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AI book cover

If you wanted me to block you because you can't hold an adult conversation, all you had to do was ask.
Feel free to send us money to afford human-created works. PM me for my bank routing information. I myself will need at least $12,000.

This is your idea of adult conversation?
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
I can still see the pic.

I was wrong on this, I cannot see the pic, only the link, if that matters. I missed that you had said, in the first post. -sorry.


Then why are you in an AI book cover thread at all? Not understanding the motiviation, here. The OP was clearly seeking AI generators for his book cover.

Coming in here just to say, "Oh, it's AI. Ew," seems a bit like troll bait to me.

I think you missed the part where my comment was actually quoting another post above it, and was in response to it. But, just as I wont have much respect for writers using AI and calling it their own, I also wont respect much cover artists using AI and calling their own.

In general I have 2 opinion's on AI art. The first is that something needs to be figured out about training material. Courts need to figure out if AI can just grab anything they want to use as training input, similar to someone visiting a museum and being inspired by art on display. Or if it counts as actually using the material in a copyright sence, which would mean that the artists would need to licence their work before it can be used, and that they should get some form of compensation. This is very much up in the air, and there is no consensus about how courts (or lawmakers for that matter) will rule on thi

I don't feel I need to wait for the courts to decide what is the right thing to do. They are not really in that business anyway. Some law will come, and I am sure it will be mostly favorable to the tech companies, and we will just have to adjust. Many things are here to stay, its still a reflection of myself and my character how I choose to use them, or even if I use them at all. It will not be good enough to maintain or restore a reputation I would prefer by saying....everyone else was doing it. AI will not be for me.

Using AI for book covers has some bleed over into what I am doing, but its not really the same. If AI is stealing the work product of others, and creating things that allow people using to believe it is not someone else's work then I will have side on it not okay to use it, its just another way to theft. I guess the question is, what do I owe to other artists? And its not entirely nothing, as we are all in an artistic endeavor, and are all affected by they changes in technology. But...my art is my written work. That is what I am most concerned has my heart and effort in it. The book cover can become part of the whole, as the whole book can represent my vision of its presentation (and since I am Indi, it will). I don't think it would be entirely wrong to use an AI image, but if I am paying someone, I do expect they are not giving me an AI image. I can do that without them. But just as AI is dropping the value from their industry and work product, it is dropping it from mine. We do share that loss together. I will not remain entirely unsympathetic to it. As a human, I share with the rest of humanity our journey, and I want human's to matter. That's going to be my team ;)

I am sure the cost of AI book covers will drive many to abandon many human artists, and that is a pity. I dont think I can help that. I can say...I will bank on the humans as much as I can. I want to see what we can do. And I wish AI to not be my brand. I'm not interested in handing it over to AI.

As artists, we should be passionate about our work and our industry. On a website about becoming better artists, becoming better at putting input into an AI is not the spirit of creativity I wish to foster. I'd rather help people become better artists instead.
 
Since the topic (as every AI-related thing right now tends to do) has turned into 'is AI a piece of crap or not?' I thought I might as well throw in my own two cents.

I use AI here and there. Sometimes I'll toss around text prompts while I'm brainstorming. It generally can't do any work for me but the act of engaging with it can help organize my thoughts. It's also useful for making character concept art. I can toss a bunch of traits into an image generator and see how it looks- whether it fits what I'm going for with my character or not. I can get a feel for that without needing to go through hours of sketching. Useful.

I won't let it generate whole texts for me- and I think a lot of people wouldn't- cause then why would we be writing in the first place? But, AI, like CGI or MS Paint or whatever, is a tool. Some people like a tool. Some people don't. I'm not going to blame anyone for not wanting anything to do with AI art, but there are some people who need it. People who don't have the skills or the ability to do other things, but still want to get their ideas out into the world. It's true that you should be transparent- when something is more AI than my own work I'll let people know so they can make their judgments well-informed.

Polarizing the topic, though, normally doesn't lead anywhere useful. For the people who dislike AI, don't waste your time by being sarcastic, insulting people, and escalating things into an argument. You're just going to make others irritated.

This was sort of a jumble of thoughts that I think maybe doesn't have a cohesive throughline to it, but I'm not going to spend much longer on this so yeah
 

Fyri

Inkling
*sigh*

To both sides of this debate: please remember we may have newcomers lurking and what we write here reflects the general atmosphere of the forums.

We are all human here and we don't hold the answers to everything (neither does AI, which is not God). I think it is time to leave this thread behind. It is not accomplishing anything and it is starting to host unkind behavior.
 
