The battle over AI art has gone from intellectual debate to violent threats. It didn't take long.

At Meteor, we're big fans of AI in general and its use as a creative tool for creators of all kinds from fine art to music to movies. We think AI art is art. Full stop. And that the best AI artists will use these tools to create new ideas that we haven't seen before.

But we're also honest about how we got here. AI engines like DALL-E2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney were trained on millions of images created by real people. And those real people weren't asked if they wanted to participate. They certainly weren't written any checks to help said companies build their new empires.

Stable Diffusion recently raised $100M and is valued at $1B. OpenAI, the parent of DALL-E2, is worth $29B and expects to make $1B in revenue next year. Suffice it to say there's money to be made here. Lots of it.

And so we completely understand the outrage of traditional painters, illustrators and photographers who wonder how on Earth fortunes are being made with their work as a main ingredient and they aren't seeing a dime.

I'm angry for them just writing those words.

But that's no excuse for the ugliness we're starting to see on social media. Like with everything else, people who might have said something half reasonable at the dinner table, say the most disgusting version of it on Twitter.

Taunts, threats, bullying, name calling. Yeah it's all there. Remember we're talking about art here, not politics. We don't typically expect folks with paint on their smocks to go to war.

And yet we get it. Many artists feel their livelihoods are under threat, just like coal miners and frankly journalists. When you take food of people's table, things get real.


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