be so cool.

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It's pretty easy actually to ultimately be against copyright law and still think that tech startups bursting into a room, vacuuming up a bunch of stuff they had nothing to do with so they can put it into a blender and resell it to people (and eventually other corporations) in the hopes of replacing the people who made the original stuff sucks a big one.

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