Okay, while we’re at it just make AI generated novels, you know, since art doesn’t matter anymore! And also seeing as we’re putting so little value into the creation of the books themselves, why bother making the writing have even an ounce of human made touch if the cover doesn’t. If anyone lurks on this website I at least want to make it clear that I think there is immense value in creating something without the use of AI.
We're pretty much already there. There are novels being written by AI. Nick Stephenson, one of the bigger indie marketing guru's even has a course on how to use AI to write bestsellers in 30 minutes. You can already find them on Amazon (and when publishing on Amazon you have to mention if you used AI to help you write or not). So what I wrote about (cover) art goes just as much for writing novels.

The main difference is that it's easier to train AI to create images. There are many more images than novels out there. And it's easier to say if something's good or bad with images. Which is why the quality for images is higher than for written works. Also, there is a lot more money to be made in image art than in writing novels.

One thing is though that you can't argue both that AI art sucks and that it will eat into the business of artists. It's either one or the other. Either it's so terrible that no one with any money would think of using it. Or it's good enough for most people (or even better).

Do I use AI either for writing or to create my covers? No. I don't. Because I enjoy writing my own stories, and I love the covers my cover artist creates. She really does go beyond what I could do with AI. However, that does not mean I will hold it against someone who makes a different choice. If you can't afford a cover artist, then AI is a valid alternative, which in many cases produces better covers than cheap cover artists do. If you can't write but want to put a story on paper, feel free to use AI.

Like I said, the technology is now there. Trying to stuff it back in the box is like being a horse salesman in the early 1900's complaining about cars. Or a weaver in the 1800's complaining about the rise of factories. Or someone processing payments in the 1980's complaining about the rise of computers. If you want to make a living with it, then you have to accept AI as a reality. And you either have to work with it, or deliver something the AI can't.
 

Dankolisic

Minstrel
Since the topic (as every AI-related thing right now tends to do) has turned into 'is AI a piece of crap or not?' I thought I might as well throw in my own two cents.

I use AI here and there. Sometimes I'll toss around text prompts while I'm brainstorming. It generally can't do any work for me but the act of engaging with it can help organize my thoughts. It's also useful for making character concept art. I can toss a bunch of traits into an image generator and see how it looks- whether it fits what I'm going for with my character or not. I can get a feel for that without needing to go through hours of sketching. Useful.

I won't let it generate whole texts for me- and I think a lot of people wouldn't- cause then why would we be writing in the first place? But, AI, like CGI or MS Paint or whatever, is a tool. Some people like a tool. Some people don't. I'm not going to blame anyone for not wanting anything to do with AI art, but there are some people who need it. People who don't have the skills or the ability to do other things, but still want to get their ideas out into the world. It's true that you should be transparent- when something is more AI than my own work I'll let people know so they can make their judgments well-informed.

Polarizing the topic, though, normally doesn't lead anywhere useful. For the people who dislike AI, don't waste your time by being sarcastic, insulting people, and escalating things into an argument. You're just going to make others irritated.

This was sort of a jumble of thoughts that I think maybe doesn't have a cohesive throughline to it, but I'm not going to spend much longer on this so yeah
I did a thing a couple of months ago, went online and found a fantasy ai character where you cam create your character using suggestions, and it was fun when you make a character and then talk to them. But the free ai is not really smart, it cant remember vital argument points and just improvises, but still it was fun pretending to talk to one of my characters.
There was one line where i whispered to myself: " ah, classic Banut"
Banut is a character that is stubborn and rowdy and proud.
But i never use ai to fill in the blanks, sometimes i generate a couple of portraits just to, as you said, organize my thoughts.
 
I’m not here saying that all AI is a piece of s*** and nobody should use it. I find it fascinating, disturbing, and there’s far more AI tech out there than just the types that can make images or prose - I think that AI used in certain applications can be exciting or interesting, or at best actually useful. It’s been over a decade since I went to design school and I bet that it’s a hot topic for discussion, and students are probably writing dissertations about it. They are probably also working with it, collaborating with it and creating some interesting stuff - but that is academia, where you get to ask questions rather than use it as a quick fix for what is essentially a low attention span. Far easier to type in a quick prompt than do any actual work right?

It’s at its most disturbing to me when it’s used for the creation of something creative in it’s entirety such as a novel or a book cover and then used to make money from. As you say anyone can create a novel with chat GPT or any other type of writing AI and get it onto Kindle, which saturates the market making it harder for actual writers to get noticed. And then there is the murky aspect of not knowing what is AI made and what isn’t. It’s being used as make money fast schemes, which is a real shame.

