AI Is Already Putting Videogame Illustrators Out of Work in China

Destabilizing Diffusion AI image generators are already taking work away from China-based videogame artists and illustrators, Rest of World reports. Illustrator Amber Yu told the publication she used to make anywhere between $430 and $1,000 for the time-intensive labor of drawing videogame posters. But now, after some firms made moves to replace human artists with faster and cheaper AI generators, she’s finding herself mostly being recruited for making small fixes and edits to AI-generated drawings. It’s a much simpler task that, on average, only brings in about ten percent of her previous rates. Several other game illustrators echoed these claims. “AI is developing at a speed way beyond our imagination,” Xu Yingying, an illustrator at an independent game art studio in Chongqing, China, told Rest of World. Xu’s studio has laid off 15 specialized illustrators this year alone due to AI image generators. “Two people could potentially do the work that used to be done by ten,” Xu added. Big Gulp It’s a harrowing anecdote, and unfortunately for many, one that we can probably expect to see more of. Late last month, Goldman Sachs released an eyebrow-raising memo arguing that AI has the potential to automate 300 million jobs. And when it comes to AI-generated images specifically, AI programs like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion are only getting better at creating convincing artwork, forcing illustrators to adapt in ways they aren’t exactly thrilled about. “If I’m a top-notch artist, I might be able to boycott [the companies],” Yu, the freelance illustrator, told Rest…AI Is Already Putting Videogame Illustrators Out of Work in China

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