Questions for ‘Does AI steal art or help create it? It depends on who you ask’ 

an AI generated image showing impossible architecture, curving and swoopy staircases with impressions of people walking up and down them

Architect Joshua Vermillion uses the image generator Midjourney to create intriguing spaces and scenes. To him, artificial intelligence, or AI, is not “just a tool.” He sees it as “more of a partner.”

Joshua Vermillion/Midjourney

To accompany Does AI steal art or help create it? It depends on who you ask  


Before Reading:

  1. Do you think you encounter images generated by artificial intelligence, or AI, in your daily life? If so, where? How would you go about finding out if an image you see was generated by AI or by a person?
  2. Consider how you use visual imagery in your daily life — at school, in your hobbies or just for fun. What are two ways you might use AI-generated images in one or more of these areas?

During Reading:

  1. In your own words, summarize how Joshua Vermillion feels about AI-generated images. Summarize how Katria Raden feels about AI-generated images.
  2. List three popular AI-based image generators available now.
  3. Where did the images used to train Stable Diffusion come from?
  4. What do U.S. copyright laws do? What were the claims of a lawsuit filed by a group of artists against AI companies?
  5. What evidence led Reid Southen to say that Midjourney’s data set must contain copyrighted images?
  6. What are two arguments that AI companies have used in support of using copyrighted images to train image generators?
  7. What is the tool called Glaze intended to do?
  8. In Ben Y. Zhao’s work, what does it mean to “poison” an AI model? How does poisoning change what an AI image generator produces in response to a prompt?
  9. Describe one way Vermillion has combined human-generated and AI-generated elements in his work.
  10. What is one difference between the training images used for Adobe’s Firefly and those used for Stability.AI’s Stable Diffusion?

After Reading:

  1. Based on your reading, summarize two ways AI might benefit artists and/or the field of visual arts and two ways AI might hurt artists and/or art. Considering these various possibilities, do you think AI image generators represent a net positive or a net negative for art? Explain your answer.
  2. Do you think AI-based image generation will ever replace human-made art? Why or why not? Do you think AI-based image generation will affect art as a profession? Why or why not?
  3. Many concerns around AI-based image generators center on how training data sets are created. Do you think AI companies should be required to get permission for all images used to train their models? Why or why not? Give at least three reasons in support of your opinion, drawing on evidence provided in the story.