I read an article that magazines are getting an influx of AI written stuff, and they can tell by those stories having similarities, but there’ll be the inevitable one that makes it past the expert eye. One magazine said they are getting around 500 AI submission to around 700 human made ones. That’s alarming.
 

_Michael_

Troubadour
For me, AI writing is just a thesaurus-like tool. On rare occassions, it spits out ideas I like, and I use them (such as names of cities it makes up on the fly). I have been using it to generate notable groups/factions within the guidelines I give it, such as when I give it the at-a-glance stat block of gods, and then ask, "Can you give me a notable faction within that deity's priesthood?" 90% of the time, the stuff that comes out has to be heavily massaged and reworded, and there are times during the 10% where the answers it generates border on the sublime--but only after I've been feeding it data for an hour.

At the end of the day, it is still just a tool, no different than Word Perfect. Leonardo Da Vinci had pencils and paintbrushes; we have AI "pencils and paintbrushes."

Also, claiming that AI is wholesale stealing art or plagiarizing material without having a single example to cite falls very squarely under defamation laws. Yes, you CAN and most likely will be sued if you make a public spectacle of going around saying that DALL-E or CrystalClear is stealing artwork from x artist. Unless you can provide concrete examples, you are civilly liable. I am very familiar with Luis Royo's catalog of work, and not once have I ever seen an AI duplicate an actual image of his work when I asked for something that looks like Royo painted it. N-E-V-E-R. These engine builders are not "publishers" the same way that Microsoft is not a publisher because it created Word. The prompt inputter is the "author/publisher" using a tool created by DALL-E or ReVision or whoever.

If this wasn't so, when Washington Post got sued by Kyle Rittenhouse for defamation, Microsoft would have also been on the hook since they created the word processing program that Washington Post typed it on. That didn't happen, and it doesn't happen ever. De minimus non curat lex. The law does not concern itself with trifles, and the tools used are trifles compared to the act of defamation. Only way this doesn't apply is if the tool-maker themselves are shown to be deliberately "gaming" the AI engine to plagiarize. Probably happens, I'm sure, and likely does often in third-world countries where internet regulation is not so strict (hence, why you keep getting Nigerian scams in your email from countries like Botswana and Zambia). However, in a corporate setting, where publishers (even small time ones like the ladies and gents here) have a legal impetus to ensure their work is uniquely original regardless of the tools used to create it, it would be hard to argue that authors are trying to game the publishing system and cheat. This is due to a variety of reasons, from the ubiquitousness of AI detector tools online (many free) to the desire to not get sued into the Stone Age and go down in a tail spin of infamy for being a plagiarist (like the Oprah Book of the Month scammer a while back).

It's a back-handed insult to say that we who use AI tools are attempting to wink and nod at the public by passing off plagiarized work (or even that we are being permissive of such plagiaristic tendencies) when most of us just want to create something truly unique to match our vision but can't afford $10,000 commissions for art to fill a 350 page RPG book the way Wizards of the Coast or Paizo can. Don't you think if we generated a bit of art or text and we clearly saw it was too close to an artist's work that we wouldn't toss it in the circular file and generate a new one? To assume malice where no evidence of it exists is an outrage. Give some credit where credit is due.
 
_Michael_ here I agree with Finchbearer that it's not that clear cut. The problem with AI isn't so much the output as it is the input. It's not clear if that input could have been used the way it has been. And there is very much a difference between what Word does and what DALL-E does. Just to give a counter example, Napster was very much held accountable for what users did on their platform.

Also, while complete plagiarism hasn't happened as such, writers have found specific sentences copies from their work by AI, as well as characters, names and places. And there have been plenty of examples of watermarks actually appearing in AI art creations (though these probably have manually been trained out of the data by now).

Another key difference between Word and AI tools is the actual rights to the images (or words). For Word, Microsoft doesn't get any rights to stuff created with it. Which is (or can be) very different with AI tooling. Just a grab from the terms of service of one AI image generator:
For images made public, Leonardo.Ai and its successors retain worldwide perpetual rights to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute text prompts and images you input into the services, or any assets produced by the service at your direction. Leonardo.Ai retains the rights to make the assets available to the public, and use them commercially for the purposes of providing, maintaining, promoting, and improving the services.

Additionally, other users also are granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to access these publicly available assets through the service and to use those assets (including reproducing, distributing, modifying, displaying, and performing them) only as enabled by a feature of the service.
I very much doubt you'll find similar wording in Word's terms of service (especially since "made public" is the default setting). Microsoft will not have any rights to whatever piece the Washington Post got sued for.

