Art and AI: What is an Artist's Style Worth? StarryAI, Copyright with Kimberly Brooks

Kimberly Brooks
22 Jul 202313:34

TLDRThe video script discusses the implications of AI technology, specifically Starry AI, on the art world. It explores the potential for AI to generate art in the style of both dead and living artists, raising concerns about copyright issues. The host, Kimberly Brooks, shares her experience with the app, noting that while it can produce impressive results, it also raises questions about the legality and ethics of using AI to create art that mimics the style of artists whose works may still be under copyright.


  • 🎨 Kimberly Brooks expresses concern over AI technologies using distinct artistic styles, like hers, for generating new artwork.
  • πŸ€– The video explores Starry AI, an app that allows users to create art using prompts and styles of both deceased and living artists.
  • πŸ” Brooks highlights a personal experience of copyright infringement during her time as Arts Editor at The Huffington Post.
  • πŸ’‘ The discussion includes the ethical and legal implications of AI-generated art, particularly when it involves styles of living artists.
  • πŸ“ The AI app discussed uses prompts like 'vampires on Mars' combined with an artist's style to generate images.
  • βš–οΈ The legality of AI in art is questioned, especially concerning the use of copyrighted elements without permission.
  • πŸ‘οΈ Brooks mentions the case of Jeff Koons, illustrating how copyright laws apply across different media.
  • πŸ“Š The process of using Starry AI is detailed, showing how users can manipulate prompts and styles to create varied artworks.
  • πŸ“œ Concerns are raised about whether artworks on artists' websites are considered public domain by AI technologies.
  • 🚫 The video suggests skepticism towards AI platforms' claims of only using public domain images for training their models.

Q & A

  • What concerns does Kimberly Brooks express about AI generating art in the style of living artists?

    -Kimberly Brooks expresses concern about artificial intelligence applications generating art in the style of living artists, especially when it involves artists who have a distinct, recognizable style. She worries about the implications of technology using the work of living artists, who still hold copyright to their distinct styles, and allowing others to produce derivatives without permission.

  • What example does Kimberly Brooks use to illustrate a past copyright issue she encountered?

    -Kimberly Brooks mentions a copyright issue she encountered while being the Arts Editor at The Huffington Post. The issue arose from a less egregious use of another artist's style that resulted in a copyright claim, highlighting the sensitivity and legal complexities surrounding artistic copyright and the use of artists' styles.

  • How does the app Starry AI work according to the video?

    -Starry AI is an application that generates images based on prompts given by the user. It allows for specifying prompts, such as 'vampires on Mars,' and can apply stylistic qualities chosen by the user, like hyper-realism or Rococo. The app provides variations on the prompt, allowing users to select from different stylistic filters and art movements, and even specify mediums like oil on canvas.

  • What is Kimberly Brooks' stance on the use of artist styles by AI technologies?

    -Kimberly Brooks acknowledges that artists often reference the work of other artists, which she doesn't have an issue with. Her main concern is with technologies that use the specific styles of living artists, who have copyrights on their work, to generate new artworks without the artists' permission.

  • What does Don Smith say about the AI's ability compared to his own as an artist?

    -Don Smith mentions an instance where he preferred the image generated by the AI based on his painting to his original artwork, initially feeling that the AI was a better artist. However, he later reflects on the AI as merely a tool that generated the image based on the information he inputted, emphasizing the role of human creativity in the process.

  • What legal argument does the video discuss regarding AI-generated art and copyright?

    -The video touches on the legal complexities of AI-generated art, noting that wholly AI-generated pieces may not be copyrightable. However, if parts of the work were made or constructed by a human, they might be eligible for copyright protection. This distinction points to ongoing debates about copyright eligibility for AI-generated works that incorporate human elements or creativity.

  • What was Starry AI's response to concerns about using artists' styles without permission?

