Understanding / Doing Some AI

After seeing more AI promptist imagery by colleagues in Instagram and elsewhere, my realization is that judging capability as I have done based on the DALL-E mini powered craiyon is limited- more stunning images are posted using DALL•E 2 and Midjourney.

It’s fast moving, and I’m not sure I need to be trying to catch up (I applied for DALL•E 2 in April, still wait-listed).

Midjourney is interesting in that you interact via the software in the social media discord space (How to Geek as a good intro). Also for noting here, The Register’s interview with founder David Holz indicates the latest version does build upon feedback from this community, which is not built into the other apps were we individually toss prompts into a box.

The social aspect of Midjourney recently began enhancing image quality. Holz said company engineers recently introduced version three of its software, which for the first time incorporated a feedback loop based on user activity and response.

“If you look at the v3 stuff, there’s this huge improvement,” he said. “It’s mind-bogglingly better and we didn’t actually put any more art into it. We just took the data about what images the users liked, and how they were using it. And that actually made it better.”

Also of interest, curiosity-- Prompt Press that seems the generate stories that look like news using AI for imagery and text based on current headlines (?).

Speaking of fast moving, or just moving, gaze over the generated images of animals done in various painting styles to what might happen as video is generated by AI via something called CogVideo (no relation!). I gave it a weak try through an interface provided at Hugging Face that “only supports the first stage of the CogVideo pipeline due to hardware limitations”.

I attempted using a seed image of my dog Felix rolling around on the grass and the prompt “A dog rolls joyfully in the grass” which apparently needs to be translated into Chinese

一只狗在草地上欢乐地滚动

?? I am not sure what to make of the results (crappy video in the tweet).

Designboom had examples of transforming classic art into different styles and even doing things like a makeover of the Mona Lisa to have her sport a mohawk hair style.

This hopefully makes one start to wonder/worry about the copyright/reuse implications here. I lost track of a really good article that dug into this, but it bends a lot of the questions of originality and remix, plus even more about the implications of the rights for the images that AI gets trained on.

And it’s going to stretch some legal precedents by pushing what non-human authorship (the usually grounds for rejecting copyright claims).

The question is what will we do, hopefully for good (?) with this capability? I am a bit weary of the shared “look what I made” (by typing into a box!). Back to the interview with Midjourney’s David Holz – it’s not art (is it creative?)

“The majority of people are just having fun,” said Holz. “I think that’s the biggest thing because it’s not actually about art, it’s about imagination.”

and

Holz said a lot of graphic artists use Midjourney as part of their concept development workflow. They generate a few variations on an idea and present it to clients to see which direction they should pursue.

“The professionals are using it to supercharge their creative or communication process,” Holz explained. “And then a lot of people were just playing with it.”

plus

But he’s more open to Midjourney as a source of commercial illustration, noting that The Economist ran a Midjourney graphic on its cover in June.

I am only here tracking some notes and trying to make my own sense of what this AI frenzy (or is it just a flash in the pan?) is going.

Cleaning out my fleet of open browser tabs, I found the reference I wanted to post on the issues of copyright and AI – it was a twitter thread (which is poor place IMHO to publish stuff, it just runs over the edge of now and disappears)

This might be one of the most useful twitter threads I’ve seen in a while, plucking the relevant ones-- what happens when because of it’s “training” material that AI can generate imagery that closely approximates copyrighted works?

Then the question of it being legal for AI training data to include copyrighted works (the author says “yes”).

This thread goes deep and is absolutely worth digging into.

Buried in there is an amazing set of AI tools and resources, much of it technical, but scroll to the bottom for “Cool Apps - No Code AI Art tools” e.g. stuff to play with

I’m in the DALL•E club, my invite came through. What shall I do with my 50 credits? For a first jaunt, I used the same llama in a field prompt I tried earlier with craiyon, just adding to the end a reference to photographic style.

A llama staring from a fenced-in field atop a hill under an orange sky done in photographic style

The images generated are much more realistic in rendering and composition than the previous attempt. Fences are more detailed, and the skies are more interesting than just “orange”

The 3rd and fourth ones are similar in composition to the many I took photographs of when we lived near some real ones.

All very interesting, but to come back away from the “wow” (if that) is what can we do with this capability? Or what do we forecast as it gets even better? Might it generate something indistinguishable from a photo?

Lesson learned- leave the craiyon behind.

I tried to make a case or a speculation about the value of creation by tossing prompts, and here I am, like others engaged in promptism.

Okay, I am working on a new blog series for OEGlobal, where I hope to virtually travel to our members web sites and look for some interesting open education bits to share. I thought about the metaphor of traveling with a suitcase, and since I always use a dog avatar, I prompted to DALL•E

An abstract surrealistic painting of a dog sitting next to a suitcase on a wharf next to a steamship

I did ask for surrealistic, but wow, these are images I could not easily make, nor likely find.


Image generated with DALL•E but license options seem elusive! Who owns it? Who can assign a license?

