Who will own the art of the future? | MarketingwithAnoy

When OpenAI announced Last week, with its art-making AI system DALL-E now available in beta, the company also gave users who were lucky enough to get off the waiting list what appeared to be an amazing gift. “Starting today,” the company wrote in a post “users are given full usage rights to commercialize the images they create with DALL-E, including the right to reprint, sell and sell.” To be clear, that doesn’t mean OpenAI is abandon its own right to commercialize images that users create using DALL-E. Dig into the terms of service and you’ll only find the promise that “OpenAI will not claim copyright for content generated by the API for you or your end users.”

By preemptively granting users commercial usage rights, OpenAI sidesteps some of the difficult intellectual property rights issues raised by this technology—which creates original images in a variety of styles, from photorealism to Picasso. Because some of DALL-E’s images are entirely machine-generated, with the user only contributing an idea via text prompts, the results are likely not copyrightable at all. That would land them in the public domain, where everyone and no one “owns” them.

Images created using the inpainting feature (which allows users to edit images they upload by, say, instructing the AI ​​to insert a smiling corgi into a Renaissance tableau of their choice) could incorporate more expressive user choices. Some images created with the inpainting feature may involve sufficiently obvious human authorship to qualify for copyright protection, but others may not. While exciting, OpenAI’s announcement of commercial use may remove some of the pressure artists should put on the law to clarify and expand the boundaries of copyrighted human/machine collaborations. As such collaborations become more common, the new concerns they raise should be confronted head on.

Leaving aside the issue of copyright, OpenAI signals to users that they are free to commercialize their DALL-E images without fear of receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a company that, if it wanted to, could employ a team of lawyers to obliterate them over “a portrait shot of a parrot sipping a fruity drink through a straw in Margaritaville.” But the platform gives and the platform takes. The Terms of Service also alert users that OpenAI “may modify these Terms or suspend or terminate your use of the Services at any time.”

If DALL-E and technologies like it are widely adopted, the consequences for artistic production itself could be far-reaching. Artists who come to rely on DALL-E will be left with nothing if OpenAI decides to assert its rights. While relatively few artists incorporate AI into their practice today, it’s easy to imagine future generations associating creativity with giving a simple command to a machine and being delighted by the surprising results. Public school systems are already replacing textbooks with digital content—programs that have retained anything resembling art education may well be tempted to skip the mess and expense of watercolor classes and turn to AI image generators as they become more accessible and affordable.

There are other reasons to be concerned about the prospect of technology companies like OpenAI controlling the main means of artistic production in the future. Rightly wary of the technology used to create deepfakes and other “harmful generations”, OpenAI bans “political” content along with content that is “shocking”, “sexual” or “hateful”, to name a few few of the company’s spacious categories of prohibited images. While great artists have always found ways to use limitations to their advantage, much of our most incisive and essential visual art would be unthinkable under OpenAI’s content limitations. Peter Sauls pop grotesque presidential portraits may be considered too political. Philip Guston engagement with Ku Klux Klan images may be considered too hateful, David Wojnarowicz’s AIDS era scandal too shocking, and Kara Walkers fierce antebellum silhouettes too sexual. DALL-E’s limited visual vocabulary is intentionally benign and consequently rather poor. In its current form, the DALL-E is an imposing toy, not ultimately a medium for meaningful cultural expression.

Leave a comment