Turn Outlines and Images Into Digital Art Using Picsart’s SketchAI

Picsart, the developer behind many popular video and image editing apps, has released a new app for iOS called SketchAI that allows users to turn their drawings and images into digital art.

The app uses generative artificial intelligence to create appealing artwork using any image sketched or uploaded by the user.

SketchAI is simple to use, featuring several pre-selected styles available to the user while creating digital art, including pencil sketching, ink drawing, and the artist-inspired “Van Gogh” and “Da Vinci.”

To enhance the generated results, the user can add a text prompt describing an image (for example — “The Night Watch by Rembrandt”) in addition to their sketch or uploaded image.

SketchAI is free for up to five digital artwork creations, and unlimited creations unlock when a user pays for a subscription ranging from $5.99 weekly to $17.99 monthly or $69.99 yearly.

Controversy Surrounding AI-Generated Art

SketchAI joins the lineup of other generative AI tools developed by Picsart, like AI Avatar, which creates AI-generated profile pictures from selfies. While AI-generated art is increasingly popular, it also attracts controversy among users and artists alike.

Copyright issues remain a problem with AI-generated art.

ArtStation, an art portal, began allowing AI art for the first time this year, and members protested by placing “No AI Images” in their portfolios — an attempt to raise awareness of the threat AI-generated art brings to the artists and their intellectual property.

Picsart VP of product Lusine Harutyunyan doesn’t deny that generative AI systems have flaws, adding that the system powering SketchAI — Stable Diffusion, an open-source model — can reproduce biases in the artwork it creates.

Trained on a wide range of images from the web, including those from art communities, Stable Diffusion has gained widespread usage lately. White many use it to create harmless art, some have generated disturbing or offensive content, such as non-consensual deepfake images of celebrities.

Harutyunyan says Picsart put some filters in place so SketchAI users can’t generate “unsafe” art with the AI and that the company optimized Stable Diffusion for “quality, original image strength.”

However, Picsart hasn’t given an opt-out possibility to artists that don’t want users to create art using SketchAI in their distinctive style.

Stability AI — the startup funding the development of Stability Diffusion — was the subject of a letter from U.S. House Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) to the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Advisor (NSA).

There are lawsuits against Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI over copyright infringements.

In the letter, she urged the OSTP and NSA to regulate the release of “unsafe AI models” that “do not moderate content made on their platforms.”

Stability AI bowed to the pressure, hinting it would allow artists to opt out of the data set used to train the next-generation Stability Diffusion. Harutyunyan says that the new model will be considered by Picsart once released.

With the copyright status of AI-generated images fluctuating, Picsart can’t guarantee its users can claim copyright over what the AI generates. Generative AI system creators and users are facing several ongoing problems regarding copyright infringement.

This includes a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI. The fear of copyright issues provoked a response from several platforms, such as Getty Images banning AI art and Kickstarter sharing its thoughts on the matter via a blog page.


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