So it's definitely not black and white, but rather different shades of grey. Which is why I mentioned that one of the main things that needs to be resolved is how to treat the stuff going into the system to train it.
 

_Michael_

Troubadour
For sure, the creators (the authors/inputters) are not all out to steal work. That's obvious--no one wants the label of plagiarist. Nothing I create is meant to plagiarize someone else's work, certainly not intentionally. I have a great deal of respect for people like Monte Michael Moore and Bröm, both of whom I had the great pleasure of meeting and chatting with--artists like that, to me, are magic. Whatever their process is, it's not something I have the talent for. The closest I come is an uncanny knack for replication using pencil and paper of photographic works into black and white photo-realistic portraits (see here and here). One is from a Movado ad photograph, and the other from a professional studio photo.

Yes, it's derivative (of a photographer's work). Has an AI used it for training? Most likely. I am in no financial position to care, and in no legal one to, either, since I duplicated the photo in the same way forgers duplicate $100 bills. Yes, it's an art form, but it's an art form based around derivativity (I think that's a word!). I do what the old billboard painters did back in the day--draw by grid.

Therein lies the next problem--all human efforts at artwork and text smithing are derivative of what came before. So now we get a bit of human conceit and arrogance in that we say, "Well, AI is just copying humans." Well, what did humans copy? Obviously, talent and ideas don't just spring forth in a vacuum. This seems to indicate that at some point in the future, a juncture will be reached where all website publishing platforms such as deviantArt will have, as part of their ToS, options to opt-in or opt-out of permitting them to use your art for AI training. NFTs are likely how they will approach it just to ensure each piece is identifiable, digitally and by serial number. The ToS will have to change to something similar to other graphical programs because you can't force contractual fraud--just because you sign something doesn't make it legal. It just hasn't been challenged, yet. It will have to come more in line with section 230 of 47 USC (Communications Decency Act of 1996) and will most likely make AI generators more akin to publishing software unless they can show the engine creator was deliberately stealing art from artists who hadn't given permission for their work to be used to train AI. It will probably take the form of a massive clearinghouse similar to the Patent office with each artist able to apply for a serial number for their work, and host sites like dA requiring a choice of opting in or out of AI training.

Text is obviously different. There's no way to say, "Aragorn" without running afoul of a copyright, because no matter what font is used, it either is or it is not. There's no gray area in the way there is with actual artwork. There is only a reasonability test for fair use (as in citing the name for academic purposes, or as we are doing now, in having a discussion). We're not actually allowed to make money from its use. That fair use clause doesn't apply to artwork in the same way unless, as in the article cited above, it's done hundreds and thousands of times to duplicate a style. Yet, we have clear cases of savants and other autist-types who literally can duplicate the artistic styles of other artists and recreate their works down to the quality of brush strokes they use--and many of them seem to find lucrative careers as forgers in art circles, selling bullshtako copies of Van Goghs and Rembrandts for millions of dollars. Sotheby's and others employ the same types to detect forgeries because it takes an artist's obsessive eye to see an another artist's obsessive dedication to exact duplication (and that's why they pay them six figures or more a year to keep them fat and happy).

So yes, text plagiarism from AI likely happens all the time, and it's something I have to deal with in working with ChatGPT. The idea that AI generates entire novels is hilarious--who is buying that trash, anyway? Have you read the drivel AI produces? It's garbage, usually repetitious and full of trite concepts and odd metaphors. You can tell when you're reading AI text in large quantities because its flaws stand out to a degree directly proportional to the excerpt length. It is also prone to use copyrighted names and terms, as you say. For instance, the other day, I asked it to give me a list of drow-like names for cities I could use. What pops up? Menzoberranzan. Had I not been familiar with RA Salvatore's work, I might not have known that is a copyrighted name and used it without realization that it was copyrighted.

So obviously, some personal familiarity with the subject-matter, and with the work of others, is necessary to prevent just such a scenario. I took prefixes and suffixes and mixed and matched them, then fed them back to the AI to chew again to get even less derivative names, but while still maintaining that drowish quality. Took about fifteen minutes--per name. Why? Specifically because I am a conscientious creator and I don't want something that is clearly derivative, I want something that is unique to my vision. Users of AI generators aren't being deliberately permissive of plagiarism out of a sake of convenience. That malice aforethought, for most, doesn't exist unless you're a crass, conceited asshole who doesn't care about being sued and making your name anathema in the circles you're running in.

