Start a new topic

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.

7 people like this idea

Angry name-calling and asking for extremely broad bans is not a great way to make this point when you will see that many people who are exploring this field on Cohost are engaging directly with conversations of ethics and societal impact, and that many engage with those new systems for exploration rather than for monetary gain.

11 people like this
I mean, I'm uncomfortable with the many ethical issues with AI art too, but I *really* don't think a ban is the right call here. If anything, all it'll do is cause people to continue posting it without tagging it as AI-generated, and spark witch-hunts against artists for having work that's suspected of being AI-generated. Which you can argue already happens, but bans just encourage that sort of thing even more.

9 people like this
AI generated images need to be banned completely. Ai has been trained on revenge porn, executions, and stolen ip. The use of AI is completely unethical in its current form.

3 people like this

This is unnecessarily reactionary and an unneeded burden on site staff.

4 people like this

why do you think that banning images based on revenge porn, executions, and stolen work is  unnecessarily reactionary? many other websites such as getty images and inkblot have already placed a ban on AI. this is not an unprecedented request.

1 person likes this

To be clear: I am not calling any person who has messed around with AI art or done the memes bad person.  I think Midjourney and companies like them are the ghouls here. I see the dynamic  as the similar to the way that facebook users are not resonpisble for how their data  is used to malicious ends, but facebook is a bad company (and in my opinion should be broken up).

This suggestion was based on Getty images recent ban (though them being a storefront does make them have different priorities and liabilities than cohost). But there may be reason not to do a full ban such as edge cases which blur the lines. There may also be half measures, like requiring people to credit their ai art as such rather than just the honor system, although this is has its own issues.

That being said, I will still say that the ethical implications of the technology are different from the implications of  these companies owning and selling this technology. They are one who seek to profit and will profit more than any one user. And people using it as a toy are (not for the most part) writing their own code to make ai art. They are going to these companies they are making these companies more valuable by using there tech. 

I understand that these are issues way beyond cohost or any one website.  But I genuinely feel that for years the public has been taught  to devalue all art created online. (And to be clear I don't think I'm above this kind of thinking or behavior myself). In my opinion, this is just another form of thinking of artistic labor as magical and work free. Just content for the content pipe. I can not see companies like Lensa as anything other than bad actors.  Which is why I'm very passionate about taking a strong stance against it.

I hope that if you found my word too incendiary you take the time to read this even if you still don't agree, or think of it as an overreach.

2 people like this

An expedition on muting/blocking tags would help this, along with the ability to block an entire account’s pages as currently people can circumvent blocks with alt-accounts.

Banning the entire topic is a bit heavy, articles/discussions and conversation surrounding the topic, absolutely, should be allowed.

It’s a very contentious issue for artists and they don’t feel safe with their work hosted alongside generated images which they know are likely scraped from sites without consent.

Asking for civility over an issue where the first civil step would be to ask artists if they wanted to contribute is kind of a big ask, especially as everyday after I see fellow artists getting their works spitefully taken and abused when they dare to ask, after the theft already occured, for some understanding and empathy on the issue.

It’s easy to feel it’s disrespectful seeing AI images posted knowing artists are in a living nightmare right now.

Ban AI images? Artists will sing to the high heavens and happily post without dreadding as much about cohost brushing shoulders with prompters who might feel bold enough to just scrape the art tag. (Do note, banning ai prompters won't really prevent this from happening, it's more a principled stance for the staff to take to mildly comfort artists, who will have to deal with this everywhere else until legislation gets involved).

Don't ban it? Artists will feel like the owners are taking the side of the failed-nft-grifters which is an unfair reach, but for artists who deal with being undervaluved enough to get their freely posted work stolen, and only valued when someone else profits off their skills and labour, it's tiring and artists will pack their stuff and hike it. (Again this wouldn't save them from getting their work stolen but some artists will just up and disappear and never share their work again, or draw again.)

Personally, give me the ability to block an account and their subsequent pages, after logged-in posts gets enabled, I'd feel more comfortable posting.

If staff did ban such posts, I’d feel a lot more relief even if again it’s merely a principled stance, you can’t stop vindictive or ignorant people from taking something that isn’t theirs because they’re having fun at the expense of others, it would show staff are not stepping over the overwhelming response of artists decrying this to have the discussion with tech/legal folk if this is morally/legally ok to host and (without intending to) encourage this behaviour.

