Posts tagged ‘artbreeder’


AI Art and Copyright some more

I am losing track of the number of AI-based image-creation tools I have access to now. It’s not that huge a number, but it’s complicated! :) There’s at least:

  • good old ArtBreeder, which I haven’t used in ages, and which seems to have a potentially interesting new mode where you sketch a thing with a few shapes, and then type text telling the AI what to make it into,
  • MidJourney with the old V3 engine and the newer and lyrically named ‘test’ and ‘testp’ engines and mixmashes of those,
  • NightCafe, which was my main goto image tool quite some weeks, with the old Artistic and Coherent engines, but now also the new Stable Diffusion (SD) based “Stable” engine, and various workflows among those,
  • NovelAI which now does images as well as text; the images are also in a Discord bot, and it’s really fast; it uses some heuristic smut-blurrer (maybe just the standard SD one?) but the devs sort of promise they will eventually move it off of discord and then have few or no restrictions (similarly to their text generator),
  • and now I discover that I have access to Dall-E also, from OpenAI, which I have just barely begun to use (detailed surrealism).

The “you can’t copyright art made with AIs” meme seems to have withered (which is good since it’s not true, although nothing is certain), but my experiment to gather additional evidence against it has finally borne fruit (months before I expected it to, really): I have now registered my copyright in this masterpiece of mine:

A blonde porcelain doll and a worn teddy bear sit on a trunk, in a musty attic in light from the window

with the real actual US Copyright Office, who have sent me a real actual certificate testifying to it. The registration can also be found on the web (you have to go to that page and then search on Registration Number for “VA0002317843”; I have yet to find a permalink that persists, bizarrely).

I did it through LegalZoom rather than myself; it cost more (I think), but I was more confident that I was Doing It Right during the process. There were no questions about whether AI was involved, or about what software I used to create it, or anything like that. I did have to say that I’m the creator, of course, but since I am :) I don’t see a problem there.

Registering the copyright doesn’t mean it’s 100% correct, it just creates a legal presumption. Someone could still challenge it, arguing that I wasn’t really the creator at all. I think that would be very unlikely to succeed.

And in any case, here is a nice concrete counterexample to any remaining “you can’t copyright art produced with an AI” claims that might be floating around.

The image is, by the way, provided under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, so feel free to do anything allowed by that license. :) Knock yourself out! Figuratively!

Extremely generous friend Karima also continues updating the virtual world region “AI Dreams in Art” with things she likes from my Twitter feed, etc, so drop by! It is getting blushingly positive reviews on the Social Medias; apparently there are significant numbers of people who have heard a lot about this AI Art stuff, but never really seen any. They seem to like mine! :)

Updates: there have been significant developments, legal and otherwise, in this area since this was initially posted; see the copyright tag on the weblog here for more.


The AIs are making visual art now!

I’ve written quite a bit here about the latest generation(s) of AIs that generate text, after reading much of the Internet and so on, and given some text to start with. I’ve played with AI Dungeon, NovelAI (which I see I haven’t blogged about much; it’s cool, and imho the UI is much better than, and the AI about as good as, AI Dungeon’s), whatever the heck is inside Replika these days, and Google’s own engine (paper is out!).

I’ve also blogged before about Art Breeder, which is cool, and lets one interact with software that includes some AI elements to make new strange (or realistic) pictures. While it uses AI, Art Breeder doesn’t have quite the wild and open-ended feel that the text generators do, because it knows specifically about certain kinds of images (faces, landscapes, etc), and it knows certain things about them (the “genes” that exist and that people who pay a certain amount of money can create new ones of), and lets you mix and match and evolve within that rather structured framework, rather than just typing stuff.

Now I’ve been playing with some visual-art AIs that are more in the generator style. These have existed for awhile (the earliest I can recall being OpenAI’s “DALL-E” (a cute pun opon “Dali” the artist and “WALL-E” the cute fictional robot)), but I haven’t noticed them being more or less freely available to lazy people until like this month.

The first one I’ll mention is the “2D” mode in AI Dungeon: paying members or something can now turn on a feature that will insert pixelated images into one’s stories, generated from the story text by (according to the help text) pixray (about which I know very little). For example:

I admit I don’t find the images especially… interesting. But the idea is at least kind of fun!

Next up is “dall-e mini” (punctuation and trademark status unclear to me). It’s very simple: you give it a word or phrase, and it displays a small grid of small images which it calls “predictions”, and which are… perhaps at least vaguely related to the words, and sometimes cool.

And yes, the reason I was prompting AI Dungeon’s GPT-3 to generate names for not-yet-created artworks up in the first image there, was so I could enter the names into things like dall-e mini, and the next one we’ll talk about.

That next one is Nightcafe, which is free to use in a relatively complex sense: anyone can sign up, and you get a certain number of “credits” to use on doing stuff, and as you hit various milestones (which come pretty fast at first; I don’t know about longer term!) you get more credits for free. Credits can also be purchased with, y’know, money. Every time you want to do a thing (create a new image, make an image higher-res, etc), you spend a credit or two.

