The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in art and design raises a number of ethical considerations. Some of the main ethical issues to consider when using AI in art and design include:

1. Bias or Discriminatory

AI algorithms can be trained on biased data, which can result in biased or discriminatory outcomes. This can be a particular concern in fields such as design, where the impact of bias can be significant. It’s important to ensure that the data used to train AI algorithms is diverse and representative, and to regularly review and test AI systems to ensure they are not producing biased results.

2. Accountability

As AI systems become more sophisticated, there is a risk that they could take on more autonomy and agency, leading to concerns about accountability and control. It’s important to carefully consider the level of autonomy granted to AI systems and to ensure that there are appropriate measures in place to hold them accountable for their actions.

For example, AI design tools like Midjourney are working hard to eliminate certain topics (e.g., nudity) in their artwork creation, but there will be imperfections in the filters.

3. Privacy

The use of AI in design can also raise privacy concerns, particularly if personal data is being collected and used in the design process. It’s important to ensure that personal data is collected and used in a way that is transparent and compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

Kimono girl - AI artwork created using Novel AI

AI artwork created using Novel AI

4. Access

The use of AI in design could also have an impact on access and equity, as those with access to AI technologies may have an advantage over those who do not. It’s important to consider the potential impact of AI on different groups and to ensure that AI is used in a way that promotes fairness and equality.

However, since many of the AI design tools adopt freemium model, users can access the tools in full, although restricted in some ways (e.g. pay to get advanced features, buy credit to be used for design creations, etc.)

5. Intellectual Property (IP) or Copyright

This is perhaps one of the biggest issues in using AI for design.  Understanding the way design AI works, there are chances that your AI-generated design is based on design and artwork that are copyrighted.  However, there is a (huge) gray area surrounding AI and copyright infringement.

Generally speaking, AI design are typically incorporating hundreds – if not thousands – of references, and often the end results don’t resemble any other design or artwork.  However, there are anime-related AI artwork – such as those generated by Novel AI – that resembles those created by digital artists, and are actually launched to the public commercially (a.k.a. to be sold on Foundation or Opensea.)  This is an ongoing issue, and the public is still debating on how to make of this – whether AI design or art should be banned/cancelled/blocked or not.

Surreal AI artwork

Surreal AI artwork – created with Midjourney

Takeaway

Overall, it’s important to approach the use of AI in design with care and to consider the ethical implications of this technology. This may require ongoing dialogue and collaboration between designers, AI experts, and other stakeholders to ensure that AI is used in an ethical and responsible manner.

No matter how we like decentralization, we still need some “game rules” a.k.a. regulations in place to make sure everyone’s rights and responsibilities in participating in the AI design and art field.

Cover image: Cyberpunk girl – created with Midjourney

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