On Random. Coming from someone who spent nearly four decades in the trades, 25 years in custom glass work, and currently writes spec-fiction and indie war games.
– Hasn’t technological innovation changed the face of labor and jobs for centuries in every field?
– Were there boycotts, social backlash, new laws introduced to curb the use of robotic assembly lines in automotive manufacturing in order to preserve the human workforce? (Answer: No – not in any meaningful way.)
– Why should artists and artisans be exempt? What about the countless thousands of other workers down throughout history in other fields whose jobs were changed or eliminated by machines?
– Do we shame/blame/restrict the one-man street busker using a Korg Volca Sample Playback Rhythm Machine for ‘denying revenue to fellow musicians’ ?
– At the risk of sounding rude – is much of the current push back really just Cultural Luddites whining now that the indifferent tide of progress has arrived at their door?
– Regarding cost: do artists and artisans have the right to demand, to enforce, the purchase of their products at higher prices when for many people, less expensive, machine-made goods suffice for their particular needs and are within their budget?
– Shouldn’t people be allowed to use, to purchase what they want? Doesn’t the final decision and ultimate responsibility rest in the hands of the consumer?
Below are six examples of text-prompt, AI-generated art. I spent twenty bucks and a few hours of mucking around with the program.
When I did stained/leaded glass work, I occasionally had that potential client who would point out that they could purchase an entire leaded glass entryway at Home Depot for the same price as I was asking for custom panels. They were correct.
Of course it wasn’t an accurate comparison; mine was one-of-a-kind, custom design, colors, exact fit, etc. As opposed to an assembly line, limited selection, mass-produced product. But it was their home, their money, their budget, their decision.
These days, as a ‘Very Small Business’ i.e. a one-man outfit working out of a home office, I’m watching costs, trying to break even, and scrambling to pay bills like everyone else. I hire artists, editors, and graphic designers whenever and wherever I can. But also need time and money-saving tech.
When I already use GIMP, Canva, Shutterstock, and Word Editor to help my work, reduce costs, and make ends meet, why not use AI-art as well?
Is it unethical to do so? Am I somehow callous, disrespectful, sabotaging creatives, stealing income if I use the program for my work?