Ethical AI usage has plenty of room for the “wow!” and “this is so fun!” factor, among other personal uses. I just think that right now, the dataset acquisition is reprehensible, the enrichment of the company owners at the expense of artists is the absolute worst of capitalist amorality, and AI art is not capable of providing a net positive to culture until these issues are resolved.
There is not really any ethical use of AI to generate art
if you aren’t using your own datasets and running it on your computer.
With big companies like Midjourney, you will be using datasets acquired without consent. You will also be providing more data and money to help the business do better theft.
I totally get why it’s fun. It feels like visualizing dreams. Referencing things that are familiar in this surreal ways. I love that some folks seem to be having this cool community experience with it, sharing things and learning. It must feel enriching.
I wish that the system that your joy enriches were not *so terrible*. They do not deserve you.
My ire is always aimed at the system, the moneybags, not the people who are navigating the same moral complexities I am and often reaching different but equally valid conclusions.
That said, I am asking friends of mine who do it for fun to consider if this is the fun you have to do? There are *so many* fun artistic pursuits. Right now this one is on the forefront of everyone’s minds because it’s novel, but…we don’t have to do it.
We don’t have to help the people hurting artists because we are having fun with it.