Pros and Cons of Using AI to Generate Images

Exploring the new world of AI influences is an interesting journey of ethics, creativity, and integrity.

As with all technology and tools invented to help us work better and more efficiently, each introduces various challenges and sometimes, ethical questions.

As an artist and illustrator working with clients to create images, I have conflicting thoughts about AI-generated images. However, I am fascinated by the different possibilities that AI offers as a practical choice for both myself and clients seeking visuals for social media and commercial use.

The two biggest issues I have encountered with AI generation come down to creating the best prompt, and often, the overkill in composing an image, such as the image to the right.

The prompt I gave was; “Please create an image of an anxious businesswoman in a meeting. She is chewing on the end of a pencil.” What I got was a woman chowing down on more than one pencil frantically … in a business meeting, creating odd glances from co-workers.

AI image of a woman eating pencils
AI image showing errors
An AI image of a young red-headed girl with glasses. Deformed hands in the air.
AI disaster with hand creation. This is from a character my granddaughter was attempting to create with the Harry Potter series of books in mind.

Okay, I have to admit, that I’ve gotten some good laughs out of the images that have been generated by my awkward prompts. I’ve also experienced the horror of gory mutants generated poorly by AI … especially when it comes to hands. 

I decided to ask AI itself, what the pros and cons were of using AI-generated images. My comments on each point will be in italics below each one.

What AI has to say about it ...

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized many industries, including the field of image generation. Using AI to create images comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of utilizing AI for image generation:


1. Efficiency

AI algorithms can generate images at a significantly faster rate than traditional methods. This increased speed not only saves time but also allows for the creation of a large volume of images in a short period.

In theory, this is true. Experience has shown me that only the perfect prompt will get you what you need in a fast manner. Most likely, you can waste an enormous amount of time struggling to articulate to a machine that is not intuitive, what it is that you are trying to illustrate. There is no discussing it. You get what you get, as you eat up your credits in an attempt to save money and time. Sometimes you’ll get lucky. 

2. Variety

One of the key strengths of AI-generated images is the ability to produce a wide range of diverse images. AI algorithms can cater to different styles, themes, and preferences, providing a versatile array of visual content.

This is true … and not true. Yes, you’ll get a wide range of styles, but in the end, they all still have an AI signature to them. The more familiar with this technology that we become, the easier it will be to spot it. That is, for now. This technology is constantly improving and learning from our mistakes. 

3. Accuracy

AI-generated images can exhibit a level of detail and precision that often surpasses human capabilities. The algorithms can create highly realistic and intricate images with consistent quality, enhancing the overall visual output.

Not true. I’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing high-quality images with consistency. Again, this has a great deal to do with the user. Knowing what engines to choose, how to write the perfect prompt, etc. takes time to learn and influences your ability to produce excellent images.

4. Automation

The automation capabilities of AI in image generation streamline the process and reduce the need for manual intervention. By automating repetitive tasks, AI frees up human resources to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of image creation.

This is true in many ways. As an artist, I know the frustration and agony that is experienced between myself and a client who is struggling with communicating what they are seeing in their mind, and my ability to interpret it to perfection. This is something AI and I have in common. It is just the nature of communication and interpretation, isn’t it?


1. Lack of Creativity

While AI excels in generating images based on existing patterns and data, it may lack the creative touch and emotional depth that human artists bring to their work. AI-generated images may sometimes feel sterile or lacking in originality.

This is true. However, I’ve been seriously impressed by some of the AI-generated images I’ve seen. It can be difficult to determine if it’s a photo or AI. Most often, I just look at the hands.  

2. Ethical Concerns

The use of AI in image generation raises ethical considerations regarding ownership and authenticity. Issues such as copyright infringement, plagiarism, and misrepresentation can arise, leading to legal and moral dilemmas.

This is true.

3. Quality Control

Ensuring the quality and authenticity of AI-generated images can be challenging. Errors, biases, and inaccuracies may creep into the generated content, requiring careful oversight and validation to maintain standards.

This is true.

4. Dependency

Over-reliance on AI for image generation may limit human creativity and innovation in the long run. Relying too heavily on AI algorithms could stifle artistic expression and originality, hindering the development of new visual concepts.

This is true. It’s also a door for therapeutic counseling for those who wish to understand why they are experiencing serious blocks in their creativity. It’s not you … it’s a type of hypnosis that technology is drugging the masses with.

While AI has significantly advanced image generation capabilities, it is essential to consider the trade-offs involved. Balancing the efficiency and precision of AI with human creativity and oversight is key to harnessing the full potential of this technology in visual content creation.

Would I recommend using AI generated images?

Believe it or not, I’d say YES! Understand what you are getting into and what you can expect. Play, experiment … and celebrate the successes you’ll enjoy. Laugh at the disasters. (it’s good practice)

By doing so, you’ll learn to appreciate not just this technology, but every artist you have ever encountered. It’s not as easy as you might think, and understanding what goes into generating a unique image that adequately illustrates the message you want to send will help you to appreciate the investment you make when you hire someone like myself to create your book illustrations, cartoons, or other artwork.

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