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Should Harmony Korine's new AI film make a dollar?
The film uses controversial AI software Stable Diffusion
I’m a fan of Harmony Korine. Hell. I own The Beach Bum on Blu-ray. I’m thrilled he found a rich dude from the Paris Review to fund his future endeavors. But…
His latest film, Aggro Dr1ft, uses AI-generated “art” from Stable Diffusion, the same software getting sued by visual artists. I want to see what Harmony is up to. But, AI “art” openly steals from artists without consent, credit, or compensation. And AI software is built by people making less than $2 an hour.
Yes. Your boy who wrote “AI art is for losers” is at a crossroads.
If the U.S. had AI regulations in place or any sort of legal framework, the issue would be moot. The visual FX in the film would constitute copyright infringement.
Or would it?
There is a lot of confusion around the terms “AI” and “machine learning.” I’ve seen “machine learning” applied in visual effects for years now. Things that help speed up mundane tasks. You could argue rotoscoping is part of this.
But rotoscoping and me typing into a text prompt are not the same thing.
“Generate a smiling creature in the style of ET designer Carlo Rambaldi.”
This hits different for me.
Does it for you?
The confusion around the term “AI” is intentional. Wallstreet loves the buzzword. And people are lining their pockets on the mere whiff of massive human job loss.
So does Harmony’s latest use “AI” or “machine learning”?
It’s been reported the film uses Stable Diffusion. Which means someone typed stuff into a text prompt to generate the visual effects. In other words, real-ass AI.
But I dunno. Does anyone care?
The unions have voiced their opposition to writers and actors getting replaced by AI. But will these same people speak up for visual artists?
I’ve been writing about this since February, and I’m trying really hard to see the other side. I don’t want to be pithy or close-minded. So, here’s my “evolved take.”
If the film uses AI-generated art, release it for free, or don’t release it at all. Screen it in museums. Put it up on YouTube without ads. But don’t make money off it.
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