UPDATE: Just looking in the Creative Commons Slack found that @vahidm shared this important news

So if in AI image cannot be copyrighted, again how do I attribute it? Can I license it?

1 Like

It’s an interesting and relevant question, because the graphics that are produced are at a stage where I would want to use them, and they fit neatly what you would use for album covers or similar artworks. In other words, they have “value”. One example for my professional use would be to have an AI create visuals to use in my presentations.

Here’s a concrete example of graphics that approach being seen as “valuable” (to Dungeons & Dragons players): Dungeons & DALL·E [pack 1]

They are of value when they are looking this good! I know of folks definitely using them in presos and upthread is a link to a web site that automated the creation of feature images for all their blog posts.

Still it’s all so new that the old ways of giving attribution are lacking. The Smithsonian article you shared (thanks) and the Creative Commons stance in 2020 make the case that AI generated images cannot be copyrighted.

Fine.

But what does that mean for reuse? Attribution? It’s all muddy.

1 Like

I am guessing we are just at the veritable iceberg tip of what AI generated media will become, especially with this announcement and a few examples from DALL•E new option for “Outpainting”

Apparently with new features in the editor you can do more than generate square images:

The DALL·E editor interface helps you edit images through inpainting and outpainting, giving you more control over your creative vision.

So it means you can set your AI generated creatures, objects, people into scenes and backgrounds, and seems to be taking the whole realm of what used to be described as “photoshopping” to generate images, that well, might bend what we know and think of the world.

Okay, maybe that is dramatic. I was hoping to try it out since I have access now, but yes, “come back when the server is less busy” I am seeing.

On a related topic of "where the *&^$ is all this going, see the co-founder of the popular photography site fstoppers suggest big changes in the world of photography

or if you prefer listen to Lee Morris make his case.

Now his concern seems to be what does the evolution of mobile phone photography, easy to use effects and editing tools, will challenge the need for professional photographers who get paid a lot for their work.

Yes, that looks like it’s happening, but I am more interested in what it means for the nature of media creation, how we use it, reuse it, when high quality images can be easily created. Are professional photographers replaced by professional prompt writers?

Peek at PromptBase a marketplace for buying and selling AI prompts! I don’t think pro photographers see their future there (nor me).

What does this mean for educators? Can these types of media be “owned”, licensed, reshare? What are the rules of remix here?

More semi-random notes here. I asked via twitter my photography guru Jonathan Worth (he taught the open #phonar course at Coventry U back in the day) about the FStoppers piece above.

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Worth/status/1566858133351407619

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Worth/status/1567155355142045697

He also shared a post that still focuses on implications of AI image generation on professional photographers (not really my interest)

And for anyone thinking this is just about photography, look out video!

And on the rights of imagery generated, note the craiyon now has a terms of use listing under Free Commercial Licence:

You may use the Site or the Images for academic or research purposes or for educating or entertaining on various social media platforms.

Free commercial use requires you to attribute images to Craiyon.

It has a quasi ND phrasing:

Except as otherwise provided herein, you may not modify, publish, transmit, reverse engineer, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit any of the content, in whole or in part, found on the Site.

as well as a statement of ownership:

You agree that you do not acquire any ownership rights in the Images, though you are permitted to use them in accordance with these Terms.

Still, I am looking to figure out how one ought to attribute such images.

As this topic was set up first under “Summer Open Pedagogy Adventure” it ought to wrap up, but it’s only the end of summer in one hemisphere, so I can change that rule.

Seeing the reactions to AI generated Art, like prize winning one, seems to say more about humans than machines. That someone created a printed ar work that one a prize show people pushing boundaries, but also others overreacting by harassing him.

Is AI the problem?

I am hardly the first to ponder his, but imagined how the invention of the camera must have been seen by the established artists of the late 19th century. I found many “takes” on this that get to a point that the disruptive nature of a new technology faded as what could be produced evolved into an art form.

This essay was a valuable read, with the opening question

First, many people believed that photography could not be art, because it was made by a machine rather than by human creativity.

with the requisite reference to artist reaction"From today, painting is dead!"

I will leave it to the art historians to explain the impact pf the camera on the world of painting, pushing realists to change, adapt, or just keep trying what they do.

Here Hertzmann gets to the answers:

This story provides several lessons that are directly relevant to AI as an artistic tool.

When the camera was first invented, it looked like a machine that automated the creation of art. No skill was required. Many artists feared and disparaged it. They predicted that it was going to destroy high-quality art and put the best artists out of work.

The development of computer graphics and potential for animation was seen as a threat too, but later a gain for the art/craft of animation. Art changes.

I believe that the same pattern is repeating itself with the new artistic AI tools. Naive spectators, who do not understand current AI technology or art (or both), worry that AI will make artists obsolete. Don’t believe the hype. In fact, these new tools open enormous creative opportunities for art and culture; they do not replace artists but, instead, empower them.

I see much to read in part 2!

And for the random bots that click here and maybe some lost human, what happens when we take “art” out of the questions and consider “education”??

