Artists Making Money with AI Painting

AI technology has finally arrived, with the recent news of the "first AI painting fraud case in China" highlighting the potential for AI to be used for deceptive purposes.

AI painting is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more positions being listed on recruitment platforms with salaries between 20,000 to 50,000. AI painting courses are being advertised on platforms such as Zhihu, Douyin, and Little Red Book, promising monthly income of more than 10,000. AI painting has been used in game, illustration, advertising, decoration and other fields, and is now being monetized. Who is making money with AI painting and how? For ordinary people, is AI painting a legitimate way to make money or a way to “cut leeks”? This article examines the current state of AI painting and the potential for making money, as well as the ethical considerations of using AI painting as a “fraud” tool.

AI drawing has become a lucrative money-making tool for many companies and individuals. There are three main ways to make money from AI drawing: tech companies providing data supply, segmentation and annotation, open source algorithms, and production tools; content creation and distribution platforms providing AI drawing tools; and ordinary people participating in AI drawing-related professions, such as AI drawing courses, AI keyword production, and AI drawing anti-counterfeiting. Tech companies such as Google, Open AI, Meta, and StabilityAI are the main providers of popular AI drawing models, while content creation and distribution platforms are the mainstream way to make money from AI drawing. Ordinary people can also join in by taking AI drawing courses, producing AI keywords, and providing AI drawing anti-counterfeiting services.

AI drawing platforms are becoming increasingly popular and profitable. Domestic AI drawing websites generally follow a profit model where users can register to receive points and generate AI pictures within the limit for free, and then charge according to quantity. Midjourney, a commonly used AI drawing website, utilizes a subscription payment system, with monthly subscription fees ranging from 10 to 60 US dollars. AI drawing apps are also profitable, with users able to generate AI works for free, as well as buy AI pictures and watch ads for revenue. Additionally, users can generate works with AI tools and then sell them, such as designing computer wallpapers, celebrity posters, and digital collections. With the increasing popularity of AI drawing, users now have more opportunities to make money from their AI-generated works.

AI painting is a side job that is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows painters to use AI-assisted design in various fields such as advertising, film and television, fashion, games, and architecture. There are many ways for ordinary people to make money with AI painting, such as creating wallpaper short videos with AI-generated pictures and selling them on Douyin and Kuaishou. Additionally, AI drawing prompts with “advanced, simple, creative” features are available on e-commerce websites such as Taobao, usually priced between 10-20 Yuan. AI painting is a great way to make money, as it allows people to use their creativity and knowledge of painting to create unique and interesting designs.

AI painting is a popular side job that promises a monthly income of over 10,000. However, the reality is that the cost of learning AI painting is high and the cost performance is not good. Most AI painters can only sell their works for two digits, mostly around 20-30 yuan. Even if they apply for copyright, the price of a work is usually around 200 yuan. Therefore, it is important to be aware of false propaganda and high membership fees when considering AI painting courses.

AI painting is a popular technology that has been used to generate images, but its profitability has been declining. According to a report, 60% of users have not paid for AI painting products, 16% pay within 10 yuan, 14% pay within 100 yuan, and less than 10% pay more than 100 yuan. This indicates a decrease in user willingness to pay for AI painting, making it difficult to make money. In January this year, AI image generation company Stock AI issued a public letter to users, announcing the closure of StockAl due to the high cost and low paying user base. This has been seen as a setback for the development of AI painting. The C-end model of AI painting in the Chinese market is mainly a free experience platform, relying on traffic realization. This means that AI painting is limited to short-term traffic exposure, without more product follow-up, making it difficult to generate profits.

AI-generated art and characters have become increasingly popular, but they have also exposed two major issues. Firstly, many AI paintings are suspected of “”cheating”” and using AI effects to create cartoons with questionable poses and revealing clothes. Secondly, AI virtual internet celebrities rely on “”cheating”” to attract traffic, and some criminals use AI painting software to mass-produce pornographic images for sale. These issues highlight the need for better regulation of AI-generated art and characters to ensure that they are not used for malicious purposes.

AI painting software Nijijourney has been accused of copyright infringement after illustrator Sueno Luoqi revealed on their personal Weibo that many of the generated pictures have similar styles to certain artists’ works, with some even bearing their signature and watermark. Li Sheng, director of Beijing Zhipu Law Firm, explains that unauthorized use of other’s copyrighted content for re-creation may constitute an infringement. AI-related crimes are not yet fully regulated in China, but those who commit crimes with AI will still face legal penalties. AI painting is currently in the first stage of development, where it assists humans in content production. People should be aware that AI painting is not a key to financial freedom and should take measures to protect their intellectual property rights.

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Rina Giannino
Journalist venturing into blockchain, Rina has been a follower of the technology since 2019 and finally taken the plunge with a career as a journalist in the industry.