Andy Warhol, Modigliani and Picasso, among the 16,000 artists used to train artificial intelligence

MidJourney is an independent laboratory that investigates the Artificial intelligence and Create images from text (text to image) using AI. Recently, it was leaked a list of 16,000 artists whose work was used to train this program.

Among the names on the list are Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Damien Hirst, Amedeo ModiglianiPablo Picasso, Paul Signac, Norman Rockwell, Paul Cézanne, Banksy, Walt Disney, works from companies such as Hasbro and Nintendo, and renowned artists such as Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh.

The Midjourney developers used the work of these people to make their AI could capture and emulate the most diverse creative techniques and perfect their operation.

Images created in Midjourney

This list went viral after the artist Jon Lamsocial X shared it and left it open to the public for a few hours on the social network A class action lawsuit was filed targeting Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt, and was submitted along with 455 pages of supplementary evidence submitted on November 29 of last year.

The lawsuit clarifies that the founder of Midjourney, David Holz, would have shared the list on a company public server in early 2022, but that the manager avoided responding to the artists’ accusations.

images created with Midjourney

As the massive use of generative artificial intelligence tools from 2022 still lacks regulation, the debate on the limits regarding intellectual property. Midjourney, precisely, is one of the platforms accused of misusing copyrighted pieces and works to train their generative artificial intelligence systems.

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In this case, specifically, The lawsuit alleges that Midjourney knowingly used the production of different artists in its monetized services, training its generative artificial intelligence program. This AI infringes copyright, since the program itself was trained on a collection of unaccredited and copyrighted works.

Who is behind this AI

The company is run by David Holtz who is also co-founder of LeapMotion, an augmented virtual reality startup purchased by UltraHaptics in 2019.

Within Midjourney there is also the name of Jim Keller (processor engineer at Apple, AMD, Tesla, Intel and co-author of x86-64) Nat Friedman (CEO of Github and president of the GNOME Foundation) or Philip Rosedale (founder of Second Life).

In the application, users must use the /imagine command and write a description or stimulus (prompt in English). It can be something like: futuristic landscape with trees and mountains. From that command the bot will generate four variants. Until March 2023, it could be used for free, but now it only has a paid format.


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