About a year ago the world of creators turned upside down. Easily accessible and rapidly evolving visual AI tools appeared on the market, leaving many professionals somewhat worried about the future of their craft.
In this episode of the 'Let's Talk About...' blog post series you will get your questions answered about visual AI-tools - including the best softwares to discover as a photographer, how to integrate them to your professional workflow and of course some general concerns.
If you are interested in learning more about camera angles, manual settings on your camera, composition, food styling tricks and tips, or even business practices you can check the previous episodes of this popular blog series by clicking here.
TO AI? OR NOT TO AI?
The topic of AI is might feel like a stormy sea to navigate through. Inspired by the everyday debates I have with my "colleagues" I brought you 5 cons + 5 pros about using visual AI-tools as a creator.
Efficiency: AI tools can significantly speed up workflows, automating time-consuming tasks such as image sorting, culling, and basic editing.
- Enhanced post-processing: the advanced post-processing capabilities of these tools are allowing creators to achieve professional-level enhancements and corrections, even if they don't have extensive editing expertise.
- Adaptive personalisation: these tools can adapt to the photographer's unique style and preferences, providing personalised suggestions and edits.
- Augmented creativity: as creative aids, these tools can suggest innovative editing approaches, recommend compositions, or even assist in generating artistic effects, expanding a creator's creative toolkit.
- Accessibility: via visual AI-tools, advanced editing techniques are getting more accessible to a broader audience, including amateur photographers.
- Loss of creative control: relying on AI might lead to a loss of creative control over our work, as AI algorithms could make decisions that don't align with our artistic vision.
- Lack of authenticity: at present, AI tools might compromise the authenticity and quality of the images, potentially producing results that look overly processed or artificial.
- Privacy and data security: some creators may worry about the privacy and security of their images when using AI tools, especially if the tools require uploading images to cloud-based platforms.
- Dependence on technology: one can become too dependent on technology, leading to a lack of skill development and a potential disconnect from the fundamental principles of photography.
- Job displacement: there is an on-going worrying that AI tools and automation could replace human photographers, particularly in areas like image editing and post-production work.
The key to success is balance - we can leverage these tools as powerful allies, using them to enhance our work while maintaining their unique artistic vision and control over the creative process.
Exercise: REVIEW YOUR Ts&CS
As the following part is discussing terms and conditions related legal matters, please read and take the following prologue into account:
As always, this exercise or any part of this blog post are not intended as formal legal advice, and if you are concerned about your legal documents, you should seek advice from a qualified legal professional. But hopefully, this discussion at least sheds some light on a question that often confuses creators.
For me it was quite obvious to consult my lawyer immediately when the visual AI-tools became widely accessible in order to cover all aspects the recent legal minefield allows. I hope, by giving some pointers on the updates I've made you can also decide easier if you need to consult with legal professional.
- before you add any AI-related clauses to your documents, define the meaning of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to correct referencing in any future clauses
- consider if you allow your work to be used by AI tools (training, machine learning, altering) then include a clear statement in your licence agreements - this is something to be considered even if you do not use AI tools in your own workflow at present.
- in addition to stating how copyright applies to your own work, provide clarity on how this works for purely AI-generated/public domain assets + visuals that are the result of mixture these two.
- think about any retroactive effect of future laws, and how liability works in that case
- outline what happens in case of a debate
I'm here to help you get closer to your creative goals in 2024!
I invited a professional food photographer and educator friend who has one of the most comprehensive newsletters on visual AI tools and also created a method dedicated to the topic. Welcome, Claire Xue on board!
The images illustrating the following Q&A are all crafted by Claire Xue using AI-driven methods via: Craft unique AI-driven product images with C.A.S.H. Method
Who are you and what is your specialty?
Hello, I'm Claire Xue, founder of Moodelier. My focus lies in assisting creatives and small businesses to integrate generative AI tools into their workflows practically. I'm also a strong advocate for the responsible and ethical use of these tools.
