As artificial intelligence gains momentum in the animation and manga industries, animators in China have found their careers under threat.
According to a report by Anime Senpai, major Chinese studios have begun replacing artists with AI-powered visual tools that can duplicate their work in a matter of seconds, crippling talented staff. One such employee is Amber Yu, a freelance illustrator who made a living making poster art for video games until studios began automating the process through artificial intelligence, resulting in an immediate downturn in opportunities for her and her colleagues. Many artists’ jobs have been reduced to simple contract work to fix minor issues introduced in AI graphics, and these programs often struggle with specific character design elements such as hand placement. One of the artists mentioned in the Anime Senpai article chose to leave the industry altogether, evidently unable to make a living from those meager patching contracts as they stated, “Our way of making a living has suddenly been ruined.”
The strides made by artificial intelligence in China may cause cause for concern in other countries as well, as around the world new technology has been encroaching on artists’ domains. In Japan, a prime example of this Cyberpunk: Peach John, the first manga drawn entirely by artificial intelligence. Created by the unknown artist known as Rootport, the series has copied the artistic styles of respected manga artists such as tokyo ghoul Sui Ishida, all while Rootport maintained that the technology did not pose a threat to the animators’ jobs. The fate of Chinese artists such as Amber Yu offers a powerful view of this sentiment and raises ominous questions about the future careers of artists in the manga industry.
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In the United States, there has been a backlash from fans and creators alike to the use of AI in comics and animation. Short Netflix anime dog and boy He outraged viewers earlier this year with his use of artificial intelligence. Paizo, the publishing company behind the hit tabletop RPG Pathfinder, recently banned the art of artificial intelligence from her books. However, this has not stopped the growth of the technology, as the US Copyright Office recently relaxed its restrictions on AI art by ruling that it may still be eligible for protection as intellectual property.
While the harmful effects of AI on Chinese artists do not bode well for the global creative industries, fortunately, there is still a wealth of talented creators working and doing excellent work. Fan art also remains a safe haven for artists to express themselves regardless of industry trends, no matter how technology changes the creative landscape.
source: Senpai anime