Because this topic is long and I am hoping to attract some resoponses, I jusr posted a question about Elicit, an AI research assistant over here in the OEG Plaza

Hi, I am still here, experimenting. Since I started it the possibilities (and issues) of AI powered image generators has gone much farther than what I was first using.

It’s a bit like the wild west of AI.

Some big news is that the DALL•E service is now available for everyone (I waited 4 months to get access)

The rules of rights/reuse here are as fluid as the technology. How are educators using this kind of creation tool? Can images be used under an open license? Who even owns them? What is even real anymore?

Look soon as this capability is happening/emerging for generating video. Is anyone else wondering about this?

As an iterative/interesting effect, this is the first time I tried the option under a result to Generate Variations- this means you can hone in to a better image?

And one more loop (oh my credits are disappearing)!

I was reading this CC’s article about the use of Artificial Intelligence and the possible regulations, mainly due to privacy issues.

And at the end they mention this intersection between copyrights and AI-generated content and there is still a question of whether it should be copyrighted or not. Who is the author in this case?

There’s a few layers to peel and the references at the bottom circa 2015 show CC has been on this for a while.

I’ve linked a few things in the mess above, but it seems clear that ownership is based on a human creator, which is not present – a human may enter the prompt or change settings but the AI is creating the image. So I guess the parallel is that Photoshop can never claim to be the author of an image, it’s a tool.

The other side, where the EU actions may be looking, is the question of is it a violation of rights to use content in the training set? There was some examples of this at the Vancouver Museum of Art exhibit we got to visit in September (rats you could not be there) see https://imitationgameexhibition.ca/ especially the one for ImageNet.

My curiosity has been also about how we can encourage educators to use AI generated media, how do we credit/attribute it? The tools have been changing their terms to include this.

Craiyon now has a terms of use I did not see earlier- it states images created can be used for non-commercial purposes, but is not clear who owns the image, though they require attribution to Craiyon.

DALL-E has a page on sharing and publication, and it looks like it suggests attributing to the person/company who created image.

I thought I saw another one that says the AI platform owned the image and the user could own the prompt.

It’s quite a moving target!

One more, here is a podcast relevant to your question @Mario that I have had sitting in a tab for a while.

The whole Deep Dive AI podcast looks worthy:

What’s an “Open Source” AI system?

The traditional view of open source code implementing AI algorithms may not be sufficient to guarantee inspectability and replicability of the AI systems. Algorithms are deciding who stays in jail or which customers deserve credit to buy a house.

Learn more about the challenges of AI.

1 Like

Adding to the pile this twitter thread…

Can I do better than earlier attempts?

Yes. Maybe.

Months later, DALL-E seems to do much better, although it does not know kings from aces. The cat looks better

DALL·E generated image Black and white cat laying in front of a deck of cards with 2 kings showing
DALL·E generated image based on prompt “Black and white cat laying in front of a deck of cards with 2 kings showing” shared under terms of use (licenses do not exist)

This topic might never end, but then again, it’s mine. And the idea here was really to share a running string of notes.

So I saw this item from Boing Boing

and wondered what was the “impressive” aspect? I am going to leave it at the fact that “this guy” could build this demo from a handful of new platforms. That’s the spirit of remix.

But as I watch the video (try yourself) I am wondering, is this really how people will work with, create with computing tools? It looks so… tedious for the convenience of just yakking into a microphone. Where’s the undo? Where’s the creativity?

Beyond demoing just more or less random stuff, is this how we want to work?

To add to the string of notes, here’s an excerpt from canva.com newsletter sent a couple of days ago:

With tools like Canva making AI-generated imagery a built-in feature, mainstream adoption of these forms of AI is likely to grow significantly.

If you know any other tools that have embedded such functionality (or have any first-hand experiences / thoughts), please do share!

AI at warp speed 11… Heard from @moodler via the Fediverse (doubling up again on trends of AI AND Fediverse)

Martin is recommending DiffusionBee a MacOS app. While it is downloading a few Gb of stuff…

" DiffusionBee is the easiest way to generate AI art on your computer with Stable Diffusion. Completely free of charge. Runs offline. No limits"

I wonder if these generated images, while interesting, and often beautiful, approach some level of “sameness”. One of the things I most enjoy in writing, posting is finding an existing photo that works to me as a representation of an idea, using my Human Intelligence to select. And also, I want to support the efforts and ideas of creators who put their works into a public place, under some license of sharing.

Or am I just


DALL-E generate image from Alan’s prompt “A character from Grumpy Old Men sitting at a computer, scowling, artistic style”. I dislike this so much, I give it the WTF license!

I’m not seeing Walter Matthou or Jack Lemmon at all

Thinking of some old wisdom of Clay Shirky who once described social software as “stuff that gets spammed”, right today in my email inbox is a hint of where AI is headed-- not only as a buzzword for spam pitches, but what happens when AI starts authoring spam?

This spam message is aiming to get me to click on an offer for am “AI Assisted Membership Website” from a friend person name “Elvis”

Only as long ago as April 2022, Google was identifying AI generated content as spam… is it so?