    -Starry AI responded to concerns by stating that their models are trained on images located in the public domain, and no copyrighted works of art are used. This implies that the app does not directly copy or use the specific copyrighted styles of artists without permission, focusing instead on publicly available resources.

  • How does the video address the issue of public domain versus copyrighted artwork in the context of AI art generation?

    -The video raises questions about what constitutes public domain artwork and whether artworks posted on artists' websites or social media are considered public domain. It critically examines Starry AI's claim of using only public domain images for training its models, expressing skepticism about the AI's ability to distinguish between copyrighted and public domain content.

  • What historical example of a copyright dispute involving Jeff Koons is mentioned?

    -The video mentions a historical copyright dispute involving artist Jeff Koons, who created a sculpture based on a photograph he saw on a holiday card. The photograph's creators sued Koons after the sculpture appeared on the cover of the New York Times, leading to a copyright sanction against Koons, despite the work being in a different medium.

  • What potential solutions or considerations are suggested for addressing copyright issues in AI-generated art?

    -While the video primarily outlines concerns and questions about copyright in AI-generated art, it suggests the complexity of legal and ethical considerations involved. It implies a need for clear guidelines on the use of copyrighted material, possible agreements or permissions from artists, and a better understanding of copyright law as it applies to AI and digital creations.



🎨 Artistic Style and AI Technology

The paragraph discusses the hypothetical scenario of an AI technology that can mimic an artist's distinct style based on a prompt. The speaker, Kimberly Brooks, uses herself as an example, considering how she would feel if such technology existed and could recreate her art in different styles or themes, like 'vampires on Mars'. She expresses concerns about the potential copyright issues that could arise, especially when using the styles of living artists whose work is still protected. The speaker then introduces a demonstration of Starry AI with artist Don Smith, where they explore using dead and living artists as stylistic filters and discuss the implications of copyright and the use of AI in art creation.


πŸ–ŒοΈ Exploring Starry AI with Don Smith

In this paragraph, the focus is on the practical use of Starry AI by artist Don Smith. He shares his experience using the app to generate images based on his own paintings and various prompts, such as 'Dutch still life kitten tea set' and 'Venus'. Smith discusses the app's features, including the ability to generate multiple variations of an image and the selection of preset stylistic qualities and art movements. He also raises questions about the legality and copyright of AI-generated art, especially when it comes to using the styles of living artists like James Jean. The paragraph ends with a discussion about the potential for AI-generated art to be copyrighted if it involves human elements, as opposed to being entirely AI-created.


πŸ€– AI, Copyright, and Artistic Integrity

The final paragraph delves into the complexities of AI and copyright law, particularly in relation to artwork. The speaker questions how AI can discern whether art is in the public domain or copyrighted, and expresses skepticism about Starry AI's claim that it only uses public domain images. The speaker recounts personal experiences as an Arts editor dealing with copyright issues and the aggressive protection of copyrights by artists and foundations. The paragraph highlights the ongoing debate about the legality and ethics of using AI to generate art in the style of artists, both living and deceased, and the challenges in determining the ownership and copyright status of AI-generated content.



πŸ’‘Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. In the context of the video, AI is used to generate art by processing prompts and styles inputted by users, as seen with Starry AI, which raises questions about copyright and the role of AI in the creative process.


Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time. In the video, copyright is a central issue as it explores the implications of using AI to create art that mimics the style of living artists whose work is still under copyright.

πŸ’‘Starry AI

Starry AI is an application mentioned in the video that allows users to input prompts and select stylistic qualities from a range of categories or artists to generate unique pieces of digital art. The app's functionality raises questions about the intersection of technology, creativity, and intellectual property rights.

πŸ’‘Artistic Style

An artistic style refers to the unique and recognizable manner in which an artist or group of artists creates their work, often characterized by specific techniques, themes, or visual elements. In the video, the discussion revolves around the use of AI to replicate and modify established artistic styles, raising concerns about originality and the potential misuse of artists' signatures.

