Hearing one of the greatest creative minds of our age completely condemn AI generated art gives us big time good feelings. Guillermo del Toro has a deep dislike for machine-generated artwork in that it scrubs art of the human element. The Oscar winner quoted Hayao Miyazaki, and stated “it’d be an insult to life itself.” Miyazaki said this after his own exposure to an AI animation program for a horror game.
It couldn’t be more accurate, either. Artificial intelligence programs like Stable Diffusion, MidJourney, and the Lensa app pull from pre-existing artworks to create a ‘new’ image. There’s no element of skill or practice involved. Worse still, they actively steal artwork from artists in order to “learn” without any permissions or care for sourcing or copyright.
Artists and creatives alike are incensed that three days after the unexpected death of prolific artist Kim Jung Gi, a French game developer designed an AI generator that could recreate his work using simple text prompts. It’s an affront to all creative efforts.
Theft is Theft
Art-posting websites like Deviantart and Artstation are thoroughly letting down their users for allowing AI generators to access user content. If users don’t want that happening, it’s up to them to “opt out” by marking their work. Rather than simply bar AI from taking in the first place. But, this doesn’t remove pieces which have already been used to teach the AI programs, nor prevent users from uploading pieces they don’t have permission to use.
As for del Toro, he dismisses AI “art” completely. “I consume and love art made by humans…I am completely moved by that,” he said. “And I am not interested in illustrations made by machines and the extrapolation of information.” Nor should anyone else be. The images may look pretty, but they’re inherently flawed and completely devoid of skill.
Mashing different images together with text prompts doesn’t make you an artist. Some of the people who use these programs want the clout of someone who’s worked years to create beautiful work. [Like that guy who used AI art (and other people’s work) to create a children’s book he’s currently selling on Amazon.] So it’s encouraging to hear someone as high up as del Toro sees AI images for what they are.
del Toro, whose stop-motion “Pinocchio“ is a tour de force of animation, is a proponent of the work, skill, time, patience, and care in creating art. There’s no one better to advocate for keeping AI in it’s place in the creative sphere.