6 people like this
It absolutely sucks to be afraid to post your work. Nobody should be afraid to post on Cohost, and nobody should act in the way of those bad actors act on Cohost. But who has acted this way on Cohost?

Sure, terrible jerks are involved in AI image generation on Reddit, Twitter, and other sites. But where are they on Cohost? If they are all "failed NFT grifters", among the 20 people or so who posted in the stable-diffusion tag, how many have an Opensea profile, versus how many are on the record being very negative about cryptocurrencies?

You want things tagged? Sure, I've taken to using the #AI Generated tag due to it being neutral and unambiguous, does it work for you? It's also disclosed in the description, sometimes with a discussion of the process or of an interesting quirk of the algorithm. For pictures, it's also embedded in the metadata (Cohost strips it for privacy, but I don't strip it myself). There is also an invisible watermark added to every picture to ensure they can be detected easily. I think blocking tags is on Cohost's todo-list, for now you can mute or block entire pages.

But you want such tagging enforced? Are you ready for witch hunts? Are you ready to relitigate every fight about tracing 3D references and using photobashing? Do you want people taking the zoom and eyedropper tool to your art to send reports if your shading technique is a bit sussy? Do you want to end up forced to clear up your name of malicious accusations because you use a tool such as Kirta, which has a SD inpainting plugin, by having to provide a screencast of your painting process? Do you want to waste the time of a small staff by forcing them to police whether art is contaminated?

And why are you casting your net only over images? Code, text, audio, 3D models are all concerned by this field. Will you ask Staff members to take down their own posts using ChatGPT?

Additionally, you are asking Staff to adopt the "collage engine" interpretation of what current AI image generation techniques do. This interpretation is extremely contentious, as it is easily argued against on technical grounds. Moreover, there are literal collage artists on Cohost, and hip-hop producers who are likely to use sampling. Do you want to relitigate the legitimacy of their techniques as a side-effect?

If you wish to argue guilt by association, you have to demonstrate that association exists. People can't just say AI bros are NFT ghouls then fail to point out bad behavior. It's just going after targets of opportunity because they are in your immediate line of sight. And on Cohost, targets of opportunity are mostly LGBT weirdos into weird outsider art engaging with the technology critically, and interrogating it from an artistic background.

I am primarily a musician, machine learning being a natural extension of exploring stochastic music, making my own tools to explore chaotic deterministic systems and aleatoric systems, generative themes such as fractals and markov chains, euclidian rhythms, machine learning based lookup tables, how to use those techniques for live modular performance, and how those aleatoric techniques can be hybridized with a more compositional approach. It is very unlikely that Staff has the skills to figure out what any of this means, and to decide whether or not some of my live performance "use AI". They would have to make difficult pronouncements such as "does an untrained neural network constitute AI".

Most AI users you find on Cohost do not fit the mold of the NFT bro who harasses artists on Twitter.
You may be able to chase away from Cohost a few well-behaved people who have fun playing with Stable Diffusion, but you'll never take this tech away from the thousands of 4chan guys who use it to make mediocre porn, from the brands that use it to make even more mediocre clipart, and the millions who use apps that make it a one-click photo filter.

Additionally, asking for the ability to block every single page by the same account would necessarily leak their identity, no matter how you go about the implementation. Shouldn't Cohost be a place where questioning people are safe to create an alt page with different pronouns to see how they feel about it, without fear of being outed?

7 people like this
"And why are you casting your net only over images? Code, text, audio, 3D models are all concerned by this field. Will you ask Staff members to take down their own posts using ChatGPT?" Is chatgpt made from revenge porn? Is code made from images of isis beheadings? Not only that but the music ai is only made of copyright free material because the companies know what they are doing is wrong. You are conflating all AI with the LAION which is specifically what we want to ban. AI in general is not the problem and to conflate them is to completely misunderstand and obfuscate the situation. There will always be people who post in bad faith but having it clearly stated in the TOS will definitely stop most. The assumption that Cohost shouldn't ban it because it's available elsewhere on the internet is completely ridiculous. People should be able to report it just like they report other posts. Just like other websites that have already banned it.

