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Artists across industries are strategizing together around AI concerns

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As creative industries grapple with AI’s explosion into every artistic medium at once, separate calls from artists warning the world to take action before it’s too late are starting to converge. From fake Drake songs to stylized Instagram profile pictures, art conjured with newly sophisticated AI tools is suddenly ubiquitous — and so are conversations about how to rein in the technology before it does irrevocable harm to creative communities.

This week, digital rights organization Fight for the Future partnered with music industry labor group United Musicians and Allied Workers to launch #AIdayofaction, a campaign that calls on Congress to block corporations from obtaining copyrights on music and other art made with AI.

The idea is that by preventing industry behemoths like major record labels, for example, from copyrighting music made with the assistance of AI, those companies will be forced to keep looping humans into the creative process. But those same concerns — and the same potential strategies for pushing back against the onslaught of AI — exist across creative industries.

“It’s funny because if you’ve talked to musicians who have these concerns, they say, ‘well, authors have been very quiet.’ If you talk to others about these concerns, they’ll say, ‘well, musicians and photographers don’t seem to care at all,’” Fight for the Future Campaigns and Communications Director Lia Holland told TechCrunch. “So part of it also is that the different creative fields, when it comes to this sort of work, are a little bit siloed.”

“That was another intent with our launching this effort with the day of action, to try to illustrate how these are these are common concerns that are shared across artistic mediums. And to create an organizing point… because when artists of different mediums move together they have a lot more power.”

The campaign targets potential corporate abuse of AI technology, but it’s realistic about the ways that musicians and some other creatives could benefit on an individual level from automating parts of their work. The goal is that AI tools “become ways for individual humans to make more money, work less, and compete with the corporations that exploit them.”

“It’s really interesting from a music perspective, specifically, because… musicians are perhaps more familiar with the idea of AI,” Holland said. “Musicians in general are more familiar with things like music production software, and AI tools like like MIDI drum loops… so I think that there is a certain amount of more progressive learning from them, when it comes to technology, and its ability to make their music better.”

When it comes to art and AI, the conversation is complicated, to say the least. Musicians are nervous about industry giants copyrighting AI music and cutting them out of the process. Major record labels are worried about AI models training on their catalogues and stealing a slice of their considerable pie. Spotify erased thousands of AI-crafted songs from its platform but also recently globally launched an AI-powered DJ that curates music for listeners while talking to them in a synthetic voice.

“The training of generative AI using our artists’ music… begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation,” Universal Music Group said after a song using AI to imitate Drake and The Weeknd, two of its artists, went viral.

These same conversations and contradictions are manifesting across creative industries, but artists themselves don’t always have a seat at the table. Independent artists in particular are learning that their voices resonate louder when coming together across disciplines to push back against what Holland describes as an “extraordinary spectrum of exploitation” that leverages their work.

In a roundtable hosted by the FTC this week, the agency brought together figures from across creative industries — from voice acting and science fiction to screenwriting, music, illustration and even fashion — to delve into how generative AI is affecting creatives.

“I know that generative AI in particular poses a unique set of opportunities and challenges to creative industries,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said. “We’ve already heard significant concerns about how these technologies could virtually overnight significantly disempower creators and artists who may watch their life’s creation be appropriated into models over which they have no control.”

In the comments, representatives from myriad creative communities expressed concerns around opt-out requirements that by default train AI models on artists’ original work, and how existing copyright law could be a useful if not comprehensive tool for setting out regulatory guardrails.

In the conversation, a representative with the WGA emphasized that while striking writers obtained their own protections in a newly-won agreement, the fight for artists’ livelihoods “doesn’t stop at the bargaining table.”

Whether Congress mobilizes in time to address mounting concerns around AI and creative industries or not, for its part the FTC does appear to be very tuned into the technology’s risks — and the power of bringing voices together across industries.

“Art is fundamentally human,” FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter said.

“Humans may use technology to assist in creating art, but something cannot be art without human input. Technology is, by definition, not human… humans may endeavor to make generative AI that is ever more intelligent, [but] it cannot and will not replace human creativity.”



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Greenhouse Gases Are Alerting Oceans ‘Before Our Eyes,’ Says NASA

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NASA has shared a stunning yet concerning visualisation of sea surface currents and how they are being altered due to global warming. The visualisation depicts the average temperatures of ocean currents and how they differ at different locations.

The warmer hues such as red, orange, and yellow indicate higher temperatures, and cooler shades like green and blue represent lower temperatures.

