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Mary E. Lowd defrocked as Furlandia guest of honor for embracing AI art

Edited by GreenReaper as of Wed 28 Feb 2024 - 18:47
Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (8 votes)

Furlandia logo by Kitsumi Furlandia announced on February 23 that Ursa Major Award-winning furry author Mary E. Lowd was removed as a guest of honor, citing her use of artificial intelligence to create her work’s cover art and the ensuing backlash.

Despite the strong response to her use of AI, the announcement’s second paragraph seemed to suggest that Furlandia is neutral on AI art itself:

Dear Furlandia Community,

Earlier this week we made the difficult decision to remove our Writing Guest of Honor for 2024, Mary E. Lowd. This is a decision we do not make lightly, and is all the more difficult for us as they have been a long time supporter of Furlandia. So why have we done this? It comes down to their decision to use AI-generated art as a tool in the creation of things such as book covers, the professional backlash that has accompanied it, and the general attitude towards this topic in the fandom.

Undoubtedly the topic of AI-generated art is incredibly divisive and controversial in our fandom at this time, and a lot of people have very strong opinions about it. We’ve made this decision not to push a particular opinion, but because our goal is to bring people together to celebrate the furry fandom, of which artists are the undeniable backbone. Continuing with Mary as a [Guest of Honor] would have made the people understandably uncomfortable and that’s not something we want. This is not an easy thing for any convention to have to do and we hope anyone who’s disappointed will understand.

Thank you,
Furlandia Executive Staff

Mary’s statement

On her own webpage, Deep Sky Anchor, Mary released an open letter to the convention chair. This was actually released prior to Furlandia’s letter of defrocking, and may have inspired the convention to release their own statement on the matter.

In her letter she lists her accomplishments and how her position on artificial intelligence doesn’t take away from that.

So, I’m to understand that you’ve canceled my position because you received complaints about my behavior, not because my behavior is wrong but because you’re responding to public opinion despite having already concluded that my accomplishments are worthy of the position.

You asked me to be your guest of honor, and I would have done a very good job for you. I would have done and been exactly what I promised to be when you asked me. You, however, have flipped entirely from supporting me as a writer to blaming me for other people engaging in a hate campaign against me. I’m extremely disappointed in you, Gene. This behavior is beneath you.

I hope you have a good con. I’ve always enjoyed Furlandia because of the kindness of the actual attendees. However, in my experience, it is always so badly run that I have to wonder if it’s worth the trouble of attending. I was only willing to attend this year because you were running it. I guess that hasn’t counted for as much as I thought it would.

-Mary E. Lowd

Removed from the Furry Writers’ Guild members list

Prior to this announcement the Furry Writers’ Guild had removed Mary as a member. Her profile page still exists as of this writing, however it only has her photo on it. Her name has also been removed from the list of guild members on their membership page.

As of this time there has been no official announcement by the guild of her removal, however the last time she was promoted in their news blurbs was in their November 2023 newsletter.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

I am strongly against the use of AI in creation of any kind of mock art. But, what I want to know is if Furlandia already knew that she was using AI for her covers. In the case that they knew, defrocking her was a poor decision and her response would be more validated. And then on the other hand, she should've seen this coming knowing the popular stance on AI art and will be laughed at for a poor attempt at justifying it.

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The headline is a bit misleading. She wasn't removed after embracing artificial intelligence, she was invited as guest of honour after already embracing artificial intelligence; she was removed after some people kicked up a fuss. I quoted both her and her husband, who is a professor of machine learning, in my articles on AI art back in February 2023.

I would say this is a good example of cancel culture in the fandom. Her position as guest of honour was cancelled for her views on a topic which is only tangentially related to the reason she was picked. She is still an extremely talented and decorated writer with a long history in the fandom.

The convention might claim to be neutral but their actions say otherwise. Would they cancel other guests that are against the use of AI art generation? It seems unlikely but why would one view on a contentious topic make people uncomfortable and not others? It's not even true that all artists are against the use of AI in various contexts.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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That's a fair statement, updating the article from "after embracing" to "for embracing".

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This is what I was searching for, thanks!
I think the fact that they had known prior trumps personal opinion on the matter because, like she said, she had earned that spot. Defrocking her with the knowledge that she supports an extremely controversial subject is just plain wrong and a huge example of cancel culture. Despite my strong feelings on the matter, I can't say I hate a person for it.

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"Cancel culture" aka the consequences of a person's beliefs and actions.

After the con was wrong and chose a bad guest representing actions adverse to the fandom, there is nothing compelling the con to continue being wrong, simply because it took outside pressure to bring consequences to the con as well.

Setting things right lets the con leave the source of Mary Lowd's problem as nobody else but herself.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Ah the magic word, "consequences", as if that shields against good criticism especially when the whole ai art thing still has some debate, like blaming mob mentality who argues using ai art under parody or specific public domain is still wrong because reasons, which is no different than Twitter mob coming up with new mental laws against just using the Mono Lisa traditionally and lawfully as if now we need permission from a long dead artist.

People are within their right to properly question the "consequence" of being fired for having a different opinion about art.

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LMAO, the hypocrisy of pretending criticism only goes one way. OK Diamond Man. Plagiarism isn't a "different opinion."

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Not sure why you think that's Diamond man? The cadence of their text is not even close (translation... it's too 'well written' to be diamond man).

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This isn't the first time Nerdy Raccoon Guy has been accused of being a Diamond Man sockpuppet, and though their grasp of grammar and punctuation is somewhat better than Diamond Man's, Diamond Man, in his defence, did notably try to improve. However, while the next comment down does show a certain lack of cogency, and I do think the "I don't know who this diamond man is" is not entirely truthful (in that at this point NRG should be somewhat aware of the dude, not that they are the dude), it is not followed up with the phrase "he sounds like a cool dude" or some similar sentiment, so that's all the evidence I need.

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I didn't say I didn't know him entirally. I was showing a curiosity as to why he was accusing me of that person. Though despite possible irony here, I would rather avoid giving my opinions or otherwise specific talks about diamond man further because if I don't, more people would just keep accusing me as another person just because of specific suspicious idealogy mindset that gets confused as actual evidence, especially if there is an opinion that is similar to mine.

All I can say is that unless there is concrete proof that I am diamond man, the accusation is BS. Also to avoid possible fights, I won't say it would be some kind of 'awful' thing if I was as I don't want to make any claims about any known person here in a negative light like that, and yes I know, this is probably one of those suspicious statements but I don't know what else to say. I just want to avoid starting things like that out of fear it could spark some huge drama.

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You know, the better way to not do that is to not say anything at all.

(Don't worry, I never learned that trick, either.)

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The funny thing about your first sentence is that the main point of my comment is to exactly call the one way attitude out. The issue with some people is that some people use the term "conequences" directly against many forms of criticism, to act as if there is no fault in the poor behavior being called out when there is. It's an illusion of blame and as an attempt to shut those exposing it out.

Not sure why you call me diamond man but other than that, plagiarism is about lying about source in specific ways if I recall right. Reposting the Mono Lisa, even if you didn't give the original name alone is not the same. Otherwise millions of artists are plagiarists including me for drawing a pyramid without crediting the source inspiration.

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What is a Mono Lisa and is mono why you type that way

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Sadly Furlandia has a history of cancel culture. Two of my panels for 2019 had disappeared a week before the convention. I confirmed this with Gene at Orycon later that year.
Furlandia says “artist are undeniable backbone." Their action slaps the face of other creators including writers, musicians and every furry because we all are creators in the fandom. We all are creators and fans of our own creation.

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Oh save it. "Cancel culture"? Really? I'm been a big of fan of Mary's work but her recent obsession with AI art is not doing her any favors. She replaced the beautiful artwork work from her previous books done by actual talented artists with ugly soulless AI Art. That's a terrible look no matter how you swing it.

And let's be absolutely clear, AI is built off stolen artwork, it's inherently unethical and her stubborn refusal to acknowledge this is part of the problem. You accuse Furlandia is slapping artists in the face, when she does absolutely does by using unethically sourced art.

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I also strongly denounce the usage of AI (for pretty much anything), but does it really constitute defrocking her as GoH? Her popularity might drop for use of AI covers but are we looking at covers or writing? The fact that they had prior knowledge, someone kicks up a fuss around it, and then they remove her? If that doesn't scream cancel culture, I'm sorry but I don't know what else would. This entire situation is just wrong.

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You can back up to the first sentence and answer it with Yes

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In fairness, many matters of honour seem to be represented by slapping one another in the face. The winner is presumably whoever slaps harder. (I seem to recall someone unfamiliar with the custom responded with a punch.)

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Given we're supposed to be the slapstick cartoon types, surprised you didn't suggest filling the glove with rocks first.

