Some artists are actually pretty keen to get in on AI

Sign in a shop window that reads 'I'm a real artist'
(Image credit: Unsplash / Chris Curry)

Generative AI isn’t all bad. That’s the message from a group of artists attempting to get more input from creatives in the legislation and regulations surrounding the controversial technology. 

In an open letter published by Creative Commons, seventy-nine artists are petitioning the US Congress to engage more with artists in its discussions and on-going hearings. 

AI art generators have proved a contentious issue for artists, designers, and content creators, with many deriding the tools as simply regurgitating existing works at best, and data theft at worst . However, according to the signees, “this diverse, pioneering work of individual human artists is being misrepresented.”  

Artists for AI

The artists behind the letter believe the debate around generative AI art has now become “polarized and destructive”. Claiming that many artists won’t use GenAI for fear of the community backlash, the authors go as far to say that “ artists who use AI [are] facing harassment and even death threats.” 

Representation is the solution proposed by Creative Commons. Aiming to give a voice to those most affected by the content creation tools, the non-profit organization said it has engaged with a variety of stakeholders, including artists and content creators to help influence the future direction of travel in the AI sphere. 

While noting that many have major concerns over AI usage in their field, the authors said: “We are speaking out today to advocate for a future of richer and more accessible creative innovation for generations of artists to come. Artists breathe life into AI, directing its innovation towards positive cultural evolution while expanding the essential human dimensions it inherently lacks.” 

From the copyright lawsuits against the likes of Midjourney and Stability AI to creators slamming Adobe’s AI training data, it’s no secret that artists have struggled with the rise of AI artwork. So serious is the issue that some companies, such as Adobe and Shutterstock are now offering legal protection to businesses using their GenAI tools, heading off any copyright claims. 

Including artists and creatives in this discussion seems obvious - and it’s worrying that this hasn’t happened already. Although whether fresh perspectives will, as the non-profit hopes, offer the opportunity “to shape generative AI’s development responsibly” remains to be seen. 

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Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.