When AI makes art, what can go wrong?

Several new artificial intelligence (AI)-driven services are allowing anyone to create art, and even sell it as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) online. Mint explains how they work, the scope of such services and possible misuses.

How does AI manage to create art?

In 2014, a research scientist at Alphabet-owned DeepMind created a new form of algorithms called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). GANs use two neural networks, called “generators” and “discriminators” which are “adversarial” to each other. While the former creates false images, the latter captures them. An output is generated when the generator defeats the discriminator. Eight years since the first GAN, researchers and AI firms have made these algorithms available to the general public, allowing anyone to create art with them, in exchange for augmenting the training data they receive.

Are GANs only used to create art?

No. GANs can be used to generate video, text and even audio. For example, last Diwali, Mondelez International, the owner of the Cadbury brand, created an ad called ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’. In the ad, actor Shah Rukh Khan is seen promoting neighborhood stores in India, except Khan never spelled out the names of the stores. To do this, Mondelez used a GANs program from startup Rephrase.ai to create the videos. GANs have also been used to create ‘artificial humans’, which can replace actors in movies and be used as personal assistants, office receptionists and more.

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Is it possible for someone to abuse GANs?

The most notorious misuse of GANs is the creation of “deepfakes” – realistic fake images and videos of personalities. An example was the “deepfake” demo of former US President Barack Obama’s artificial intelligence abusing Donald Trump. Patrick Hillman, CCO of Binance, said that fraudsters used his video footage from news interviews to create AI-generated fakes and scam crypto users.

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What are the options that consumers can use?

While the highest quality tools are paid and only available to a limited few, there are plenty of free options that anyone can explore. For example, DeepAI, a US-based AI startup, offers users both image and text generation for free. Others include Hotpot AI, Pixray and Midjourney. The latter is likely the most popular right now and allows users to create images through its Discord group. It has also been compared to Dall-E, a restricted-access algorithm created by Elon Musk-backed AI research firm OpenAI.

How can you use these systems?

For most of these tools, it’s as simple as opening your email or replying to a tweet. DeepAI, Hotpot and Pixray have websites with text boxes where you can type what you want and wait for the image to be generated. Pixray has advanced features where if you are a developer and have built an AI model using Python, a paid service allows you to test your AI model to create an image. Midjourney creates four images in a text message, from which users can select one and upgrade to high resolution.

Elsewhere in Mint

In Opinion, Manu Joseph reveals three reasons why there is a super star in a capitalist system. Nitin Pai argues why India needs a Nitipath for her civil services. Rajrishi Singhal writes that doublespeak can hurt India’s crusade at the WTO. The long story tells you what the sectors are in India most suitable for renewal.

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