πŸ’‘Digital Art

Digital art is a form of artistic expression that uses digital technology as a primary tool for creation or presentation. It encompasses a wide range of practices, from digital painting and graphic design to 3D modeling and virtual reality installations. In the video, digital art is the end product generated by the Starry AI app, which combines user inputs with AI algorithms to create new visual works.

πŸ’‘Intellectual Property

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. It is a broad term that includes copyright, patents, and trademarks, and is crucial for protecting the rights and interests of creators and inventors. The video discusses intellectual property in the context of AI-generated art and the potential legal implications of using or replicating existing artistic styles.

πŸ’‘Public Domain

The public domain refers to creative works that are not protected by intellectual property rights such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. These works are freely available for use by the public and can be modified, shared, or adapted without seeking permission from the original creator. In the video, the concept of public domain is relevant as it discusses the use of public domain images for training AI models and the potential legal gray areas when using AI to generate art.

πŸ’‘Creative Process

The creative process is the series of steps taken to conceive, develop, and produce a creative work, such as art, literature, music, or any other form of expression. It often involves brainstorming, experimentation, and refinement. In the video, the creative process is examined through the lens of AI, as it explores how technology can influence and potentially enhance or alter an artist's creative workflow.

πŸ’‘Art Movements

Art movements are periods in history characterized by shared artistic styles, techniques, and philosophies among a group of artists. These movements often reflect broader cultural, social, or political changes. In the video, art movements like Rococo and the styles of specific artists are used as filters within the AI app to generate new pieces of art, demonstrating how historical art movements can influence contemporary digital art creation.

πŸ’‘NFT (Non-Fungible Token)

A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a unique digital asset that represents ownership of a specific item or piece of content, often used for digital art and collectibles. NFTs are stored on a blockchain, which provides a decentralized ledger of ownership and provenance. In the video, the mention of creating an NFT suggests the potential for AI-generated art to be tokenized and sold in the digital marketplace, raising questions about the value and authenticity of such tokens.


The discussion revolves around the concept of an AI technology that can mimic an artist's style, raising questions about the implications for artists and copyright laws.

The hypothetical scenario where an AI app allows users to input a prompt and select a style, such as 'vampires on Mars' in the style of a specific artist, brings up concerns about artistic originality and intellectual property.

The video demonstrates an in-depth look at Starry AI with artist Don Smith, exploring the use of dead and living artists as stylistic filters in AI-generated art.

Kimberly Brooks, the speaker, expresses her concerns about AI technologies using the work of living artists whose creations are still under copyright.

The speaker mentions a personal experience with copyright issues while working as an Arts editor at The Huffington Post, highlighting the complexities of using another artist's style.

The interview with Don Smith showcases the use of Starry AI, an app that allows users to generate images based on their prompts and selected styles, blurring the lines between human and AI creativity.

Don Smith's experience with Starry AI leads him to initially believe that the AI is a better artist than he is, but he later realizes that it's just a tool that generates based on his input.

The process of using Starry AI involves inputting an image, adding a series of words for free association, and selecting stylistic qualities or art movements, resulting in multiple variations of the image.

The discussion touches on the potential legal issues surrounding AI-generated art, particularly when it comes to copyright and the originality of the work.

The speaker questions the claim by Starry AI that they only use images in the public domain for their AI models, expressing skepticism about the platform's ability to accurately distinguish copyrighted works.

The conversation highlights the evolving nature of art and copyright in the digital age, where AI technologies are pushing the boundaries of creative expression and intellectual property rights.

The speaker's experience with the Mondrian Foundation illustrates the challenges of using images of artworks online, even when they are no longer under copyright.

The discussion raises awareness about the need for artists to protect their work online, as the internet's early days of watermarking and copyright symbols may no longer be sufficient in the age of AI and digital sharing.

The transcript concludes with a reflection on the potential for AI to change the landscape of art, raising more questions than answers about the future of creativity and copyright.