“With 70% of the planet covered by water, the seas are important drivers of Earth’s global climate. Yet, increasing greenhouse gases from human activities are altering the ocean before our eyes,” the agency captioned the post.

According to NASA, 90 percent of the planet’s warming occurs within the ocean. Since modern recordkeeping began in 1955, the internal heat of the ocean has steadily increased, contributing significantly to climate change.

ALSO SEE: World’s Oceans Are Losing Their “Memory” As A Result Of Global Warming, Experts Claim

The heat stored in the ocean leads to thermal expansion, a process where water expands as it warms. This phenomenon is a major contributor to global sea level rise, accounting for one-third to one-half of the increase.

Scientists say the majority of this heat is concentrated at the surface, within the top 700 meters of the ocean. According to existing records, the past decade has been the warmest for the ocean since at least the 1800s, with 2023 marking the highest recorded ocean temperatures to date.

ALSO SEE: Arctic Ocean Warming Started Decades Earlier Than Previously Thought

The warming of the ocean has far-reaching effects. One of the most visible impacts is the rise in sea levels, primarily due to thermal expansion. Warmer waters have also led to widespread coral bleaching, which affects marine ecosystems and the increased temperatures also accelerate the melting of Earth’s major ice sheets.

NASA says that the warming ocean intensifies hurricanes affect ocean health and biochemistry, altering marine life habitats and disrupting food chains.





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NASA Shares Incredible Picture Of ‘Space Potato’ Phobos; It Will Soon Crash Into Mars

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Ever seen a space potato? NASA is here to treat you with one. The agency has shared a fascinating image of Phobos, the larger of two moons of Mars, explaining what makes this object so intriguing.

Meauring just 27 by 22 by 18 kilometres in diameter, Phobos orbits Mars about 6,000 km above the red planet’s surface and it is on a collision course with Earth.

This is the closest any Moon orbits a planet and Phobos might crash into Mars in the future. Scientists estimate that this is likely to happen within 50 million years. Another likely scenario of Phobos’ end will be its potential obliteration into pieces, eventually forming a ring around Mars.

According to NASA, Phobos is nearing Mars at the rate of six feet each year.

ALSO SEE: We May Have Been Wrong About Martian Moon Phobos’ Origin, It Could Be A Comet

Phobos (left) and Deimos (right). Image: NASA

Describing the image, the agency said that it was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying Mars since 2006.

Phobos was discovered along with its twin just six days apart by astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877.

ALSO SEE: ISRO’s Mangalyaan Presents Breathtaking Video Of Martian Moon ‘Phobos’

The Moon also has several craters but the most dominant one is the 10-km-wide Stickeny crater which Hall named after his wife Angelina.

The second moon is Deimos which measures 15 by 12 by 11 kilometres and orbits the red planet every 30 hours. Both the moons are named after the mythological sons of Ares, the Greek counterpart of the Roman god. Phobos means fear and Deimos means dread, says NASA. As for their origin, astronomers believe they could be asteroids or debris caught by Mars in the early solar system.

(Image: NASA)





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Rare ‘Gigantic Jets’ Spotted Above The Himalayas, NASA Shares Viral Picture

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NASA recently shared a captivating image of gigantic jets soaring from a thunderstorm toward the Himalayan Mountains in China and Bhutan. This composite image, featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day segment on June 18, reveals four immense jets captured within minutes of each other.

Gigantic jets are a rare and fascinating type of lightning discharge that have only been documented since the early 2000s. Unlike conventional lightning that occurs between clouds or strikes the ground, gigantic jets bridge the gap between thunderstorms and the Earth’s ionosphere, the layer of the atmosphere that is ionised by solar and cosmic radiation, NASA said.

Jets of lightning spotted over the Himalayas. Image: NASA/Li Xuanhua

These jets are unique in their appearance and behavior, differing significantly from traditional lightning phenomena.

ALSO SEE: Webb Telescope Photographs Baby Stars Burping Out Gases For The First Time

Despite their visual grandeur, the precise mechanisms and triggers behind gigantic jets are still under investigation. What is known is that these jets help to balance electrical charges between different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, playing a crucial role in maintaining the atmospheric electrical circuit.

For those interested in observing this phenomenon, a powerful but distant thunderstorm viewed from a clear vantage point offers the best chance.

As these jets typically shoot upwards from the storm tops into the ionosphere, they can often be seen from hundreds of kilometers away under the right conditions.

ALSO SEE: NASA Shares First Cosmic Image Of 2024 And It’s Exploding With Stars



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