Generative AI enables experimentation and exploration of novel ideas, fostering creativity by providing creators with new tools and perspectives. Which can potentially lead to a creative industry that is more diverse because more people participate in the process.
2. Empowerment and Skill-Levelling:
Generative AI democratises the creative process by breaking down barriers to entry (given that the technology will not be monopolised). Traditional artistic skills are not prerequisites for generating compelling visual content using AI. This levelling of the playing field allows people from various backgrounds and skill levels to engage in visual storytelling, potentially unleashing a wave of fresh perspectives and voices in the creative industry.
1. Bias and Representation:
This newfound power of generative AI does however, come with its own set of challenges, one of the most prominent being bias and the promotion of stereotyping in their datasets. AI models, including those used for generating images, learn from vast datasets. If these datasets contain inherently biassed or stereotypical representations of people, objects, or concepts, the AI will inadvertently generate and reproduce images that reinforce those biases, amplify stereotypes and reinforce existing power imbalances. AI models are more likely to generate images that lack diversity in terms of race, gender, age, and other characteristics. This can lead to underrepresentation or misrepresentation of various groups, reinforcing stereotypes and limiting the inclusivity of visual content.
An alarming example is a recent experiment conducted by three ethics scholars who after more than 300 attempts were not able to produce a documentary style photo of black doctors treating white children with Midjourney Bot 5.1.
In an article by Bloomberg about racial biases of generative AI, Sasha Luccioni, a research scientist at AI startup Hugging Face, rightly pointed out that "we are essentially projecting a single worldview out into the world, instead of representing diverse cultures or visual identities." This has immediate consequences. Then people don't see themselves represented, feelings of exclusion and the belief that they don't belong are enforced.
These deficits of AI have the potential to destroy a lot of development in ethical communication of the last couple of years if they’re not carefully addressed both in the kind of technology we use and how we use it.
2. Psychological Effects and Trust Issues:
AI has the potential to manipulate images which can create misleading or false representations. Generative AI produces authentic-looking, visually striking imagery that blurs the line between reality and fiction and hence, a widely held concern is the threat that the technology poses to authenticity, truthfulness, credibility and trustworthiness of photojournalistic work. Of significant concern is the issue of trust and our definition of an “authentic” or “true” image. It is intuitively understandable and also theoretically argued that humans perceive photos and videos as reality because they function as a window into past realities or document things that exist or once existed.