AI and comic creation in the spotlight: free Comics Connection online event next week

The US-based comic creator, business-focused group Comics Connection is hosting a free online discussion, “The Impact of AI on the Comic Book Industry” next week. Moderated by Heidi McDonald, Editor in Chief at Comics Beat, the speakers include writer Mark Waid, editor Mike Marts and Gamal Hennessy, attorney and author of The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation and production of comics has the potential to create major shifts in the business, ethical, and legal aspects of the industry. Understanding the potential benefits and challenges to each segment of the profession is vital for anyone who wants to have a career in comics.

Comics Connection is a community dedicated to helping comic creators build successful comic businesses. As a part of this mission, its goal is to bring together disparate voices to share thoughts, ideas, and insights on this important topic. With that in mind, they’re bringing together experts from different segments of the comic book and AI community to maximise the scope of this special discussion.

Moderated by Heidi MacDonald, Editor in Chief at Comics Beat, the discussion panel will comprise of Mark Waid, writer for Archie, Boom! DC, Image, and Marvel; Mike Marts, editor for DC, Marvel, AfterShock, and Mad Cave Studios; and Thomas Crowell, attorney and author of The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators, published in 2014; Andrew Scott, machine learning researcher at San Francisco State University; Gamal Hennessy, attorney and author of The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing, published in 2020; and Andy Schmidt, editor for DC, Hasbro, and IDW, Publisher at CEX Publishing.

The impact of AI on comics creation has been hotly debated on social media in recent months, as tools such Midjourney, Images.AI and DALL-E gain attention, dividing opinion on their use and the ethics of utilising images “scraped” from online sources to “train” the AI to draw. Also getting attention is ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI, launched last year, which can be used to generate write and debug computer programs, compose music, scripts, fairy tales, and student essays.

In response to concerns, Cloud Database Management Systems Cloudera published an Ethics Sheet for AI-assisted Comic Book Art Generation last September, written by Mike Gallaspy, inspired by inspired by “Ethics Sheets for AI Tasks”, compiled by Dr. Saif M. Mohammad.

“I’m a research engineer by trade and have been involved in software creation in some way or another for most of my professional life,” Mike explained, who previously published a related post, “Thought experiment: Human-centric machine learning for comic book creation”. “I’m also an amateur artist, and frankly, not a very skilled one. It’s my belief that AI practitioners like me and my colleagues have a responsibility to carefully and critically consider the implications of their work and research. Therefore, in conjunction with my blog post, I felt the need to author an ethics statement in the form of this ethics sheet.”

The Impact of AI on the Comic Book Industry 8.00pm EST Monday 13th March 2023 | Online, free | Book here on EventBrite

Categories: Comics, Creating Comics, Digital Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events

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