Your rating: None Average: 1.4 (5 votes)

I feel like a broken record.
One again let me challenge you before giving you an answer
How dose a furry artist draw a furry. How dose one lean to draw a furry? Do they one just put pen to paper and out popped a furry art?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

"how is babby formed"

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Non sequitur error

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

We know. You can just type that every time you post and save effort.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

"Cancel culture" AKA you aren't wanted because of your history of beliefs and actions.

Your rating: None Average: 1.2 (5 votes)

What ignorance…

They don’t even know how the sausage is made.

Those guys on Xitter were right… this really is a Clown World

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I'm unfamiliar with the full history, but the timing suggests it was linked to the new editions of Otters in Space - I suspect FurPlanet holds copyright to the original art. The first book is 99¢ on Kindle, so perhaps the current furore is to new readers' gain. The fourth book was indeed published by FurPlanet, with art by Teagan Gavet, but they dropped Mary two weeks later.

Alas, as many reviewers noted the series appears to focus on a cat, but you can't have it all. Dogs also feature, as do octopi.
The original artist seems to have no comment, beyond re-tweeting an anti-AI meme last year; he can be supported via Patreon. (Though the first cover on Smashwords also appears to have been self-made.)

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It was noted by Fuzzwolf that the updated covers was due to that fact you noted.

When she was released by the publisher she couldn't take the art with her. She was given the option to license the art from the original artists. So Mary replaced it with the AI pictures.

https://bsky.app/profile/fuzzwolf.bsky.social/post/3kmisdgfhn32g

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So let me get this straight...

It's wrong for a writer who isn't an artist to use a computerized art-generation tool to create her own book covers, because it steals other peoples' work, but it is perfectly acceptable to write or draw fan-fiction of someone else's copyrighted creations, and publish that stuff.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (7 votes)

If you think "write or draw" and generate are the same things, there's where to start searching for a clue

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

The person using an AI generator still has to write out a detailed description of what sort of image is wanted. The AI can't just cook stuff up on its own, and in my limited experience playing with Bing, nine times out of ten it's way off the mark. I mean, a quick way to check to see if it's AI "art" is to look at the hands, because they're usually wonky, with too many or too few fingers, extra claws on a finger, or otherwise bizarre-looking (Maybe that's why humans shake hands? To check to see if the person they're greeting is a real human or an AI simulation?)

Even detailed descriptions often don't get the desired result, if the request is weird enough (you do NOT want to see what it returned to the prompt "amusement park midway at night with a crowd of anthropomorphic spotted hyenas:--!)

To be honest, I got bored playing with it, and Bing seems to be the best one at generating appealing-looking characters. A friend of mine tried two others, and the prompt of "a white unicorn lady in medieval armor" got back images of women with horse butts, horses with six nostrils and four eyes, and an array of twisted and warped hands. All PHOTOREALISTIC. Talk about nightmare fuel!

Whoever named it "artificial intelligence" really over-sold it. It's a cleverly-designed computer program, that's all. It can be a tool, or it can be a toy.

What worries me are the scientists who are using "artificial intelligence" to come up with medicines and genetic models and stuff. I mean, who can prove that the results are accurate?

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I think the reason we're seeing better AI images is not because the programs are getting better, but the users are getting better at ignoring the chimeras and finding the one and only generated image that is halfway decent (and sometimes it's more along the lines of "obvious tell is off to the side rather then center frame"). And I'm not saying they're getting better at writing prompts (which is what they sometimes claim) but just making, for lack of a better word, "tasteful" decisions about what to show and not to show.

What I'm saying is AI users, despite their best efforts, are getting better at "arting"; but the "tool" they claimed made "art" so easy is not actually, it still creates fairly inferior pieces people don't want (most people seem disappointed to learn stuff is AI, even when they otherwise agree "not bad", in my experience; people still want that "bespoke, handcrafted" aspect in their stuff), plus has that whole dubious ethics thing, and, like crypto before it, is coming to light that it uses so much computing power as to be harmful to the environment, oh, also the early adopters spent a lot of time gloating "this is going to straight up kill artists, isn't that great?" which didn't exactly endear them to people. (Also, note, Lowd's a writer, but she sure as shit ain't using generative AI text; my predictions about generative AI having trouble with "sustained" media seems to have been right on the money. You still hear of a dubious attempt by some corporate news organization trying to replace their reporters with AI from time to time, but this never works and is getting even less frequent as time goes by. The only place I've heard it actually being a relatively common problem is student essays, which weren't exactly a form known for producing well crafted writings to begin with.)

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Lowd has actually dabbled in AI Text, and she called the output of it "autistic", and claimed [I believe this is why people are criticizing AI because neuro-typical can't see thing the way autistic see them] which is really a strawman and kind of really opened herself to being seen as saying [AI writing output sucks because it's autistic], which then lends to the ablest interpretation.

One can say it wasn't her intent to be demeaning, but as she's a writer, she should be aware of how to write a statement more clearly and in a way that wouldn't be seen that way if she meant no ill will.

There's also another issue that I have with the way she uses AI, but I'll save that commentary until after my Thursday video on the matter comes out, it's a larger behavior that I've seen more than just Mary commit when it comes to AI generation, and it's a bit troublesome for me.

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The tools are getting better, despite being hobbled by the corporations that generate them, purportedly for 'safety'.

I managed to get it working on my the basic 2 CU RDNA2 iGPU in a Ryzen 7600 CPU. Sure, it took ~10s/iteration for a 512x512 image (using SHARK in ROCm mode), but...
GreenReaper furries with knives, apparently
The result is not great, but it'd be far better with work on prompts, or a focused LoRA.

Actually the better "AI directors" aren't just tweaking prompts, they have a whole multi-stage workflow - that's why we added support for JSON files on Inkbunny, as we require generation details and it's the file format in which they are described.

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Green Reaper, that's a lot of gobbledy-gook for a janky ass green pig (?) with 8 fingers on one hand. If you want to suggest it's getting better, maybe show me something that doesn't suck balls next time, okay?

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Oh, I didn't mean to imply that this image was state of the art, more that you don't need a dedicated graphics card (or even one of those fancy 8700G APUs) to use the tools now. Previously it was "well yeah, you can do it at home, but you need something good from NVIDIA" - that's still the fastest way, but not required.

(Technically it works on the CPU cores as well, but I wouldn't advise that as the result was several times slower, i.e. glacial.)

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Green Reaper, honey, I already have crappy art skills at home.

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There's some people who are just churning away StableDiffusion for days and finding the 'perfect' one-in-a-million image, but there have been drastic changes in the available tooling, too, and even moderate use of those better tools can save you a ton of time and be easier than filtering through a pile of rejects.

Inpainting lets you reroll (with different prompting) just the particular portion of an image that has flaws or doesn't match your goals, ControlNet can intake data in a wide variety of formats to provide information like pose or depthmap or a user's 'scribble', LoRA can find the vector representing parts of a group of image that may not have easy human terms, so on. Some things, like regional prompting or psuedo-panographs made from multiple initial images then stitch/merged into a seamless whole, can produce images that are just not possible to do with simple prompt-only AI-gen.

These advances aren't able to solve every limitation of the tool: AI doesn't have, and maybe can't have, taste. It's not that it can't produce reasonable hands, but that it can't tell you that you should care that this malformed hand matters; it can save a real artist from needing to break their wrists drawing rosettes, but can't tell when to stop; it will quite happily shade in some of the most eye-searing colors that the greatest fan of sparkledogs would flinch at. (Similarly, it's hard to get LLMs to avoid purple prose.)

The more serious issue's the social and economic effects. Even assuming AIgen never gets to the point where it can reliably produce some coherent Great Art (or even just a short-form comic), it's absolutely enough to break a lot of demand for at least some meme-tier or 10-dollar-sketch grade work -- and even the Creative-Common/public-domain-based models like Mitsua can do that. And a lot of artists either pay their bills or broke into bigger-value commissions thanks to that sorta work.

Socially, both the furry fandom specifically and the general online art sphere doesn't really have a good way to handle a rando putting up 10k pieces a day, every day, in every community. And if you could just ban that jerk, you can't handle a hundred people putting up hundred. Not in discoverability, not in moderation capability, not in simple hard drive space.

((I don't buy frustrations about the environmental costs, especially on runtime side. SD1.4 took a lot less energy to train than most people think, and you can render individual images for thousandths of a KWh. And I'm skeptical that people would accept the revised models that took an order of magnitude less to train; there's model equivalents trained from scratch for less than $50k, and that includes the cost of renting equipment.))

