2023-01-21 ---------- Hi. No one needs to read this but I want to get the thoughts out of my head on AI generated art. Feel free to skip. I'm specifically talking about Stable Diffusion, which is the only thing I've really used, and that I have a local copy of, so I'm not limited by cloud computing credits or however people are limited on the public / proprietary models. I'm not like, a _booster_ of this tech -- it's going to take another already underpaid field and make it worse, and in many cases used a bunch of artists' work uncompensated to help to kneecap their field. Pretty dark. That said, the technology itself is amazing that it works at all. And it's probably not going away now. I feel like we can wait out blockchain until it dies off, but as AI art generation can be used to make labour cheaper for capital it's almost guaranteed to stick around. I get that it's fun on social media to joke about how it can't count fingers, but the real answer to that is just ... scale. I have an RTX3060 video card and I can generate ~200 images on a text prompt in a couple of hours, and I can train a model on around a 1000 images to a reasonable degree in about 12. Running things locally changes the dynamics entirely: Yes, many images are unusably bad, ranging from "a little off" to "many mouthed eldritch horror" but when all you've done is sink a dollar's worth of electricity into something, only one of those 200 images needs to be usable. It turns the process into curating and selecting from a large body of possible images. Also: retouching and cropping still exist, so even if you end up with one of those 6+ fingered hands, it doesn't render the whole thing unusable. IMO, when the marginal cost of creating things through automation drops so close to zero, humans end up getting fucked. Self checkouts are bad, but they let one person supervise 6 lanes, so companies put up with their badness. Google Translate is highly flawed but it's free for most uses and real translators are (justifiably) expensive. AI images look weird but even cheap illustration is orders of magnitude more expensive. People will lower their standards -- very far -- for something that's free or cheap. I'm guilty of this too -- I've literally ordered two or three of the same part from AliExpress in the hope that at least one of them will actually be real (and not a fake or a clone) -- it's still often cheaper than buying one of that same part from Digikey. On a personal note: as someone who has tried on and off to get better at drawing, knowing that this technology exists is extremely demotivating. Even if I put in regular practice for the rest of my life, it's very likely that someone with a dollar worth of GPU time will always be able to create something which _looks_ better than I can produce. I used to just be comparing myself to artists (which is, itself, a negative habit) -- now I'd be comparing myself to _anyone with a tool_.