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No Artist Required


One day, Ammaar Reshi was playing around with a chatbot called ChatGPT. It’s a computer program. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to imitate thinking and writing. Reshi decided to use it to make a children’s book. The chatbot helped Reshi come up with a story about a girl named Alice. Reshi made illustrations using another AI program, Midjourney. It translates words into images.

The book, Alice and Sparkle, was done in just a couple of days. “Anyone can use these [AI] tools,” Reshi told TIME. “[They’re] readily accessible. And not hard to use.”

SMART ART These book illustrations were made by an AI program. The book’s text was also produced using AI.


Reshi posted about the book on Twitter. Not everyone was pleased. Some people praised him for his ingenuity ingenuity creativity; inventiveness (noun) The students showed their ingenuity by writing a song for the teacher's birthday. . But artists were critical. They said the artwork was poor. (In one drawing, hands look like claws.) The way the art was made was a problem too.


Midjourney searches through millions of images on the Internet. It uses algorithms algorithm a set of instructions that tells a computer program how to accomplish a task (noun) The company used an algorithm to recommend its product online. to find patterns in those images and create new ones. Artists often upload their work online. Midjourney could be using their work without their permission.

“The main problem to me about AI is that it was trained off of artists’ work,” illustrator Adriane Tsai says. “It’s our creations . . . that we did not consent to being used.”

For Art's Sake


Many artists and writers are nervous about the future. Will people pay for their work if it can be done cheaper using AI?

Some companies are already choosing AI over human talent. The San Francisco Ballet used images made with Midjourney to promote its production of The Nutcracker. At a comedy club, an AI-powered robot told jokes. Abraham Josephine Riesman is a journalist. “It’s deeply troubling to see people seeking cheap alternatives to actual human writing,” she says.

Reshi says tech companies should protect artists and authors: “It’s really important that the tech industry that’s working on these tools involves [artists] in the process of creation.”