Dryhurst and Herndon are developing a standard they’re calling Source+, which is designed as a way of allowing artists to and opt into — or out of — allowing their work being used as training data for AI. (The standard will cover not just visual artists, but musicians and writers, too.) They hope that AI generator developers will recognize and respect the wishes of artists whose work could be used to train such generative tools.
Source+ (now in beta) is a product of the organization Spawning… [It] also developed Have I Been Trained, a site that lets artists see if their work is among the 5.8 billion images in the Laion-5b dataset, which is used to train the Stable Diffusion and MidJourney AI generators. The team plans to add more training datasets to pore through in the future.
The creators also draw a distinction between the rights of living vs. dead creators:
The project isn’t aimed at stopping people putting, say, “A McDonalds restaurant in the style of Rembrandt” into DALL-E and gazing on the wonder produced. “Rembrandt is dead,” Dryhurst says, “and Rembrandt, you could argue, is so canonized that his work has surpassed the threshold of extreme consequence in generating in their image.” He’s more concerned about AI image generators impinging on the rights of living, mid-career artists who have developed a distinctive style of their own.
“We’re not looking to build tools for DMCA takedowns and copyright hell,” he says. “That’s not what we’re going for, and I don’t even think that would work.”
On a personal note, I’m amused to see what the system thinks constitutes “John Nack”—apparently chubby German-ish old chaps…? 🙃