Lensa, or ‘magic avatars’

Selfies x AI. What are your thoughts?

(subject)(style), (action/scene), (artist), (filters)

©️https://prisma-ai.com/lensa visited on 05/12/2022

Computer-generated imagery. A neural network, text-to-image, machine learning. Stable Diffusion is the latest model to accumulate loads of publicity after DALL-E, Midjourney and Russian-based FaceApp. It’s cool, it’s cool, it looks absolutely beautiful. It is not about ‘Art’. Or the validity thereof. Now, I am not writing about technology and stuff vs human creativity, or maybe I am, because stunning art within seconds vs, well, ownership over the image is, to this day, a dubious cause. The inquiry on the influence of AI-generated art diverting attention away from human artists is one for later too, maybe.

About computer technology and tech companies; I usually think it is more than fair when people are sceptical about how their data is being used by any company. But while Lensa/Prisma employs a questionable Privacy Policy for its users, the thing that sparks my intrest goes deeper. 

I am not writing about NSFW content either because what is the internet other than pictures of cats? “We believe erotic art needs a place to flourish and be cultivated in a space without judgement or censorship. — Unstable Diffusion”, quotes Jim Clyde Monge in a Medium article a couple of months ago. The r/unstablediffusion subreddit has been banned, presumably because of the type of content. Do you agree with them? But, I am not writing about Mager/StableDiffusion, however, is actually very enlightening on their view of current events!

I am not writing about the (social) effects of skin editing or removal of ‘facial imperfections’ either. Nor am I writing about software subscriptions. Not now. Maybe later. 

I want to point out the ‘helping them to train their AI’ clause in the self-portrait generator application. I quote The Standard (why?) in saying, “No, your friends haven’t paid artist to draw them.” The company has not paid artist to draw either. Many accuse the company of stealing artwork from digital creators. With Stable Diffusion and/or Lensa, it is not that straightforward. I am tempted to agree with artist and illustrator meg rae’s Twitter thread, I wonder what data the model is trained on. How did they acquire what? Where does it all come from? Do they make money from resources that they ‘stole’? What data did Stable Diffusion scrape from where, how and by whom, and does it matter? I like the trend of knowing where your food comes from, knowledge about where what you consume originates, and stuff like that, but I am an advocate for open-source and free internet too. For me, it is rather a question of ethics. An ethical responsibility should be employed in using tech, using anything. “AI by the people, for the people”, Stability.ai states.

However, on the internet we live like we want to, represent, reproduce and share what we want; “r/StableDiffusion •Posted by

u/GaggiX 10 hours ago. Another day, another tweet trying to spread disinformation about generative model.”

Now, it is about trademarks and copyrights. BitTorrent is not distributing or creating a derivative work but the original. But what if you hum a melody of a famous copyrighted song on a YouTube video? Are we, humans or computer models, ever even able to reproduce something not similar to real-world data? Is it like level 2 praguepride wrote ·40 min. ago: “It’s fear of advancing technology. Any smart artist is going to realize that they are going to have to adjust their workspace/career to integrate massive amounts of AI generated art into that space”? 

Before I go too deep into this rabbit hole, I will go back to my drawing board. Let’s all pick up a pencil and some paper. Something to touch upon later.. Another day, another blog post.