2 people like this

I think the conflation of sampling and photo bashing are inappropriate comparisons. I will say the use of copyright free music is not cause anyone is doing anything right or wrong, but big music labels are extremely litigious. A lot of artist who post online are perpetual freelancers and so there work is something they have to protect on there own which is nearly impossible as an individual. With sampling in music like hip hop there are long established splits and crediting with samples.  And sampling still not with out controversy.  Just this year Beyonce ran into trouble with singer Krelis who was sampled without permission. It was called "theft" by the artist. This resulted in the song being taken down from streaming and stores. Now that's an example from the very top of the music industry but I can't imagine there aren't be controversy like between independent or unsigned artist.  People tend to care less about a smaller creator sampling older works or bigger star at least to my understanding, and crediting is still considered good form. That sense of what is isn't fair use isn't  fair use is always going to be blurry but that doesn't mean people don't have a right to defend ownership of their work.

Photo bashing has had similar controversy  over the year but you only have to look at art station that last few days to see many concept artist who have use photo bashing protesting ai art. Even if you don't think there's a difference they clearly think there is one. 

Lastly, I'm not really sure what critical engagement means in this context. Does it mean: I like this technology but see how it can be used to abuse people, so I am using  public domain or legally licensed data sets? If so: Great! Or does it mean: I use the tools from companies that are know to steal from artists but I have discusses with my community about how that bad? If it is the second then I don't think critical engagement means anything. Because if your discussion on ethics does lead to any kind of action or difference in behavior, then those discussion may as well have happened in a dream. I do hope that is the former and no the latter and sound like people do make there own tools in current community.

Surely we could at least agree that use of data sets that are know to have stolen work are off limits? Or LAION  is specially banned? That to me that is pretty clear distinction. Yes there's going to bad actors and people who are lying but the current laise faire attitude don't prevent this from happening.  There have been harassment campaigns on other sites for years, about plagiarism in art  between humans. Cohost is young and small so that hasn't happened yet . Yet is opporitive word here. Just because things are chill now doesn't mean there won't be issues in future. Harassment in my experience is triggered more by people emotions (rational or not) and people sense of what's right and wrong, rather than black and white rules. Not having clear TOS or any kind of process for reporting, will not prevent this from happening it will just make it more chaotic when it does happen.

2 people like this

I'm not interested in a website that bans an entire medium of artistic expression in its infancy. I trust that Cohost staff can ban bad actors and remove instances of copyright infringement and other TOS violations without a blanket ban on generative art. So far, I have been impressed by Cohost's thoughtful and principled approach to their TOS and community guidelines, and I hope they will continue approaching hot-button issues by continuing to improve users' abilities to control their own experiences, rather than amending site policy in reaction to each new controversy. 

10 people like this
I also support a ban of anything generated on any model trained on unlicensed data acquired without consent. If a generative program isn't built off data scraped from thousands of non-consenting creators then it would theoretically not be a problem, but as far as I know that doesn't exist.

4 people like this
AI art doesn't steal. The original artwork is still there! The people who claim AI art is theft are more similar to NFT supporters. Somebody right-clicked the jpeg you "own"? Boo hoo. "Nooo but I copyrighted it i own it!!" and "Nooo but I minted the NFT I own it!!" are the same sentence. 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. I disagree with the Twitter take. I don't stand with the petite bourgeoisie and their bourgeoisie class interests. I'm a class traitor. I killed the idea landlord in my head. You can, too. I have seen the copyright system destroy art far more efficiently and horrifically than I've seen AI art do so yet.

3 people like this
The copyright system is bad because of the ways it allows monopolies to hoard IP. AI art is not bad because of the people using it to generate memes, it is bad because of the companies who are training it using data they don't own, that they've scraped from millions of people without asking. These aren't conflicting thoughts. This is not a conversation about gatekeeping or accessibility it is about companies trying to storm a space, seize what isn't theirs, and then charge rent for it. It is about a technology being fed the work of (very recently) deceased artists to try and replicate their work (taking advantage of the dead is a consistent thread with these nft guys huh). So again I reiterate, I support a full ban of art generated using models that scrape images or text without consent of the creators.

1 person likes this