Recent weeks have seen an explosion of interest in the Lensa app due to its innovative AI-powered “magic avatars” feature.
It appears that the app has been scraping up images of artists without their permission and using them to create these avatars. Many of Lensa’s works have the signature of the original artist, which makes the theft of the image more obvious.
The professional illustrator Lauryn Ipusm has been tweeting examples of this technique for the past few days, which is how I found out about it. “I don’t think they expected artists to speak up for themselves because we don’t have industry labels like the music industry does,” Lauren explains. She says that Lensa’s AI company, Stable Diffusion, is very careful when choosing which musical passages to use to train the platform.
As one user put it, “the fact that they do so with their music model shows they are well aware of copyright and that it was not something that was too complicated to implement.”
NBC News reported Lauryn’s findings, but Lensa’s corporate owner only provided a partial response:
(Originator of the Lens in Space Telescope) Prisma released a lengthy Twitter thread in which it addressed fears that AI art would eventually replace human artists. Accusations were made in the thread, but not addressed.