When there’s a new disruptive technology, it usually faces both fascination and backlash. In my book Creators Take Control, I call this dynamic the Tao of Innovation: the more disruptive a technology is, the more backlash it produces. The media’s portrayal of the disruptive sometimes fixates on the backlash. We saw this in the early reception to NFTs and the trope they operated as midlevel marketing, scams, or even Ponzi schemes.
Michals interviewed two Detroit-based artists Tylonn Sawyer and Sydney James, who differ on the use of text-to-image generators. Sawyer uses Midjourney and sees it as any other technology that artists might use to create. He likens the process to being an art director or conceptual artist. By contrast, James, who doesn’t use AI, expressed ethical and legal concerns that AI generators were trained using many artists’ copyrighted works without their permission. Lawsuits brought by artists in the U.S. and UK are being litigated now that will answer whether these AI image generators do infringe copyrights. We will take an in-depth look at those lawsuits soon.
Sarah Michals’ interview with artist Tylonn Sawyer
For the interview with artist Sydney James, visit WKYZ Detroit.