LLMs (ai text) are... rough; as bad as artists see the flaws in even good AIgen visual media, even better LLMs tend to be pretty bad about not actually giving what you prompted for. I wish they were at the necessary point where they could at least be useful, but they don't handle complex scenarios without a ton of micromanagement or dropping in random new features to a scene -- Lowd's description of it as 'autistic' isn't the best way to describe it, but there's very much a tendency for it to infodump randomly at you. There are some writers that use it to supplement their original work (afaik, none in the furry fandom... though given the rate people who are out get blackballed, how would you know?), like Leanne Leeds, but they tend to either only use it to augment details where they're more for setting and pacing than plot, or shipping tons of cruft, or both.

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"The AI can't just cook stuff up on it's own" you're so close to understanding the problem with it...

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So what is your opinion of people who use purchased CGI props and models to composite scenes?

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"purchased" haha

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I think you need to buy the 3D props and models for things like DAZ and Sketchfab.

I have several friends who work with 3D modelling. Some create their figures "from the ground up", and rig them themselves. Another guy uses stuff like the Aiko female figure and other props he gets online to composite his scenes.

An artist uses tools to create. Pens, pencils, paper, paint, styluses and tablets don't do anything on their own. Photoshop and other computer art programs enable artists to paint and composite digitally. And yes, artists learn by copying the work of other people. Art schools take students to museums and tell them to go look at the exhibits and draw them.

"AI art" generators are just a new type of tool to help people who can't draw or paint in the old fashioned way to give expression to what they see in their heads.

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"purchased" haha, you are comparing things someone created and someone else paid for, to things stolen and plagiarized without the knowledge of their creators.

A student artist copying and referencing to learn is in no way comparable to industrially scraping a dataset. Why not let students turn in papers written by AI then?

"people who can't draw or paint in the old fashioned way", cool, that sounds like a great person to replace an artist with, (great because cheaper), after stealing from artists who earned talent to make the stolen art that's "generating" a cheaper replacement.

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In b4 comparing stolen datasets that take insatiable, accelerating and environmentally destructive computing power to a camera

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Comparing AI to photography is an insult to photography. Do you have any pictures of your children? Grandparents? Great-grandparents? You're capturing a moment in time that will unlikely be replicated again to perfection. You're taking nature's beauty and framing it, not stealing it like AI tries to do. At the end of the day, AI can only create soulless, warped piles of trash people try passing off as their own even though they did jack to achieve like a traditional artist does. A camera is incomparable to AI because nature is just that, natural. Cameras capture things that only happen once. AI is all zeros and ones that tries to replicate it. It can only give you warped iterations of whatever it was described to give.

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And nobody's going to mention that the reason all this started was she made an ableist comment about autistic people in the fandom being dumber than modern AI chatbots? And a rant on autistic people? And then she was dropped by her publishers, doubled down on the ableism, and just revealed herself?

The whole AI debacle came about AFTER her hateful words.

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Even more of a reason to hate her. I was entirely unaware about her ableist viewpoints. Her coffin is already being shut anyway. Fuel for the fire I suppose.

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In the end, it doesn't matter the issues.
The future is here. AI is here to stay and it's not going away.
The fact that artists in this fandom are unwilling to accept this reality and continue to demonize others and are willing to burn more bridges confirms alot of what I dislike in this fandom and with uptight artists. Their ego is more important to them then logic and reality.
There are valid concerns with the tech and its effects on society but the extreme kneejerk reactions isn't doing anyone any favors and the con seems more concerned about their own topline then actually being constructive.

History is not going to look back at all or the dismissive people kindly.
Simply put, adapt or die.

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See, adapt or die comes off really hostile. Which kind of makes our hostility a bit more understandable.

You've made it clear your goal is our destruction, up to and including death, I mean, how are we supposed to respond?

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We don't expect you to respond, Mr. Kachel - we expect you to die. 🗡️

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I mean, Husketeer would appreciate that reference a bit more than Cross would.

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REALLY!?

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You underestimate Huskyteer's Bond obsession.

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... to be fair I don't have the hots for Timothy Dalton.

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So which one do you have the hots for?

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I think you mistake the dislike for AI art as a dislike for AI in general. There are some aspects in which I would consider AI to be quite beneficial. But you have to remember, furry art is an important backbone in the fandom and replacing it with AI. AI used to only replicate spaghetti monsters and now it's being used in book covers. When looking at art in itself, not just the furry aspect, you see much more passion and soul put into it by painters who are still to this day praised for their work. What is there to appreciate if no work was put into the piece? What is there to appreciate if a robot is now doing something anyone could've done on their own?

Yeah, AI is pretty sick but I want emotion in my art.

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When I've used the Bing generator, I quickly learned that the more detailed the description you wrote, the closer you got to something usable. And I mean, like, having to make sure I specified eye color, hair color, fur color, expression, and so on.

Full disclosure, I was seeing what it could do with my comic strip characters. I'd describe a character, it would chug away for a minute or two, and cough out four pictures. Some it nailed beautifully right out of the box (if you overlooked the fingers thing...) And some made me wonder what dope it had been smoking (I most definitely did not ask for a taur hyena with pink hair...)

But it has its limitations. In my case, even specifying "--with a white muzzle" did not get me a tan-colored blue-eyed, blonde-haired hyena with a white muzzle and reddish-brown spots. And I tried. I think I have at least thirty images and twenty-seven of them have the standard dark muzzle common to spotted hyenas. Some of the pictures looked like "fan fic" art of my characters. From photorealstic to anime chibi. But very few of them were dead on.

I did get two portraits that I consider breath-takingly accurate, even though they technically are not, but I have no way of presenting them here. However, the majority of the images--including architectural prompts--are way, way off.

If you want to fiddle around with AI generation, GreenReaper, I'd recommend Bing. If you have a Microsoft email account, it's fast and free and the images rendered don't look like...well, janky pigs with eight fingers on one paw. (This is not spam or a plug, it's just a friendly recommendation. I haven't tried any of the other generators personally.)

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This stuff recently decided to "upgrade" onto my laptop like a virus or U2 album or something, but I'll agree with a little fiddling, yeah, I'm really questioning Green Reaper's choice of example here. Then again, he did seem to think I would care about the tech specs instead of end result, so whatever.

AI cross fox

This is a bare bones prompt of "furry cross fox with glasses", which I don't think it knows what a cross fox is (but who does and also maybe it "thought" I meant cross-as-in-grumpy, which, fair enough), the lack of pants is disturbing (the worst of the four featured a shorts-fusing-into-fur glitch and the same sport jacket but without a shirt, though two of the four did wear pants), he's wearing two watches (one managed three tails, which, once again, fair enough with the prompt, but also, an extra hand, so not so good) and finally I'm not sure why it decided all four needed to be stuck up a tree.

I then tried to make a vixen, but it told me that prompt was blocked; I think it was the word "vixen" especially it didn't like. "Female furry fox" first got real foxes, then fursuiters, and finally really chibi. Note that I was gender-neutral in my original prompt, and I got very masculine examples. I'll leave it to the amateur sociologists to parse why it had so much comparative trouble with making a girl fox. Got a bit more specific, decided, fuck it, show me what you got, let's generate that slasher screenplay I wrote a decade ago's protagonist. From the twisted mind of crossaffliction (and Dall3) ...

AI slasher female cross fox

Love that it gave her a mid-riff, though, uh, that's also the worst area. Also, she seems a bit happy to have just watched all her friends be murdered, and I don't know what the fuck is up with that white patch on her leg under the bandage (nice detail that, but I think it confused itself). My much more specific villain though is just not happening.

(The full size images are available if you right click and open in new tab, by the way; I made thumbnails!)

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The thumbnails seemed to be actual full-sized files, just shrunk visually, so I used the Create Thumb large option on them in the file picker and set those as the displayed files. They are clickable to view the 351x351 file uploaded, or you can zoom in on mobile since I put it in srcset (351/180 = 1.95x).

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This is our interaction in this comment section in a nutshell.

I did a cute little dyi thumbnail just for fun then you went in and changed my post without my permission using the computer to be an actual thumbnail without actively improving anything I actually care about. I'm not actually angry, but I am pointing out that I don't think we're on the same wavelength here.

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Thumbnailing has a purpose in reducing file size. The way you did it didn't achieve that, so I fixed it. I hoped you'd look at it and learn how to do it for next time. 🤷🏼‍♂️

From my perspective, comments are just another form of site content. Like opinion, but moreso. When I've edited a comment, it's to fix spelling, technical stuff, archive old links, or in a few cases adding a link on existing text to what they're talking about for the benefit of readers.

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I noticed in the stuff I made that the "default" emotion is "smiling and friendly-looking." Basically it assumes you're making a portrait, and most people try to look happy in a portrait.

I tried a prompt of "hyena and lion in Greaco-Roman armor fighting with swords in an arena" and got the two characters looking past each other without interacting at all.

