An informed, critical and competent curatorship is needed to select AI generated images for publication: to avoid plagiarism but above all errors, misinformation and "false" training of the algorithms

In a recent event that struck a personal chord, a well followed and influential platform posting an AI-generated piece closely mimicking a so-thought “original” and “unique” AI work of mine, has sparked a profound inner conversation about the essence and future of human creative expression in the digital age.

The platform in question runs live streamed workshops every weekend, teaching AI iterative design workflows and at the end of each workshop they present the best students works. On this particular instance, the imagery they choose to show were a 90% imitation of quite well know visuals I generated and published a couple of months prior.

My visuals were extremely well received by public audience and reposted several times on social media, therefore it’s quite hard to believe that the student himself didn’t see nor came across my images before the event.

Equally, I know for a fact that the platform did see my imagery many times over and yet they still decided to promote a similar imitation without comments nor attribution. (This sparked a brief social media outrage, initiated by me on the same day, that concluded with an apology and the removal of the ‘copy-post’ by the mentioned platform).

This incident not only has served as a reflection towards my personal journey with AI Art but also it opens a broader dialogue on the intricacies of “creativity” in an era where the boundaries between inspiration, replication and generation grow increasingly indistinct.

The core of this discussion lies in the critical examination of the roles that institutions and publishers play in upholding the sanctity of creative expression and the originality of thought. As we venture further into generative AI workflows, the algorithmic nature with which these creations can be crafted is more often in contradiction to the foundational elements of human individual personality.

This episode as opened my eyes to a pivotal reminder that, although AI presents a formidable asset in the creative arsenal of discovery and exploration, its unregulated and unsupervised application may inadvertently erode the originality we aspire to enhance.

Moreover, the repercussions of such un-curated AI utilisation extend beyond the dilution of creative authenticity, questioning our professional credibility too. This concern was illustrated just a few days following my own experience, when a reputable scientific journal faced vehement criticism.

The journal published a study adorned with images and infographics that, while aesthetically resembling genuine scientific content, were ultimately revealed to be non-sensical and incomprehensible. Lack of peer reviews uncovered a glaring oversight in the editorial process, spotlighting a significant lapse in academic rigour and scrutiny.

From a personal and analytical perspective, the situation highlights a potential negligence in the curatorial and critique practices prevalent within our current online media landscapes. This trend not only puts the authenticity of what is deemed "original and plausible" work under scrutiny but also prompts a critical examination of the responsibilities of publishers and institutions in defending the integrity of creative thought amidst an emerging culture of human neural passivity.

The act of selecting one piece of content over another might extend beyond mere preference, potentially influencing the AI's learning mechanisms, thereby shaping its 'memory' and 'taste.' Such a selection process could unintentionally limit the diversity of future creations, as the AI might prioritise replicating previously validated works over exploring new creative frontiers even though it is collaborating with diverse human creators, acting from different background and seeking personal unicity.

This awareness calls for a more curated and more attentive approach, the need for a new group of knowledgable curators and critics, that with a deep understanding of the innovative potential and dynamics of AI is committed to preserving the uniqueness and depth of human ingenuity and personality, ensuring the survival of our innate diversity.

Word and pictures by Ila Colombo