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Monday, October 31, 2022 

Computer programmer's tribute to a late Korean manhwa artist receives threats of violence

Rest of World has a story about a tribute by a French computer game designer to the late Kim Jung Gi's artwork that received backlash:
Just days afterward, a former French game developer, known online as 5you, fed Jung Gi’s work into an AI model. He shared the model on Twitter as an homage to the artist, allowing any user to create Jung Gi-style art with a simple text prompt. The artworks showed dystopian battlefields and bustling food markets — eerily accurate in style, and, apart from some telltale warping, as detailed as Jung Gi’s own creations.

The response was pure disdain. “Kim Jung Gi left us less than [a week ago] and AI bros are already ‘replicating’ his style and demanding credit. Vultures and spineless, untalented losers,” read one viral post from the comic-book writer Dave Scheidt on Twitter. “Artists are not just a ‘style.’ They’re not a product. They’re a breathing, experiencing person,” read another from cartoonist Kori Michele Handwerker.

Far from a tribute, many saw the AI generator as a theft of Jung Gi’s body of work. 5you told Rest of World that he has received death threats from Jung Gi loyalists and illustrators, and asked to be referred to by his online pseudonym for safety.
This is very serious if it's factual, yet can't be shocking in an age where social media's been exploited for doxxing. The article alleges Asian fans were behind this, but it's also possible people from outside the Far East were too, and in the end, what matters is that making death threats is extremely offensive behavior that can't be overlooked. Now that Elon Musk's bought out Twitter, we must hope his staff will see to it this kind of insanity isn't allowed to dwell on their site.

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