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I guess the review is a lot of little things like that. Like, it's good as a game, in a way; but there's too many little mistakes in the wrong areas. If I actually wanted to use either image as something other than "hey, let's see what it can do", I would spend so much time fixing those little mistakes in Photoshop or whatever that at that point I might as well start from scratch. Like, people goof all the time; think Bob Ross and his "happy mistakes". Or, hell, the infamous "stormtrooper bumped his head on the door" in the background of Star Wars is an even better example; it's a goof, sure, but it's in the background and where your attention is focused elsewhere, so it goes unnoticed for years (or it was before George Lucas decided to actually highlight it in his latest "special editions"). Generative AI's fault is it is incapable of recognizing mistakes, period, so it doesn't know how to choose which ones to ignore and which ones it does need to fix (which it is probably incapable of). Also, no human would make the mistake of giving their character a button down mid-riff, for example.

But even when there aren't big glaring mistakes, at least not front and center, AI generated images look generated. Right? I'm not alone here, am I? Like, it can make fake photos; that needs all the detail it can get, but when you're making fake drawings, the sheer amount of detail can be off-putting. Like, it's the "why are they all in a tree" problem of the first set; a white void would have been fine, perhaps even preferable, as all those branches and leaves with the exact same level of detail and effort as the actual subject is distracting. Like, sometimes human laziness is there for a reason; a high level of detail may be exhausting for the artist, but it's also exhausting for the viewer.

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Oh, yeah--definitely! It's a game, and a tool for visualization.

I got a lot of blank backgrounds on the images I generated, almost as a default. Maybe if you specify "on a white background" you'd get a workable image. A guy I know did that so he could overlay the character image on a background for consistency in making a multi-panel strip. The first time he tried generating the full scene, the AI consistently misspelled words in the banner he has on the podium in the foreground.

I'm happy you're experimenting with this, 2cross. You might get bored with it, like I did, because getting something "exactly what you want" is so very difficult, as you observed about having to fix mistakes in Photoshop.

I think if people actually worked with this and saw what it can and can't do, they wouldn't have such a harsh reaction to it. "Ugh! Fire--bad!!!"

In my opinion, there will always be a market for good art created by real, live artists. No computer program can replicate the magic of people like Rukis and Dark Natasha, Zummeng and Margaret Carspecken, Phil Foglio and Tracy Butler. Original art is difficult to replicate, and the way an artist goes about designing and creating a composition is all about genius and soul.

Of course, there's also loads of generic and soulless art out there, made by live people--think of the covers of romance novels--but my point is, that I really don't think the artists who have year-long waiting lists need to be the slightest bit worried about our new robot overlords stealing their business.

I even tried plugging in "in the style of Looney Tunes" and "in the style of Walt Disney" into some prompts, and got nothing that even resembled that. So there's not much to worry about there.

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Well, besides the actual frustration of trying create prompts, I still found the experience on the whole distasteful. It felt dirty. This may be the a cultural/social bias rubbing off on me, but even generating the little I did was kind of guilt-inducing; like I felt like I needed to keep the door to the room closed. So, I guess I can say I did not enjoy it.

But then I watched a trailer for a robot movie set to "It's a Wonderful World" (for once without irony!) and I remembered that, at least for a lot of the early "pioneers" (for a lack of a better word), this was probably the goal. I may be assigning reasoning and agendas to people that are wholly not backed up by reality (this is a comment, so I feel like baseless speculation is allowed here), but we've been talking about the possibilities of "AI" for a while. Most of the major science fiction authors and film makers have taken a crack at the idea of a very human robot, and most have ultimately come down on the side of the robot (not all, of course; you still get the occasional robot apocalypse, after all, but even The Matrix and Terminator sequels explicitly showed sympathetic machine characters). Like, they made chess-playing robots (though it is actually debatable how even the famous ones actually do against high level human players), then they made that robot who could play Jeopardy (now, Watson, he kicked the shit out of his human adversaries, though perhaps being able to answer trivia questions, even oddly formatted ones, is not actually that impressive for a computer, in hindsight), and the next step was to finally rebut the "machines can't make art" with "well, let's see if we can make one that can".

Now, I'm reminded on Stephen King talking about personal definitions of art, and pointing out, as the guy who writes horror, it doesn't do for him to have a very strict one; likewise, as a "furry movie critic", I usually find myself bypassing the question of "is it art?" and just kind of assuming it is and instead focusing on whether or not it's "good" or not. So, I'm kind of punting on the question of "is AI art actually art" and instead answering the question with another question: "If it is art, is it any good?"

Not really. I mean, this is very subjective, so if an AI generated piece does speak to you, or if struggling to create prompts that actually do what you want them to do is personally satisfying, well, you do you (there are other reasons maybe, even if you do consider it worthwhile, it may be better not do it anyway, but we'll get to that). But personally, it's not actually very much fun generating this stuff, even setting aside my being so obviusly biased I almost feel like generating and sharing the little I did here should rightfully garner me, well, at least a little side-eye.

I'm usually not one of the more economically leftist furries (I'm socially left, but usually find my eyes glazing over in boredom and confusion when confronted by "Marxist" ideologies; Bernie bros still scare me), but AI generative art does feel like an actually pretty open and close case of capitalism poisoning the well. My (perhaps incorrectly romanctic) view is that generative AI began as a purely scientific endeavor (can we make a robot that can create art?) but was corrupted by uber-capitalist tech bros (how can we sell a robot that can create art?). I feel like if AI generative art was still about actually trying to make robots more human, the ethical concerns about art scraping would be, if not entirely gone, at least somewhat alleviated. I remember the old days, the before times, you know, the late 2010s, when stuff like "This Person Does Not Exist" (and it's furry version, "This Fursona Does Not Exist") roamed the land. Nobody really objected to those, because these were mostly innocent, playful attempts to "do the thing".

Well, it got to the point where it can be debateably proven they "did the thing" (if perhaps not well, and perhaps only very debateably), but these were pretty expensive undertakings, and when generative AI ceased being a project and started being a product that our troubles began. It feels like a common tech grift; the obvious antecedent is blockchains and their spawns of crypto-currency and NFTs, though I've commented elsewhere that about fad game consoles like the Wii and Xbox Kinect. Products sold on the idea "this is the future, buy now or get left behind" (or, as our more aggressively hostile anon friend kind of started me off put it, "adapt or die"), but then, in hindsight, obviously weren't.

See, the "grift" (and it often is a grift) is that "I know it's a bit janky now, but imagine how it'll be in a decade", but the thing is, there's no real incentive to improve. The original researchers were inspired to see if they could "do the thing"; now that the "thing" is "done", it's time for them to move on. Meanwhile, the people trying to sell it don't actually have any motivation to improve the product either; improving the product costs money, which means less profit for them. They may promise to improve the product, but there is no incentive for them to do so, to point where there is actually some incentive to stagnate. The grift is that they are selling you a promise that they blatantly have no intention of keeping. (Once again, if my take on the original reasons to do generative AI were overly romanctic, this may be assigning overly cynical reasoning to some of its modern proponents. Human behavior is more complicated than just "you're either a pure scientist/artist or a cynical salesman", but I did point out examples of this happening before.)

I'm definitely departing from the economic left critics here, and those on the left of me are probably seething at my use of the term "product" in a discussion that had before been about "art", but "generative AI as product" is actually where it is weakest. Because art is "subjective", sure, I can say it's not very good art, but, that's just like my opinion, man. (Hell, one of my criticisms of what I posted is that it's too detailed, and I still stand by that as a valid criticism, but I can see a proponent of AI reading that and going "what".) And, well, product is still subjective, but not as. If we're selling generative AI as a tool that let's "creative" people who can't draw or whatever create whatever they want, I mean, no. It just doesn't do that. It objectively does not do that. It's not actually a very good product; if it's an art tool, it's too unpredictable to be really useful. As a scientific experiment, generative AI is almost noble. As art, it is questionable. As product, it is indefensible.

Let's talk about what makes art "good" a while longer, though. As it is subjective, even the criteria of judgment are subjective. Should outside context be ignored, or is it just as important as the piece itself? And what do we mean when we say a piece of art is good? Do we mean purely aesthetically, or are we talking "good" and "bad" in moral/ethical sense? You can argue that we should leave "right or wrong" out of it, and that's your little red wagon, but it's not everybody's. Historically, moral/ethical concerns (and political/ideological and even religious/theological concerns) have been used to both defend and attack artworks, and the subjective nature of art means these attacks are not automatically wrong.

And the truth is that AI generated "art" has a lot of thorny ethical issues. These issues are perhaps debateable, but they exist. But, ultimately, for me, I can't help but see the context of this technology (even when used by those with the best intentions) helping to line the pockets of pretty shitty people who are knowingly passing off a shoddy product, and even more than the scraping, that's really what doesn't sit right with me. So, I still think, a few experiments aside, it's a pass from me.