So far, I’m having fun without having given them any money. You can see all of the things that I’ve generated so far on my profile page here, including this one generated from Ai Dungeon’s “The Discomfort” idea in the first image up there. The main things I’ve discovered that one can do so far are:

  • Type in some word or phrase, with optional additions selected from a list of modifiers (like “concept art”, “surrealism”, “watercolor”), and push the button to have it generate an image. That’s how I made “The Discomfort” and “Song of Hidden Beauty” which I rather like, and some others.
  • Give it some existing image (either that it generated, or uploaded from anywhere at all, for instance from dall-e mini) and choose one of a number of “style” images, and push the button to do a “style transfer” from the “style” image to the image that you gave it. See this and this, which are the same image from dall-e mini prompted with “The most beautiful thing in the world”, with two different styles transferred onto it by Nightcafe. (I don’t know if you can have it apply the “style” from one arbitrary picture to another one; that would be neat but probably harder for the engine.)
  • Sort of do both, by giving it both a word or phrase and optional modifiers, and also an existing image (or more than one even maybe), and pushing a button to have it produce something derived from all of that. For instance “The Young Mother” here is a combination of this image (which looks like a pile of cloth to me, but a friend assures me contains body parts) and the phrase “The Young Mother”.
  • Order a physical print of one’s image, suitable for framing and/or hanging! This is a fun thought, and I may do it eventually. It would look good with the Art Breeder image that I had put onto canvas by Google Photos the other month (did I tell y ‘all about that?) and that is now hanging over my bed.
  • Produce NFTs from the images (speaking of our recent posts on that subject). This one is pretty funny, in that the NightCafe site currently has a page called “Create NFT Art”, which basically just says that you can use their stuff to produce a cool image, and then download it and use something else to make an NFT and sell it and stuff. I don’t know if this is just an amusing low-effort way to hook into the NFT hype, or a placeholder for adding a “Make into an NFT on OpenSea” button or whatever later on.

Amusingly, the relevant help / settings text on AI Dungeon says “Creation of NFTs with AI Dungeon 2D is not currently allowed”. For what it’s worth…

Anyway! This is all pretty fun. I feel like the amazingness of GPT-style text generators has somewhat worn off, and their output has a common “convincingly-worded text without any actually understanding behind it” feeling to it, although it look quite awhile for that to happen, and it’s still fun to play with now and then. And I’m already starting to suspect that the (“GPT-style”?) visual art that I’ve been looking at already has that kind of feeling to it, as though even though they can be very different, they still somehow have the same sort of vibe.

(I don’t know if I’m claiming that I could tell an AI-generated sample (of text or art) from a human-generated one in an appropriate set of blind tests. That might be interesting!)

I haven’t to speak of looked into what these things are trained on, for instance. I think to first order it’s some big dataset of images that have had words / descriptions attached to them by humans. How big is it? Are they all based on the same one? Are people looking into other things to train on? Etc etc? I don’t know! Maybe I will find that stuff all out eventually.

Meanwhile, here’s the first image I made with Nightcafe: Frightened Business Men with Lamps (concept art, film noir). Enjoy!

Frightened business men with lamps

Update: And how could I forget, the very notable Twitterbot: ai_curio_bot? Endless AI-generated images based on phrases entered by Twitter users! With a very similar feel yet again; not sure what the backend is here either.


Art That Breeds!

I imagine there have been various images of art that bleeds, in various metaphorical senses and otherwise, but this is art that breeds! Or art that one breeds. Or something.

In particular, it’s! I think I might be a member there or something, or at any rate I have a profile page that you might be able to see. It has weird pictures on it!

I vaguely think that ArtBreeder was once a site that would just show you a few pictures, tweaked in various ways by an AI, and let you say which one(s) you liked more and which one(s) you liked less, and then over time it would show more of the ones that people liked more or something, which sounded cool.

It isn’t that now. It’s a thing that lets you… well… sort of upload and combine and mutate images in various ways, and “save” some of them, and “like” and “share” and stuff, and if you pay them certain amounts of money (which I think I might be doing) you can do extra stuff I think like maybe adding your own “genes” so that you can make any given image (in a certain category maybe?) look to a greater or lesser degree like a half-hitch or Elmo or something, and see what that does.

The interface is kind of unintuitive and baffling, and I’m not always sure what I’m doing, and (because both people and AI are involved) unexpected things happen a lot. But I’ve used it to generate a lot of bizarre pictures, which is very cool!

Here are some. I have no idea how “original” they are to me, as opposed to being simple (or complex) derivatives of things that other people have uploaded, or “genes” that they have created, or… Or even how that might be measured, if indeed it’s at all well-defined.

But enjoy!

Some things and maybe a window or something
A kind of artistic monochrome landscape, like
My current profile picture :) which contains inter alia 0.508 Persian Cat, 0.123 Standard Schnauzer, 0.159 Umbrella, and -0.33 Lemon.
An odd little house in someone’s yard or driveway?
Scary food? Looks like a photograph, but definitely synthetic.
Abstract gray tendrils
More abstract stuff! Art! Would you be suspicious if you saw this in a gallery?
I don’t know what it is, but I like it! I want one.
An ominous thing, probably in water. An SCP?
Bucolic Landscape. Hanging in your hotel room.
A face. Oh yeah, it can also do faces! Entirely fictional.
Something… organic or something? Also not a photograph.
More mechanisms; want

Okay, okay, this is too much fun. :) These and a whole bunch of others are all on my profile page, and I think that you can even click on any of them there and make your own… based on them. Or something. It’s confusing!

But that seems appropriate.

I should find out eventually more about how this works and what it’s doing. Maybe if I do that I’ll weblog about that. But for now it’s just cool!