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Blog Post | May 23, 2023

Is AI-Generated Art a Solution for Marketers?

AI-generated art platforms like Midjourney and DALL-E have taken the world by storm, allowing graphic designers to produce images that would have taken hours to cobble together or find on a stock photo site. But these AI images are problematic for a variety of reasons, and it may be a while before this kind of art starts making a difference in marketing.

Topics: Marketing Campaign, Event Marketing, Video Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing

Artificial Intelligence
By now, you're probably aware that sophisticated AI (artificial intelligence) programs that can generate original art and copy have become so commonplace that articles like this could have been created entirely by a machine! While there are certainly pros and cons to that approach, it’s worth exploring what AI-generated art and graphics can and can't do for your marketing department.

What we mean by AI
Three major platforms have taken the world by storm: Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and DALL-E, though new sites are popping up frequently. They offer a startingly simple premise: By entering a few words into a search bar, these platforms will produce art based on that suggestion—often in as few as 10 seconds. You can make the art highly specific and customized, using searches such as “photorealistic image of dogs playing poker on a beach” or “clip-art style illustration of a green toolbox.” You can also upload your own images for modification.

If you're an art director or graphic designer, these platforms can either sound like a dream come true or a nightmare that the robots have come to take your jobs. As impressive as the concept is, there's still a long way to go before AI art is ready for primetime in marketing.

Opportunity for improvement
One of the most exciting applications is creating images for “comps”—that is, not final art, but just enough to convey what the finished piece would be like. If you've ever used some of the big stock image companies to look for comps, you know you can spend hours and still not find exactly what you're looking for. It's even more difficult if you're looking for something uncommon or unusual or want to feature your product. With AI, you can quickly produce highly customized images that would have taken hours for a designer to comp up.

Even though AI images can be very good, they're not perfect. Some AI images are still rough around the edges; others are downright absurd or wrong (e.g., a person with 12 fingers). When working with AI art, it's clear that a human touch is still needed to vet and retouch the art. And AI can never replace original product photography that shows the minute details in full glory.

Who owns AI images?
Right now, AI-generated art is still akin to the Wild West, and things like copyright law haven't caught up. To produce an image, these platforms parse through millions of online files, including copyrighted images and works of art. Already, there have been lawsuits filed by artists who allege their unique style was ripped off. Conversely, in another lawsuit, a judge rejected the idea that an AI creation could be copyrighted, which means you won't technically own any images you create—meaning that anyone can come along and use your AI-generated work for their own purposes. At least in this regard, you get better protection by licensing work through stock photo houses (which, by the way, have gone on the offensive against AI art).

Your trusted solution for graphic design 
If you want to spice up your graphic design, there's no substitute for having a real-live human create something that perfectly fits your needs and budget. We're ready to help! We use all the latest technology (except AI!) to create and produce original work that's truly stunning. What can we create for you?