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Adding to the concept of, "getting it 80% down, but that last 20% is a pain". We've been promised self driving cars since at least 2017. So clearly techies have been giving their 'children' learners permits since then.

If it took a human 7 years to get as far as the AI that is dedicated to said task, then at that point the state/parents would probably conclude that perhaps driving is not for that person in particular.

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Oh, and I guess it should also be pointed out, even if I was more neutral or even slightly positive, being pro-AI does have pretty high social consequences (would anyone like to provide a recent example of using AI negatively effecting them? Anyone?). This also has murky ethical discussion to be had, but in purely practical matters, just not a hill I find particularly worth dying on.

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Scott Adams is meant to have said:

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

AI art, as it is currently, is a creativity machine, at least for those who accept putting existing concepts together is a form of creativity. What makes it an art is the human selection of results and any curation of inputs towards a goal.

Regarding product: yes, the world where people pay for generated art is unsettling, but fairly easily avoided as the underlying tools that back most of the easy-to-use websites are free to download and usually open-source. Of course it takes more effort than I put in to make the result look good, but there are those who do and you can even make your own models, if you're not happy with reusing the efforts of a big corporation which has censored its own inputs.

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I still think we're getting confused, though we've flipped. You were arguing the AI was getting better, and I said your green pig was bad (though I think I finally got it; its a self portrait, right?).

I then tried it myself and got way better results than you, but still dumped a long personal essay type comment where I argued that even if it has improved rapidly in recent history, I think it's probably not going to get much better, or in things like the size of outputted images in pixels and bytes or whatever that I don't really care about (also noted that the best free models heavily censor their output). In this case, the generative AI is itself is the "product"; it is being sold as a low effort way to create art, and it just isn't. In this instance I am almost kind of agreeing, the output of AI is "art", in a "for the sake of the argument" sort of way. My point is that the "art" made this way is usually "bad" by most aesthetic and ethical arguments, but the AI itself is the flawed product creating flawed "art".

If a generative AI does not do what it says it will do on the box, it does (circumvent the creative process), it's a bad product.

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You're right - alas, there's not a lot out there for 'greenreaper', so it only vaguely looks like me.

It depends on what "it" is. I was using Stable Diffusion essentially by itself. Something integrated into a website has likely been tweaked to generate acceptable and appealing images right off the bat. I'm at the "trying to get SD working so I can verify AI uploads to IB adhere to our policies" level.

This could be seen as splitting hairs, but I'd argue it's more a case of bad marketing. The box is the issue - it's been oversold, in accordance with the hype cycle. It isn't quite there yet for "circumventing the creative process", but with a semi-skilled user I think it can accelerate it. Like a more-advanced blend or warp tool.

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I couldn't find a better clip, anywhere, but ...

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By the way, that first fox portrait looks pretty good. And yeah, I think it interpreted :"cross" as "grumpy."

As for the second--both "fox" and "vixen" are sexualized terms to refer to women, and Bing (at least) warns about trying to do anything even remotely "naughty." I prompted "couple cuddling in a car on a Ferris wheel" and it warned me that I was asking for something potentially against its regulations. I hit "create" again, and it coughed out two really cute pictures, which were pretty much what I wanted, of the two characters sitting close together in a Ferris wheel gondola. Only thing is that the girl had her thumbless paw on the cheerfully smiling guy's crotch!

Hey, Bing, I did NOT ask for THAT!!! lol

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I'm sorry this is kind of more for Flayrah regulars, but Cassidy and Mary are bonding on Twitter right now, which is kind of sad, kind of funny and kind of sweet.

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Depending on who you ask :p

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I wonder, when it comes to discussion on the creativity and AI, whether those standards are consistently applied to other art. It's hard to tell because obviously different people can oppose AI art for different reasons and even a single individual can have multiple objections, so it's not always easy to tell what exactly the problem is. And then when we have discussions, it's usually not framed on testing our ideas against multiple different examples of art.

Leaving aside the ethical concerns, I was wondering how people who object to generative AI on the grounds that it's not human creativity making the art consider analogue generative art also not to be real art? I remembered this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOD7HQOnKAE) of an artist who puts paint in a bucket with some holes and then swings it above the canvass and uses the dripping paint to create his art.

It seems to me that there are a couple of parallels in the methods. In both the case of the swinging bucket and generative AI, it is using a tool to create the product. The artist does not personally place the paint or pixels. I'd say the bucket and ropes are analogous to the AI model. Neither the bucket nor the generative AI will do anything without human input. In the case of generative AI, the human input comes in the form of a written prompt while, in the case of the swinging bucket, the input is in the form of whatever paint is added and the force used to swing the bucket above the canvas.

As a side note, there are plenty of comments on the video that say that is not real art.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Leaving aside the ethical concerns ...

I don't think you've ever actually approached them.

They kind of are the issue. Swinging a bucket full of paint is dumb but harmless. Using generative AI is dumb but harmful.

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Uh... that was one of the major focuses of my second piece on AI art: https://www.flayrah.com/8872/ai-art-part-2-what-kind-world-do-we-want Admittedly, it's framed on the social effects but that can only be understood through philosophy and ethics which tell us what kind of world we should strive towards.

And there are more issues than ethics (and I assume here that you mean ethics on training models). That is one issue which is specific to many of the current implementations of generative AI. But it's not clear that, were the ethical issues solved, people would be happy with AI art and not still oppose it. For example, complaints about AI generated content putting artists out of business would still remain. To an extent that is a question of ethics but if there is no criticism over how the AI is trained, it doesn't seem different to saying people shouldn't charge less for a product than their competitors.

Even you have said that the ethical issues are not your major problem with it.
'And the truth is that AI generated "art" has a lot of thorny ethical issues. hese issues are perhaps debateable, but they exist. But, ultimately, for me, I can't help but see the context of this technology (even when used by those with the best intentions) helping to line the pockets of pretty shitty people who are knowingly passing off a shoddy product, and even more than the scraping, that's really what doesn't sit right with me.'

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Look, Rakuen, this article is almost two weeks old. You've had way more than enough time to come up with a better argument than "well, if you take the bad parts of my argument, and ignore them, my argument is good, right?"

And the ass of it is, no. Even if I grant you your wish, and ignore the ethics, my point in the long rambling comment was actually already an answer to "setting aside ethics, what do you have against generative AI"? My anwer is, actually, the pig post. You know the aphorism, "the marvel is not that the bear dances well, but that the bear dances at all"? That's AI. It's a novelty act. You're excited about it because it's new and sparkly, and we've been told all our lives AI can't art, but now, look, it can art? Not well, but it can! It's not the future of art, Rakuen, it's a cheap carnival trick (and from what I've heard, carnies fucking love it).

But actually, do you know how you make a bear dance, Rakuen? You torture it! You chain it on top of a big metal platform, then you light a fire underneath it, so that it stands up on its hind legs and hops from foot to foot to avoid contact with the hot metal as much as it can. So play a happy song, say look at the funny bear dancing to the music, and meanwhile it writhes in fucking agony in the background. That's AI. It's cruelly manipulating us with tricks, where the ultimate trick is hiding that it fucking hurts people.

It only works by stealing, and it only works half the time, anyway.

I get you fucking hate bucket guy's guts, but just mock him in the comment section and move on; you don't fucking need to destroy him. Even if that wasn't kind of asshole move in and of itself, yes, his art probably has no future, either. But even if you still wanted to, AI's not going to do it for you. Sorry, man.

(We still follow each other on Twitter; you've reposted art today, and even you don't repost AI. And I doubt it's because you're worried about your reputation!)

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Here's a tweet about a pig who does "art" (well, did, uh, he died), and the reason we aren't up in arms about it is because the pig's owners aren't crowing "oh, you artists are fucked now" like a bunch of assholes before it is revealed the pig is actually just a successful art thief (which would actually be kind of impressive for a pig, but that's beside the point).

My opinion on whether this is art or not is I don't know who's buying Pigcassos, and I really think they weren't worth the reported millions, but once again, it's dumb but harmless, not dumb but harmful.

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If people object to using an art generating program because it harms artists, they should go and commission works from more artists.

The internet is full of art thieves.

Not to pick on 2cross at all, but this is an example that is easy to point to--where did he get his avatar image from? Did he pay an artist to draw a picture of Judy Hopps and Nick Wylde, an artist who paid Disney a licensing fee to use their intellectual property, or did he find a cute picture in an image search?

And assuming he did pay someone who legally was able to use someone else's IP to create and sell art, how many other people on the Internet bother to track down the source of the picture they find to use as an avatar image?

