Artists Make an Unusual Move, Defend Generative AI in Open Letter

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Artists Make an Unusual Move, Defend Generative AI in Open Letter


In an unexpected turn, a group of artists have issued an open letter to Congress, expressing their support for generative AI. This move comes amidst ongoing debates about AI’s impact on creative processes and the need for regulation.

As part of Creative Commons’ ongoing community consultation on generative AI, the artists and content creators have engaged with various stakeholders to foster a more constructive discourse on how generative AI can be effectively harnessed.

(Photo : SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)
A visitor takes a picture with his mobile phone of an image designed with artificial intelligence by Berlin-based digital creator Julian van Dieken (C) inspired by Johannes Vermeer’s painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague on March 9, 2023.

The Creative Community is Not Unanimous on AI Concerns

While acknowledging that some artists have reservations about AI, the letter emphasizes that the creative community is not unanimous in its concerns. In fact, many artists are finding value in this emerging technology. 

The artists’ letter, supported by Creative Commons, was addressed to Senator Chuck Schumer and members of Congress. It contends that generative AI is a tool for infusing creativity into their work rather than soulless automation. 

The artists assert that they have been integrating AI tools into their creative processes for years, with some employing them to democratize art production and explore new artistic frontiers.

The letter aims to rectify common misperceptions about artists’ use of AI. It rebukes notions that it merely involves inputting prompts or regurgitating existing works. 

Instead, the artists affirm that they use generative AI to push the boundaries of creativity, emphasizing that all artists build upon past ideas and cultural contexts.

The artists advocate for a future where creative innovation is more accessible and vibrant. They stress the pivotal role of artists in directing AI innovation towards positive cultural evolution. 

They call upon Congress to include artists in the ongoing discussions and hearings about regulating generative AI systems. The artists believe that their perspective is essential in ensuring that AI’s development benefits society as a whole.

Read Also: Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, DreamUp Face Copyright Lawsuit from Three Artists, Allegedly Copying their Works

‘AI Tools Are Empowering and Expressive’

For these artists, generative AI tools serve as instruments of empowerment and expression, enabling them to create transformative works and experiences. They claim that they are aware of the genuine concerns and impacts associated with these technologies and the need for regulation. 

This open letter represents a unique convergence of artistic expression and technological advancement, underscoring the need for a balanced and inclusive approach to the evolving landscape of generative AI. 

But more importantly, it represents another side of the AI debate in the art community, with most artists expressing their concerns that it could compromise creativity and replace it. 

“For us, generative AI tools are empowering and expressive. We use them not to duplicate others, but rather to make transformative new works and experiences,” the open letter reads

“We are keenly aware of many real issues and impacts with these technologies, as well as with efforts to regulate them. And it is precisely because we use these technologies that our viewpoint is so urgent at this time,” it added. 

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