Sarah J. Maas is a writer of fantasy novels. Her sagas ‘ACOTAR’, ‘Glass Throne’ and ‘Crescent City’ have become an absolute sales success, and several of the titles that compose them have come to enter the best-seller list of The New York Times. Now, however, one of her books has generated quite a bit of controversy. Not because of the text itself, but because of the cover of said book.
AI generated cover. The book ‘Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood’ is part of his latest saga, but the publisher, Bloomsbury – which became famous when it began publishing the Harry Potter novels in 1997 – has used an artificial intelligence-generated cover. As they point out in The Verge, it was revealed by several readers of the British edition of the novel, who discovered that this image of a singular is part of Adobe Stock’s repository of AI-generated images. Included in the book is credit to Adobe Stock for that image used on the back cover.
Reviews. The image is actually based on one created by the user Aperture Vintage and is labeled as AI-generated on the Adobe platform, something that has sparked criticism from some readers. One of them explained on Reddit how “they haven’t put an ounce of care or effort into their creation and in fact are just ripping off fans to produce one more edition that people can buy. Considering how beautiful and detailed As hardcovers are, it’s disappointing how generic and soulless paperbacks are, and how little they represent true history.”
The artists, threatened. Kala Elizabeth, artista freelance, expressed concern what was going on with this publisher and this book because “Bloomsbury is one of the biggest publishers. They can afford to hire real illustrators instead of buying [imágenes de] Adobe Stock, which is where this AI content comes from.”
It is not the first time, nor will it be the last). In December publisher Tor made use of an AI-generated image for the ‘Fractal Noise’ book cover, but they tried to hide it. That generated some controversy and the company ended up apologizing and explaining that they did not realize that it had been created with AI. The author of the book that has now generated this new debate, Sarah J. Maas, was instead delighted by the cover of the book on her Instagram account without mentioning her origin.
Getty and ShutterStock on the one hand… Getty Images sued Stable Diffusion for (allegedly) stealing their photos. Shutterstock also set limitations and began removing AI-generated images, though they did not outright ban them. This company even suggested that to reconcile artists with AI, the ideal would be to simply pay them all, something that Getty does not accept.
… and Adobe for another. Meanwhile, Adobe Stock clearly states that it “accepts content created with generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools” as long as it meets their standards. “We believe that generative AI tools can help our community of contributors continue to create amazing content, and we believe in transparent and clear labeling for clients when it comes to this content.”
Training without copyrighted images. Not only that: when Adobe released its own generative AI engine, Adobe Firefly, it did so by indicating that it is trained only on licensed or royalty-free content. It also even allows artists to choose not to train this AI. It’s different for Adobe Stock, which leads to some confusion as to whether that wolf image—for example—was actually generated by an AI that was trained on copyrighted images.
Imagen | Sarah J. Maas | Aperture Vintage
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