All those pictures of Hasbro's "My Little Pony" characters, all those Zootopia pictures, all those fan art images--unless the users paid an artist who got a license to draw them, are stolen art.

I think that many of the people who are screaming about how unfair AI "art" is, also hate Disney for repeatedly doing end-runs around copyright law in order to prevent its IP from falling into public domain.

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Well, umm, this piece is actually way more complicated then that.

It's a Byron Howard piece, you know, the director and original creator of Zootopia, and he tweeted it on his own private Twitter account. He didn't give me personal permission to use the art as an avatar, no, and furthermore he has no rights to Doctor Who (or the X-Files, though, actually, I think both are technically also kind of Disney properties now, too).

Fan artists, are by definition, fans; they are more than happy to ascribe correct ownership of characters. In fact, in the specific case of my avatar, I wrote an entire article explaining where my avatar came from; and I didn't even do that for ethical concerns, I did it because I wanted to. Fan artists (and us fan artist enjoyers) don't hide or try to sidestep the fact that they are using other people's work as inspiration because that's the fucking point. Furthermore, most of it is made to be freely shared, much like the original Byron Howard tweet. This is not "for profit", and a lot of AI is very much so. I mean, "bootlegging" is a thing, and that's a hard line to walk, but as long as things don't get too big, fan art is usually seen more as free advertising than stealing, and is in fact encouraged by many outlets (what would Nintendo Power have been without the fan-art section, or Mystery Science Theater 3000 without Cambot zooming in on crudely drawn robots on lined noteboke paper at the end of early Joel episodes, which, yes, is itself a show based on blatantly reusing earlier works. Keep circulating the tapes!).

I guess you could argue, if you were being truly fair, the same ethical issues that lie behind many arguments against generative AI could be applied to fan art, but the difference there is fan art is supposed to be supplementary to or even supportive of what it steals, while generative AI, we are told, is supposed to replace what it has been stealing from. A good parasite doesn't kill the host.

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Alas, many memorable diseases do. Like rabies! It ended up killing that account, at least, just slowly.

I never really got into MST3K. I guess it's a bit more fun if you have some nostalgia for the original work.

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Wow...multi-layered fan art...and Zootopia was partially inspired by "The Island of Dr. Moreau"...

My point, is, that if people condemn AI because it steals art, then they should not engage in producing fan art--especially not commissioned fan art they get paid to draw or write. It's kinda hypocritical.

Full disclosure--I have written fan fiction, mostly before I knew what the stuff was ("Of course people will love my sequel to !") and I have stuck references to all sorts of things into my comic strip, like having a mad scientist character who collects working time machines, like a TARDIS and a Delorean. And I keep taking pot shots at "The Lion King."

And if folks want to help support artists with a pulse, then they should commission art from them. There are literally thousands of starving artists out there who are clamoring for work.

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A moronic misunderstanding of the method of producing fan art (it still requires an artist) vs the process of industrially scraping

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Fan art is still using someone else's original work, often without permission.

Doing it for money is copyright infringement.

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A moronic misunderstanding that fan art is usually not for money when it's by "fans" not professionals, and represents individual human behavior. AI is inherently industrial, corporate and toxic to a shared human-guided system, hastening Dead Internet.

https://www.wheresyoured.at/are-we-watching-the-internet-die/

"These stories are, of course, all manifestations of a singular problem: that generative artificial intelligence is poison for an internet dependent on algorithms."

"We're watching the joint hyper-scaling and hyper-normalization of the internet, where all popular content begins to look the same to appeal to algorithms run by companies obsessed with growth."

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One word: Scale. Try some hyperobject theory and try not to forget the ecological cost of it all.

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Fan art, petty copyright-infringement for profit, and AI art theft: one of these things is not like the others

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If I can both interrupt the anon(s) dunking not actually very well on the poster known as KDNightstar and introduce some possibly even more insulting keyboard psycho-analysing, but Nightstar has pointed out they are an artist themselves, even with a comic.

I'm just wondering if Nightstar has been the victim of some toxic fan art themselves; just setting aside bootlegging problem, there are also definitely some disrespectful ways to do fanart. For instance, pornographic fanart of a character not really meant to be, especially if the character also represents the artist, is basically straight up sexual harrassment, especially if the original character creator has expressly said they prefer not. Similarly, even a character creator that is okay with pornographic still probably has some limits; the "that's gore of my comfort character" meme comes to mind. And some fans can be oddly insistent on their right to ask for and receive the blessing of the original artist, so that even if the original creator at first didn't really give a fuck what fan artists did to their creations, the little fucks got kind of annoying about it anyway. And then there's the "your art sucks, I created my own improved version because I'm better than you" assholes.

Like, I don't think AI and fan art are really that equivalent, and Nightstar's argument just really isn't that compelling. It comes of less as a defense of AI and more an indictment of fan art; I'm just wondering if Nightstar has a (probably completely earned) bee in their bonnet on the subject.

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What does this have to do with AI generated images

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Technically, I think that's what I'm asking. They do bring it up a lot.

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"For instance, pornographic fanart of a character not really meant to be ---
is basically straight up sexual harrassment"

Do you hear yourself? Good luck accusing general R34 artists who makes specific art that is completely optional and isn't actually being forced on the actual original creators as some kind of "bad fan" or some kind of *checks notes* sexual harasser.? Remember the difference between a purely fictional character and the actual creator. Someone making certain smut off Bugs Bunny and posting it on their own deviantart page is not by default harassing the creator by default. Just because they made it doesn't mean the art effects the original.

Also, my god, an original creator not liking someone's harmless and non-threatening fan-art doesn't magically mean they are in the moral right to censor it. I'm not going to feel bad for making purely harmless fictional gore off snoopy if I ever chose to do so. It's stuff like this as to why some are preferring AI art over artists if many artists are just going to try to act like they are in the moral right to censor certain fanfiction. I don't want many good artists replaced but my god you're making it very hard convinced people.

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I've spent enough time listening to company mandated HR meetings to know that just making someone uncomfortable with words is sexual harassment.

And I've spent enough time on e621 to know that drawing violent sexual art of a person's personal character is a common and targeted way to try and make people uncomfortable. And trust me, it does not come off as "harmless and non-threatening" when rape art is posted of a person's fursona and the caption is "this is what should happen to you".

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Meh, I should have shut my mouth on this one, I don't like it anymore.

Sorry, guys, I really tried to be nice in this argument for once, and I feel like I've done pretty good at that, and definitely tried to get the other side's perspective, but now I remember why I get so mad all the time in the comments.

A lot of you guys are just bad people.

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If the creator doesn't like that a copy of a character not using their personal likeness is being used in a certain manner, then they don't have to look at it. Unless they are being bothered directly, it's entirally stupid to accuse that as sexual harassment. I'm not going to sit here and believe that the thousands of artists who made many nsfw nick wilde characters are sexual harassors of whoever made nick and I'm pretty sure the creator isn't exactly comfortable with that smut existing.

Also I was focused on many fictional characters entirally like Pokémon, Nick Wilde, bugs freaking bunny. I don't think a typical fursonas is the same as an actual likeness but I can understand some of that, though many often take inspiration from many fursonas and many new characters and back to the other argument, it's ridiculous to treat a completely fictional character the same as if it's the artist just because they created it.

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Please read what I am saying:

Unless they are being bothered directly

THEY ARE BEING BOTHERED DIRECTLY. I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE DRAW HORRIBLE PORN OF CHARACTERS AND SEND IT DIRECTLY TO THE CREATOR WHILE TAUNTING THEM.

This is not about fan porn, even violent or gross or whatever fan art, that's fine, especially if you don't share it with the creator. Or hell, you even mistakenly think Byron Howard will be into your take on Nick Wilde being sodomized by a chainsaw, so you forward it to him (though I don't blame him if he blocks all further communication, either). That would be stupid, but not necessarily harassment.

But I have seen targeted harrassment campaigns against people using their characters to symbolize them and spamming obscene, oftentimes violent, "hate" art under their social media posts, where they can't help but see them. That is harrassment, designed to hurt the victim emotionally and drive them off social media platforms. (And, yes, in these instances, I think it's fair to assume the goal is to equate the character with the victim, especially if, as is common in furry, the victim exclusively represents themselves as that character online.)

If you're a fan artist, go with God, you have my blessings. Like, even if you're drawing violent pornography of the characters you listed, you do you. I'm just getting sick of the lack of nuance here; the pro-AI side is screaming "all fan art is evil because it is theft" and I'm at least trying to be fair and say, "I disagree with that, but I can see instances of fans and fan art being used in less than ethical way", and now I've got you screaming at me "all fan art is inherently innocent, and I'm not even going to back that up with reasons, actually" and it's like, come on, guys, I wasn't attacking you personally. Jesus Christ, don't get so defensive, it actually makes you sound guilty of crimes I wasn't even accusing you of.

