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AI-created art has won awards, been on display in museums and taken over Twitter profile photos, but not everyone is happy with it. What turns users into elven princesses.

Three artists are suing Midjourney, Stability AI, and DeviantArt over their use of an AI art generation tool called Stable Diffusion. The artists, Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz, allege that the tool violates the copyrights of millions of artists.

How the AI ​​art generators work: Stable Diffusion has received billions of images pulled from the web to train its AI on how to do things like identify an “avocado.” So when a user types “corgi eats avocado in space” into an AI art generator using Stable Diffusion, he creates images based on the work of all the other artists he analyzes.

But whether it is derivative or plagiarism is up for debate.

The lawsuit claims that Stable Diffusion cobbles together pieces of copyrighted imagery, but the creators of AI art generation tools argue that their use of images to train AI to make new images is covered by the “fair use” doctrine. “, which allows the use of copyrighted materials for “transformational” purposes.

Bottom line: This case could set an important precedent in training AI tools that could reach far beyond the art world.—JW