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Are You Upset About AI Art?

A friend asked me to write about AI Art and brought up the fact that people were upset about it.  

My understanding is that people are upset because the internet is being used as the database for the creation of IA art and so without pay or permission people’s original art is being used as inspiration for IA art.  

I don’t condone stealing art.  I value artists and I think that they should be well paid.  

But  I wonder, if someone’s art is meshed with a bunch of other art and only retains 5-10% of each piece that inspired the AI art, can it be considered stealing?  If I looked at someone’s piece of art and tried to mimic it myself, I might end up with 5-10% of my result being essentially a copy of the original (If I was really good). Back in the day the apprentices would intentionally spend all day “copying” the masters pieces exactly to learn.  Was that considered unethical? No. 

In the art world people get inspired by each other all the time and “steal” style and colors and shapes but they try not to steal so much that it is noticable. They take “inspiration” and attempt to mimic their favorites but in their own way.  Not much art is completely out of a person’s own creativity and without reference to anything else they have seen.  

I have made art, and it is on the internet and could be fed to an AI machine and pieces/pixels from my pieces could end up in a final product from an AI.  I don’t care.  (But I don’t begrudge artists that do care, this is just my own viewpoint) 

I saw a few comments that “people are paying $10 for an AI portrait instead of goes to an actual artist for their portrait”.  

If that person wanted a portrait from an individual artist they would have bought one (or still will buy one in the future).  AI does not replace art from an individual artist and never will (IMO) because we humans feel special connections with other humans and we want an original or print from the artist we connect with because of how it makes us feel to buy and own that piece and support that other human.

When photography first came about the painters said it was cheating and not a true art.  

Fields develop and things change.  Maybe this will free up some artists who didn’t want to spend 5 hours drawing a hand and they will be able to get more art out and achieve their artistic goals with the help of AI.    

There are always going to be people that want to buy originals. Oil paintings are not valued the same as digital art.  When an AI starts 3D printing oil on a canvas then maybe I will have a different viewpoint.