As AI creative tools are becoming widespread, the question of copyright of AI creations has also taken centre-stage. But while copyright nerds obsess over the authorship question, the issue that is getting more attention from artists is that of copyright infringement.
AI is trained on data, in the case of graphic tools such as Imagen, Stable Diffusion, DALL·E, and MidJourney, the training sets consist of terabytes of images comprising photographs, paintings, drawings, logos, and anything else with a graphical representation. The complaint by some artists is that these models (and accompanying commercialisation) are being built on the backs of human artists, photographers, and designers, who are not seeing any benefit from these business models. The language gets very animated in some forums and chats rooms, often using terms such as “theft” and “exploitation”. So is this copyright infringement? Are OpenAI and Google about to get sued by artists and photographers from around the world?
This is a question that has two parts, the input phase and the output phase.