The other aspect is money--very few, if any, users even on this website can afford to just blow thousands of dollars on pet projects. The artist in the article above said something to the effect of, "One commission will pay my rent." I have a problem with that--the artist priced themselves out of commissions except by monolithic companies like Wizards of the Coast who can afford to blow millions of dollars on projects. So, what? Be forced to either pay thousands I can't afford, or accept low-quality bullshtako free, or just create nothing at all? Seems a rather pyrrhic choice to me. Nor is saying, "Just create your own" helpful. My talent doesn't lay in creating artwork compositions that I require--I specialize in floor plans and maps, and I can string together a pretty sentence. Should I therefore be shut out because I lack of talent in such composition, and don't want to spend more time than necessary generating descriptive text? So long as I am making due diligence in my efforts to ensure nothing is being stolen, or doesnt look derivative, I shouldn't be the subject of such appelations as "plagiarist" or "lazy writer." The efforts at ensuring uniqueness and quality (by generaing images or text over and over until something useful is produced) are just as labor intensive as someone on a wacom using digital brushes, and often just as frustrating.

(Sorry for the wall of words. Must go find sustenance--brain no function coffee without. lol)
 
Personally I would only ever use AI generated art to give myself an 'idea' of what I wanted.
And then go out to commission a more finely defined version of what the AI generated.
Especially for something as important as a book cover.
Unless the gag of the story is that the story itself was written by an AI, (I mean, written by a human but the narrator making the story is an AI) then the joke could go both ways. Otherwise I prolly wouldn't use AI art at all, even paid ones.
 
Just this week I can across this presentation from a professional cover artist, who adresses AI:

It's an interesting take. And I think his example shows how good the art has become.

Also, keep in mind that if you commission a cover, then unless your cover artist draws the whole thing themselves, there is a very real chance some AI generated image is included in your cover. 2 ways: The first is that your cover artist uses AI directly to create part of you cover. For instance, to create specific characters, which is normally a pricy part of creating a cover. It's quick and gets unique results.

The second way is that many (almost all) cover artists use stock-image websites. Which are just large collections of images about pretty much anything you can come up with. These sites contain an ever increasing number of AI generated images. And they are not always flagged as such. Which means that the cover artist is still sourcing his images in the same way, he's just getting AI images as part of the deal.
 

Demesnedenoir

Myth Weaver
Shutterstock has AI built-in now, and so does Photoshop. Unless you specify no AI and they're honest about it, yeah.

I've pretty much come down on the side of AI art is pretty much like stock art. And like the guy int he video, for marketing and other stuff? It's too handy to overlook.


Just this week I can across this presentation from a professional cover artist, who adresses AI:

It's an interesting take. And I think his example shows how good the art has become.

Also, keep in mind that if you commission a cover, then unless your cover artist draws the whole thing themselves, there is a very real chance some AI generated image is included in your cover. 2 ways: The first is that your cover artist uses AI directly to create part of you cover. For instance, to create specific characters, which is normally a pricy part of creating a cover. It's quick and gets unique results.

The second way is that many (almost all) cover artists use stock-image websites. Which are just large collections of images about pretty much anything you can come up with. These sites contain an ever increasing number of AI generated images. And they are not always flagged as such. Which means that the cover artist is still sourcing his images in the same way, he's just getting AI images as part of the deal.
 
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Graybles

Acolyte
Plus…all I will go back to all AI has a sort of wonky off-kilter look to it that will not age well. You don’t want your book cover to look like the era it was made in in years to come. Every single self published AI fantasy book cover looks like this:
create-ai-generated-art-for-your-wattpad-book.jpg

And 🥱

This depends on the resources and skill of the AI user more than anything else. Stable Diffusion has come a long way from what it was in the beginning. A good Checkpoint Blend, some LoRA's, Embeddings and a nice ESRGAN upscale later and you can create stuff that look way better than these covers though...

I use SD with Automatic 1111 (for 1.5) and ComfyUI (for SDXL) to generate concept art for my stories as visualizing stuff does help a lot sometimes. But I admit that the ones shown here are bland.
 

_Michael_

Troubadour
Beyond bland. I've gotten stunning results on Perchance's engine for creating images that exceed my vision. This one, for example, was generated in the process of trying to create a wizard and their apprentice in an alchemical lab. Pretty flashy for an AI image, and nothing about it really says bland.
temp-Imagec-JSrrr.avif

Granted, this took me about three or four dozen iterations to generate (with tweaking and tuning the prompt between each one), and it was not a fast or easy process. Ai has a problem with hands and extra limbs, and putting realistic tool-like objects into hands. This, however, turned out quite stunning, imho.
 
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