What the buzz is about
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a component of processes, mostly unrecognized, that have subtly influenced our daily lives for decades. But in the fall of 2022, several new, high-profile AI–generative products were released to the general public, garnering massive interest in an incredibly short period. They also generated serious controversy among creative communities because of how these companies and institutions quietly created and “trained” their products using massive amounts of copyrighted data taken from so-called “public sites.” The legal battles, just beginning, will have substantial social, commercial, and legal ramifications.
You should be here if you are a photographer, videographer, another type of visual artist, writer, teacher, or just someone interested in and concerned about creative processes, rights, and the disruptions caused by the increasing incursions of AI into these domains (and elsewhere, everywhere).
Put your interest into action
There needs to be action taken to protect creative rights. We’ll get to that.
First, we need a deep understanding of the legal concepts involved. Then learn how monied interests control the law that was meant to protect us, the individual creators and artists.
So second, we need to know the movers and shakers involved. This is an evolving tech war among huge, well-heeled international business interests, governments (via the public piggybank, graft/grift), their cross purposes, and alliances.
What is needed here is massive education about these AI technologies. That is a huge universe beyond the scope of this project. But we can learn about specifics of how these technologies are affecting our creative concerns. Once educated, we can explore ways to become players in the various intersecting spheres of influence that shape what is presently beyond our control.
Put aside any thoughts of grassroots protestations. Such thoughts are impotent and have no effect on those that have the power. Important principles are involved, but the reality is that money matters: Those with the money make (or ignore/break) the rules. We can’t hope to fight dollars to dollars. We can’t buy the influence necessary for corrective action on the political side—and make no mistake, that’s one mighty fortress in this battle—but not the only side.
The corporate protagonists have to deal with their markets and threats to their sovereignty in those markets from government intervention. The collective “we” are that market. Our dollars do have clout from that side of the battle and just might put a little fear into the hearts and minds of governing classes. When we are willing to selectively withdraw our dollars from their markets, we gain leverage to reset and broker what should be an equal triumvirate of corporate, government, and market/societal interests. They can lose their abusive advantages, and proper order among creatives, markets, and stakeholders can be restored.
These technologies, even these seemingly benign diversions, are moving toward goals, some known, others not, at frightening speeds. Governments move slowly and are always behind the curve. We have to get up to speed and get moving before events have moved so far as to be impregnably embedded and beyond any control.
While this site is intended as a resource for the visual artists affected by AI technologies, whether we realize it or not, the implications go far beyond them, so all are welcome because all are needed
Take some time, from time to time, to drop in to stay informed about where all this agitaition is headed.
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To learn more about your host and the backstory of how this project came to be, please read the Backstory.