AI art is popular, but it is ethical?

The linked article is for SIAM News, the magazine for members of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). However, even though the main audience for this magazine is professional mathematicians, this article contains no mathematics whatsoever, but does contain possibly the worst pun I ever have contributed to a published article.

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The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence-Generated Art

For SIAM News:

In recent months, many people have begun to explore a new pastime: generating their own images using several widely-distributed programs such as DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion. These programs offer a straightforward interface wherein nontechnical users can input a descriptive phrase and receive corresponding pictures, or at least amusingly bad approximations of the results they intended. For most users, such artificial intelligence1 (AI)-generated art is harmless fun that requires no computer graphics skills to produce and is suitable for social media posts (see Figure 1).

However, AI algorithms combine aspects of existing data to generate their outputs. DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and other popular programs pull images directly from the internet to train their algorithms. Though these images might be easily obtainable—from the huge Google Images database, for example—the creators have not always licensed their art for reuse or use in the production of derivative works. In other words, while publications like SIAM News obtain permission before disseminating restricted-license images, popular AI algorithms do not distinguish between pictures that are freely usable and those that are not.

Read the rest at SIAM News