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Editor's Note

AI: Yay or Nay on One of Today’s Greatest Debates?

Two experts weigh the pros and cons of image generation technology.

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IT TOOK ME A long time to not be mad at AI. And, admittedly, I was uninformed. I was still reeling from the past decades of the social media explosion where everyone became an expert on everything. “Citizen journalism” took over and all you need is a keyboard and an opinion — true or not — to become the end-all keeper of knowledge on any topic imaginable. It cheapens my nearly 40-year career as a professional business-to-business journalist, where research, fact finding, and unbiased education are vitally important.

So when AI came along and was the new magic tool for writing kids’ school papers and new graduates’ resumés, I braced myself for yet another blow to the world of writing and educating through words. And now it is hitting the design world in image generation. There’s two sides to this: As professional artists, do you stick with the tried and true methods, or adopt this burgeoning technology? Or do you do a mixture of both?

To open what I know will be a controversial-but-needed discussion, two long-time experts challenged each other to a Point/Counterpoint head-to-head on the pros and cons of AI for image generation. Marshall Atkinson promotes the use of AI through Midjourney and interviews veteran print designers who have adopted the technology and are finding successes. While Andy MacDougall counters with an interview and his podcast (visit bigpicturemag.com) with world-renowned artist Jeral Tidwell, who still does impeccable work by hand and both are believers that AI and the plagiarism aspect of it is dangerous territory.

It’s fascinating to hear their views and I see the benefits of both sides. So my own jury’s still out and I’m eager to learn more. As the industry’s leading publication, I feel it’s our responsibility to open the conversation, no matter how controversial it might get. As we all embark on this together, let’s talk. I want to hear your thoughts.

Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. PSP’s who use UV printers have an opportunity to stretch into a growing corner of the home décor market through custom printed wallcoverings. (Dan McGowan)
  2. To remain successful, vehicle graphics providers must consider using up-to-date production equipment, ink sets, media, and installation techniques. (Daniel Valade)
  3. A Market Dominating Position (MDP) refers to the distinct place a company occupies in the minds of its target customers, setting it apart from competitors. (Mark Coudray)
  4. AI for image generation has both benefits and detriments for the printing industry. Two experts weigh in. (Marshall Atkinson, Andy MacDougall)
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