Please Tell us more about your journey from your first creation with AI tools to becoming an expert educator on the topic
While I wouldn't claim to be an outright expert on AI, my journey began in earnest towards the end of last year. I realized that generative AI tools were reaching a stage of development that could not be ignored, especially considering their potential impact on the creative community. My exploration has spanned from large language models to image and video generation tools. Notably, advancements like Adobe's generative fill and Midourney's image inpainting feature have opened new possibilities, particularly in product imaging, transforming AI tools from draft generators to creators of final deliverables.
How can creators benefit from using AI tools?
AI tools, like any others, are meant to enhance creative processes. Initially, these tools were less useful for precision-required fields like product photography or interior design due to their hallucinatory nature. However, recent developments have increased control and practicality, broadening their application scope. This is particularly promising for businesses seeking to integrate AI into their product imaging processes.
Which AI tools do you use frequently?
My toolkit is varied and constantly evolving. Currently, I frequently use several tools for different aspects of my creative and business processes:
- OpenAI's ChatGPT, both desktop and mobile version: This is my go-to tool for a multitude of tasks. I use it for brainstorming ideas, creating marketing content, conducting research, and even as an alternative to traditional search engines. It's a versatile tool that helps learn new concepts and obtain quick answers, and more.
- Image Generation and Enhancement:
- Midjourney: Primarily for image generation tasks.
- Magnific.AI: An image enhancer and upscaler, exceptional for adding fine details and surreal elements to both AI-generated images and lower-resolution photographs. Its effectiveness is proven in my work with self-portraits and AI-generated product photography.
- Stable Diffusion: Used occasionally for image generation tasks. (not for beginners with no technical background; start with Midjourney or Dall-e first if you are a beginner)
- RunwayML: A staple in my video creation process.
- Descript: This AI-enabled tool is excellent for video and audio editing, particularly for screen recording and video content editing. Its generative AI features add a unique dimension to content creation.
- Opus Clips: A recent addition to my toolkit, it's fantastic for transforming long-form video content into engaging, short-form clips, optimized for performance on social media platforms.
- Emerging Tools: I'm always on the lookout for new and innovative tools. For instance, PikaLabs (Pika.art) shows great promise in video generation, and I'm currently exploring its potential.
- Workflow Automation: For those interested in integrating AI into business processes, tools like Zapier, Make, and Respell are invaluable for automating various tasks.
My tool stack is dynamic, adapting to new releases and updates in the AI field. I highly recommend the Plus plan for ChatGPT and trying out Midjourney. There are number of other tools I've experimented with, but these mentioned are the ones I find most compelling and integral to my workflow currently.
Are there any practical ways creators can use AI tools in their business processes?
AI systems can streamline numerous business processes. This includes creating AI-driven workflows for tasks like client onboarding and handling frequently asked questions, effectively automating repetitive tasks and enhancing efficiency.
Can a creator claim copyright for work created via AI tools?
Addressing copyright in AI is complex. Current U.S. laws aren't fully adapted to generative AI. The key here is documenting your workflow and artistic involvement. Demonstrating significant human input in your creation process could strengthen your copyright claim in the future. Also, consult with a Lawyer specializing in copyright law and the generative AI sector.
Is it safe to create with AI tools commercially?
The commercial application of AI tools is still a grey area. Major brands like Coca-Cola have already utilized them for commercial content. However, there's a lack of clear regulation. Caution and respect for original creators should guide usage, especially in commercial contexts.
What type of regulations apply to creators who use AI tools? How do we comply with these?
Current regulations are still catching up with the rapid development of AI tools. For creators, it’s crucial to consider ethical implications and potential misuse. A good rule of thumb is to empathize with fellow creators - consider how you'd feel if your work was used similarly.
Do creative businesses have a future without using AI tools?
We're already in an era where AI is integrated into everyday tools. Thus, it’s not so much a question of whether businesses can survive without AI, but how they adapt to its ubiquitous presence.
What do you recommend for creators who are just getting acquainted with AI tools?
Starting with AI tools can be overwhelming. My advice is to find a community of like-minded individuals who are curious yet cautious. Look for those who have tested various tools and who understand the ethical and legal implications of AI usage.