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Home Culture A cartoonist accuses his publisher of creating a cover with artificial intelligence for his book and asks that they not buy it | Culture

A cartoonist accuses his publisher of creating a cover with artificial intelligence for his book and asks that they not buy it | Culture

by News Room
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The cover of the second edition of the book ‘Brief history of comics’, by Gerardo Vilches.

The war between artificial intelligence and illustrators does not give up. After the controversy with the cover of Joan of Arc of the Destino publishing house (Planeta group label) and that of the posters distributed by official entitiesnow the cartoonist Gerardo Vilches accuses the publisher Nowtilus of creating the cover for the reissue of his book Brief history of the comic with AI and asks them not to buy it. “Out of responsibility, I have to expose this and beg you not to buy this edition (…) I am very sorry for the situation, but I think it is the only way to raise awareness among publishers,” Vilches published on Wednesday on his X account (formerly Twitter). When consulted by EL PAÍS, Nowtilus flatly denies that the illustration was made with algorithms and states that it was “made by a designer who designed and assembled it using the usual analytical tools, Photoshop and so on.” A response similar to the one Planeta offered in its time.

The reissue of the book was published in May of last year with a different cover, but now the publisher has launched a new print run with the image that has upset the author. “I never saw that cover before it was published. They told me that they were going to release a new edition of my book, which is originally from 2014, and that was it,” the author assures this medium. As evidence, he has uploaded to X links to the images used on the cover already posted on the Pixabay platform, and in which the description specifies that they are generated by artificial intelligence. “All professional graphic retouching tools increasingly incorporate AI. But they do not generate images,” defends a Nowtilus source.

“My position on generative AI is clear and I have expressed it several times: it is based on the theft and unauthorized use of the work of true artists,” Vilches wrote on his social network. The publisher has responded that it has not received any complaints from either the author or the bookstores, but if the writer and illustrator were not satisfied with it, it was changed into “a reprint or when there is an opportunity.” “It surprises me a lot, it is the first news I have had. We never keep a book with a cover that its author does not like, there are a thousand other possibilities.” The cartoonist, for his part, states that he has not complained because he found out about the cover in recent days, that relations with the label “are bad” and that he “no longer has a remedy.”

Several authors have joined Vilches’ protests. “This degrades the book and causes a problem of author credibility,” comments on X David López, who constantly denounces facts related to artificial intelligence and the world of illustration. David Rubín, Teresa Valero, Kiko da Silva, Atilio Gambedotti and César Herce have also expressed their rejection.

The generation of images by algorithm is, without a doubt, the greatest challenge that illustrators have faced since the use of Photoshop became popular in the early 2000s. To coordinate responses and joint actions, the General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) has organized the congress Intellectual property and cultural industries in the face of generative artificial intelligence, which will take place on March 14 and 15 at the Casa de las Alhajas in Madrid. The Socialist Parliamentary Group also organized a similar day last Monday. On February 19, the Ministry of Culture published a guide to good practices with which it commits, among other things, not to award the National Awards to works made entirely with AI and to hire “preferably works protected by intellectual property rights created by people.” ” and that in no case have they used this technology “as a substitute for human performance.”

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