Recently, I was in Fantasy Grounds Fridays. Among the things I was asked about was AI artwork. Naturally I thought of a better answer then minutes after it ended. I still stand by my answer that there might be a backlash by a major publisher that goes all in early on. But there’s more to the story than that.
Long term, I feel that AI art might be an alternative for stock art. The role of stock art is to be artwork is that it is quality art that at an affordable price that is used by many publishers. AI art doesn’t need to be used by many publishers since it is generated by a computer. So these two roles are compatible. Considering that you get much more influence in the appearance of an AI image than a stock image, the art will fit what you’re trying to create more, rather than fitting your work with your stock art.
My first attempts at AI art produced some excellent images. However, they’re not what I would consider usable. Specifically, they lack faces. Perhaps it is my skill with the platform instead of the platform itself. Having said that, the interface does not feel friendly, but that will improve with time.
Having said all that, I don’t believe it will replace commissioned artwork for one simple reason: ownership. A number of characters I use in my artwork, I own. So if I want an image with my characters, I am going to commission it. It helps to keep a consistent look across my products and I can get the exact image I want, instead of merely having influence like with AI art.