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BUT ANYWAY, the real thing I would like to say is that, ironically, my real feelings on generative AI is that in 50 years, when general history books get written, it won't even be mentioned. It's barely even a fad; it's a shoddy product that is not user friendly, unintuitive, and just generally so bad at what it's supposed to do that the ethics are kind of beside the point.

Like, we may one day have a technology that allows us to think things and then have them instantly created for us, but I just don't think it'll be ultimately realized by taking all the words and pictures on the Internet and then having a computer partially digest them and projectile vomit them back up, you know?

In the meantime, fan art is fun and mostly harmless, but I would strongly advise against taking up generating AI art as a hobby, partially because there are ethical issues, but mostly because you're going to be learning a skillset that will be completely useless by the end of the decade, if it lasts that long. If you just really enjoy it, well, okay, but don't be surprised if you get a lot of side eye from people!

Yeah, I think I better just leave now (it's time to go when the all caps busts out like last comment)! Please read my latest review, like and subscribe, rate and leave a comment on it! Peace out!

P.S. If anyone knows what NRG was referencing with the Wendy's sign reference, I'm genuinely curious.

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"P.S. If anyone knows what NRG was referencing with the Wendy's sign reference, I'm genuinely curious."

Why are you saying my comment was tnr?
And also I was just being creative by the say.

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Your original structure basically just said that doing smut of a character that itself isn't meant to be a specific way was enough to be sexual harassment. The especially parts implied that they were not required so it was bare minium that it was anyway I believe. Maybe be clear next time please.

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Shut up

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It's likely be copyright infringement even if it's not for profit unless it's proper permission or enough to be covered by a copyright limitation such as fair use.

Other than this small point made here, this certainly does bring up a point. If the issue with ai art in general is that it "steals" (and some say blatantly that it means using certain art without permission), and that argument is the source of the so-called "it's not ethical" claim then yes it does seem hypocritical to turn around and then defend general fan art when it does exactly the same thing outside of permission or copyright limitation I believe. Even if the argument comes up saying "Well, it's made by a real artist" or "it's usually harmless", it doesn't change the fact that it does exactly what some anti-ai art folks claim and thus misses the point and renders broken logic, especially when one could argue that some cases of ai art could be done the same such as using certain ai tools in private on certain pictures, and probably some other uses where it's around copyright infringement but could sometimes still be as harmless-ish enough as many cases of fan art.

So to maybe fix one logic up, I go with this: If some cases of fan-art without permission is fine then some cases of ai art usage is fine without permission, or if any circumvent of copyright infringement of ai art isn't, then neither is any fan art without permission. If clearly circumventing around copyright infringement is the issue, then it doesn't matter if it's a robot doing it, and it doesn't matter if it's easy.

By the way for anyone reading, I might post a general opinion about this cancel culture problem when it comes to healthy debating.

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If some cases of fan-art without permission is fine then some cases of ai art usage is fine without permission

I actually agree with this; most fan art is made with generally innocent, non-profit driven intents. Likewise, in the early days, as I tried to make clear in my overly long ramble, generative AI was a generally innocent, non-profit scientific endeavor. Certainly, there were probably bad faith actors who were looking for ways to sell "computer what does art" even in the beginning, but there are also bad faith actors in fan art circles. However, that isn't really what today's AI is used for; it's not innocent and profit driven.

By the way for anyone reading, I might post a general opinion about this cancel culture problem when it comes to healthy debating.

That's fine, I think we're good, here.

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However, that isn't really what today's AI is used for; it's not innocent and profit driven.

Eh, I can clearly see examples of AI usage that doesn't rely on profit involving copyright infringement circumvention and isn't major? For example, I can go to one of those popular AI tools and then use it to create a cool innocent dinosaur picture and admire it in private without profit involved for example. I don't see that different than looking at an official picture of modern Mickey Mouse and downloading it. If you mean that using the tool somehow generates revenue for the corporation while it could be argued that such corporation is generally causing harm then maybe (I am unclear about what counts as a fault here) I can see, but then what about certain AI tools designed to only use any lawful image that would fall under specific permissions and/or specific public domain material?

Also didn't you just literally used the tool yourself for an 'innocent' reason such primary for the purpose of specific commentary on here? Not trying to be this guy but I really wanted to point that out as I sense conflation. haha Though I might be looking at the comment wrong. If it wasn't AI art then my bad for this statement.

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I would hardly call my use of AI in this comment section "innocent"; I was clearly using it to dunk on it (and also Green Reaper). That is kind of a dick move.

But, frankly, I've already bent over backwards to say "it can be used innocently", so I don't know why you think "but what if it's used innocently?" is such a gotcha (let's say, diplomatically, I have ... theories). Furthermore, your odd insistence about "copyright" reminds me of why I thought you were Diamond Man; I don't give a shit about copyright infringement. My concerns are ethical, not legal. Like, I've seen arguments that Lauren Faust and MLP:FiM were hurt by bronies this comment section, and I'm sorry, but what? Meanwhile, AI is sold as a traditional art "killer". I mean, I'm not really sold on this; even if AI was half as good as they say it was (and it's not!), painting and drawing survived the invention of photography, so it will probably survive AI.

But you're taking the side of a bunch of tech bros who think they can steal art and then use that stolen art to kill art. Also, and I'm sorry, this is a cheap shot but I've never been above cheap shots, it's kind of telling that Flayrah's biggest defender of AI is also the guy who repeatedly defends bestiality and pedophilia. The fact is, him defending AI is consistent, ethically, with those issues.

Now, I have no illusions the pro-AI will stop using the "whataboutism" of "but fan art!" but the truth of the matter nobody gives a shit, because it's just not a compelling argument.

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I really hate to be this guy, I think, but I feel like you are not understanding the point here. Also can you please stop mentioning diamond man? I'm only mentioning copyright because that's often attached to this topic.

The reason why I've been mentioning copyright infringement is because the concept of "theft" via copying came from intellectual property law, and it was never founded as a human right to merely own information. If it's not about copyright at all, then what is it then? How can you claim "theft" when you can't own information? The idea that we should just make up a rule against certain freedom of expression by making mutant "moral" worse "Intellectual Property" like ideology and then shaming people for not agreeing is exactly the same as deciding that one cannot support the concept of an automobile because 'think of the horse jobs' when nobody was ever morally obligated to pay for horse renters in the first place, or saying that people shouldn't be allowed to copy certain art styles because 'reasons'.

If you want to make an argument about "ethics" involving AI art, then the only main legit way to do so is to go against it if: It circumvents around copyright infringement in general and harms the purpose of it, and/or actually another type of harm or harms that would be fairly be argued as unethical like falsifying history for example. The reason why fan art was brought up is because I often hear the reasoning saying it's "theft!" but knowing the concept of that originating from the concept of IP law, and since you can't morally own certain public domain content, the fan art comparison was fair because the "theft" part is "without permission", AKA, the same concept. "AI art is wrong because it's theft" clearly deserved the comparison because it's OFTEN THAT ARGUMENT. Some of your argument seems to be a little different than saying it's "wrong PURELY because it's without permission/"theft"" if I assume right but not everyone said that. By the way I mention circumvention because I hear copyright has yet to update to cover AI art or something like that. I don't respect emotional baseless arguments, so I'm not going to give a rat's ass about those who don't care about the fan art comparison when they keep doing this to themselves. Don't want to be compared with fanart, then making an argument against AI art purely because it uses a picture without permission is not the way to go then. If the argument is "Well, it's using pictures without permission and the usage without permission is actually (with proof or fairly predicted) causing harm with it." THEN the general fan-art "whataboutism" is crap.

Also, I am not flat-out taking the side of the "AI tech bros", I was just defending some cases of AI art, where it's done innocently in private or innocently involving innocent public domain art (where's the theft?). Some of this is probably just concept by the way. I even heard of an AI tool that is only meant to use certain licenses and certain public domain. I can easily imagine that yes, there are non-profit uses of it to certain degrees maybe. Also despite your purpose, you still used AI art under the "It's ok because I'm shaming it!" attitude, though I can't really tell if you admitted a fault on that. I don't really know what the artist said about AI by the way and when it was.

"who repeatedly defends bestiality and pedophilia."

I can't remember the name of the fallacy by clearly using emotional tactics like that as if it helps your argument because, I'm not a fan of it. You're not really helping with that and all it does is literally add super inflammable gas to this room. It's *sighs* unethical.

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Yeah, getting heavy Diamond Man vibes (sorry, man, but I can't help but not note them), here, so I'm just going to tell you please stop getting in conversations you're not equipped to deal with. You're not helping your side, and you will probably end up angry and spiteful like him.

