Talks about Lensa AI have been spreading like wildfire in the last couple of weeks. Influencers and a section of artists are incredibly excited about the AI art generator while there is another section of artists who are concerned about Lensa and are sceptical about it as well.
Let’s first understand what Lensa AI is and what it actually does!
Lensa AI has given AI art a new spin by turning pictures into virtual works of art.
- Lensa AI is not a new app, but its recent popularity has been triggered from a recent update to its core technology
- The app has been created by Prisma Labs which is a California-based AI developer firm that also shot to popularity almost five years ago with another of its apps, named Prisma
- Moving on to Lensa, it runs on AI algorithms and generates a whole lot of images based on the user’s input
- The images that it generates are mostly different from the image that the user exactly wants or has given instructions upon
- For example, a person using the app can upload a selfie or any picture of theirs, select a category for the type of image that they want to see themselves in, and in about 30 minutes, they will receive a bunch of AI-generated images that are based on their original selfie or picture; but are fundamentally different on many aspects
What makes Lensa AI so significant?
- Lensa AI is apparently the latest version of AI that has been generating art or text
- The latest AI app to make the headlines is ChatGPT which is an AI chatbot created by an AI research firm named OpenAI
- The app is said to generate accurate and lengthy stories based on just a few lines (or words) of text
- Lensa AI is one of the latest such AI image and text generators to gain popularity, by integrating simple user inputs in order to generate advanced forms of digital art
How does Lensa AI create such diverse versions of single images?
- Lensa AI uses a type of AI called ‘Stable Diffusion’ which uses an image as the input point and a few words of text along with the image as the point of reference
- Then, it juxtaposes that with millions of other art works or images in order to create art contextually
- To put it simply, if a user uploads a picture of themselves, selects their gender, and adds terms such as fantasy, dark, space, and Star Trek, Lensa AI is considered intelligent enough to turn that picture into a science fiction art
But what are the concerns and conspiracies surrounding Lensa AI?
- Experts such as artists, tech engineers, human rights activists, have raised concerns regarding the ethics behind AI platforms like Lensa AI and the impact it might have on creative fields; which are based on human intelligence and sentiments
- While users have been posting their Lensa pictures on several social media platforms; artists and privacy experts have raised concerns regarding what Lensa does with the data of the use and how ethical its use is
- For example, Karla Ortiz who is an award-winning illustration artist and has worked with giants like HBO, Marvel Studios, Ubisoft, and Universal Studios for over a decade, told NBC in an interview that Lensa AI seemingly used some of her creations, without consent, to train its AI art generating algorithm
- Ortiz labelled the service “forgery, art theft and copying"
A New York Times reporter also reported about a user who had issues with body image appropriation. The user had uploaded her pictures to generate AI art and stated that Lensa’s creations turned her into an individual with a slender profile.
She said, “Even if I imagine myself as a fairy, as like an idealized fantasy version of myself, I would still want to look like myself.”
“However, users need to decide for themselves about this but it's not benign, there's not nothing to this, it's not just fun," Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, told CTV News.
The company who is responsible for the creation of Lensa AI Tweeted that images are erased from the server after being generated.
So, what is Lensa AI for you?
An amazing step towards the future of art or a concern regarding privacy and artistic intellectuality?