Please don't tempt me with a response. There are voices in this conversation that are much more able to respond, and you really should let them do it if they want to. Furthermore, I'd really rather have this discussion with them.

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My god you are insane.
Maybe you shouldn't get in arguments like this because clearly you are the one not equipped with taking any form of the criticism here. It's clear you are acting very angry especially when you clearly are trying to pick a fight with out of spite commentary with your "bah, this guy who is rational about ai art that I hate somehow supports bestiality and pedophilia". You accuse people as sexual harassors because you can't tell the difference between fictional characters and real people who make them judging by your other comment here likely, you completely ignore the points some are making, and you blame the victim for false accusations and are even on the side of doing the same thing. You sometimes just don't even address the type of criticism and make random out of spite comments like what I'm replying to. Like what are you even trying to achieve here?

Just leave then. Your ego is so inflated that I cant even see the Wendy's sign anymore from here.

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OK Diamond Man

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Proof or it's bullshit.

By the way for anyone reading I just got here the other night. Lmao

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This pretty much gives away that you are Diamond Man.

Also, defending bestiality and pedophilia is disgusting, shame on you.

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Then guess fucking what, I guess being intellectual, on topic here, and trying to defend not starting fights with broad statements that is so broad that it was probably nothing more than a certain statement on fiction or something else that isn't really blatantly defending it, means being diamond man then. I guess all smarter people are diamond man. I guess being a fiction is fiction guy or believing in rehabilitation over punishment is diamon man. Lololol Proud to be a diamond man. Proud to be a smart person then. Go ahead, call me a diamond man. It's a positive thing then.

By the way the claim was so dangerously broad. I remember this guy also accused another person as defending CSA when the person by definition wasn't.

And by the way, I'm not even the nerdy Raccoon guy writing this. For anyone confused. And also he was not the one being called out as defending those two, I think he was talking about someone else and maybe that was called out in a different way judging by the comment.

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And the reason why I'm responding to that comment was because I was accused as so as an anon here.

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Scum. Fucking dogs isn't "intellectual" it's the opposite.

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Purposely ignoring the part of the message where the person said he didn't defend that, isn't really a good look. And just in case you believe that comment you're replying to is me, I never said that either.

You're clearly confusing someone else over an empty broad comment that 2cross2affliction said that seemed to suggest that it was about someone else. He literally mentioned that the person was the biggest AI defender on Flayrah and I do know an active member that seem to suggest alignment with that and not me because I just started talking about the unethical side of anti-AI here and the only other time I mentioned AI art was an older comment before it became the next moral panic and it wasn't very big.

Even if the member had a couple of controversial opinions about those two sensitive topics and it was something even I don't agree with, it doesn't change the fact that I can agree with some good points about this topic without agreeing with everything else the person has probably said on this website. That member isn't going to go away, it's the member's free speech right to be here to a degree. Unfortunately you're one of those people that would likely be denied a role in certain 'intellectual' communities, you're not going to care about this comment because you're too obsessed with disrespecting the right to lawfully use certain AI on Mona Lisa and some other certain public domain arts and is trying way too hard to "debunk" an argument by depending on a bunch of fallacies. Yes I sound a little frustrated here but it's because I'm annoyed of trying to put effort to open up a type of healthy debate just to be targeted by the furry twitter mafia that I argue is possibly the worst part of the fandom in the history of the world and the only reason I'm partly replying to you is because you're one of the furry predators who has picked me (?) as the next target over something I didn't even do and is trying to spread misinformation but even then, you don't have any ethics at respecting people for having an opinion of what I'm assuming.

That reminds me, I was planning to make a comment here calling out the cancel culture problem, and this attitude here does make me want to do that further. But first I might make a comment explaining the situation that happened here and then make a separate comment about the AI art issue and the "cancel culture" issue where I try to list what is unethical and what isn't unethical and to remind people that "ethics" shouldn't be used to decide that someone's freedom is wrong for reasons that have nothing to do with respecting basic human rights that actually exist. But I feel like I commented too much here and don't want to look like some trouble-maker to the general website's better part of the community (so to appeal to more mature members in some way). So I don't know. Ha

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Tl;dr, dogfucker

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Normally when people like you stoop this low, I would just 1-star your comment and move on, but just because I'm bored and have nothing to do and is annoyed by trash like you (and commits predator behavior like lying about people on purpose), you sound a lot like a person that does that yourself. I wouldn't be surprised that you're one of those crazy far right predators.

*grabs popcorn*

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Shut up dogfucker

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Who is selling AI as a a traditional art killer?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Nerdy Raccoon Guy has the jist of it.

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Which part, the defending bestiality and pedophilia? Cool allies you pick in your battle against being respected or worth hearing.

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To those who may read this later, my comment was replying to comment #99. A number of comments got tiled in between.

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So you're issuing support for a bestiality and pedophilia defender without comment about it, that's not surprising from someone who is avidly downplaying and defending the threat of AI with whataboutism games

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Imagine comparing pedophilia with AI art in general. Is AI art in general now on the same moral panic level about pedophilia then? I don't know where TNR is right now but I don't see any comment here admitting to blatantly defending that unless that you're referring to some fiction is fiction thing but including that is watering it down which is an insult to many real victims.

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Judging by what happened, this accusation started when crossy picked a fight with what I'm assuming is a phycological fan by for no reason other than to start a fight so broadly likely because he got butthurt by people disagreeing with some stances on ai art.

I won't say who because I don't really know for sure but it seems some are confusing tnr as the person because he didn't like that fallacious and dangerous attitude. So some troll here is trying to pick even more fights with unrelated people to help fight against ai art I guess.

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Drat I meant my comment sent here was meant to be a part response to another comment posted to the night guy.

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Sorry I'm on phone and it's getting tricky to type.

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To address 2cross's comments:

I have not had "much" trouble from unwelcome fan art. Most of my readers are very respectful of my characters. Several have written pretty good stories set in my "universe" using their original characters.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I myself have done a lot of fan art/ fan fiction, starting with drawing Snoopy when I was in the third grade. I've created fan works of everything from Peanuts to Lord of the Rings, from Star Wars to Phantom of the Opera. I think that's how a lot of people learn the craft of writing, by creating "sequels" to works they love.

I taught myself to draw by imitating the styles of Charles Schulz, Dik Browne, Garry Trudeau, Phil Foglio, and the guys at Termite Terrace. Some artists study the Old Masters--these guys are my "Old Masters."

I incorporate a lot of "Easter eggs" into my comic strip. Many artists do include pop culture references or inside jokes. How many of the Looney Tunes cartoons had cameos of the big Hollywood stars of the day? After I started watching the "Red Skelton" TV show, I saw how many gags the Looney Tunes had stolen outright from him.

But I have never drawn somebody else's character for cash. That's the fan art that I am equating with what these AI training programs do. That kind of fan art (or writing) makes images of somebody else's copyrighted original material, usually without their knowledge or permission, and produces it for payment without compensating the creating artist. Do you think Lauren Faust saw a dime from all the artwork generated by the Bronies?

And this is why I don't like fan art anymore.

Some artists encourage fan art, and that's fine. But to hate AI art programs because they "steal" art, and to give a pass to live artists who are producing copies of somebody else's art and getting paid for that without compensating the original creator, is hypocrisy.

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Most fan art is not paid or even trying to get paid. Equating this to industrial scraping of the web to create AI libraries to "generate" (plagiarize) and propose a false equivalence is fundamentally dishonest. Shame on you.

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Really? Have ya looked on Fur affinity at all the "YCH" ads recently? There are people who have paying banner ads saying they'll do "fan arts." There are writers who are selling novels based on other people's works.

I don't feed trolls, so this will be my last comment on this to a guy who chooses to protect his privacy behind an "Anonymous" tag.

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YCH isn't fan art of copyrighted characters :) you're packpedaling and trying to deflect with vague bullshit because you're being seen being a dishonest and disgusting apologist.

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Mary Lowd didn't just "embrace" AI art.

She compared Large Language Models to autistic people and somehow expected us to take that as a compliment!

She'd been annoying everyone in the furry writer community with her advocacy for LLM stuff for months but the naked ableism was the last straw. The day after that she became Persona Non Grata at the Furry Writer's Guild and Furplanet dropped her books shortly after.

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Context context context
https://twitter.com/Ryffnah/status/1735227352605704357
I do not think this is disparages but is making and observation. I had the same feeling about Large Language Models in observing my older brother who has severe Autism (think Rain Man) but demonstrates the ability to process large amount of information. (textbooks and stock company reports)

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Huh, I thought she’d deleted that tweet.

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a project coordinator and Kangaroo from CheektRoowaga, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, writing and finance