Horror mangaka Junji Ito is known for writing manga involving people’s fears. And in an interview with the Japanese site 4Gamer, he revealed one of his fears: that AI will replace artists.
He shuddered at the thought of future manga being made by AI instead of people. And he’s concerned that even though AI can’t think of anything with originality, it could make artwork better than his.
During the interview, he talked about putting fears into his work.
“Fundamentally, I don’t think people’s fears have changed that much over time,” he said, according to a translation provided by Kotaku. “On the other hand, I always have the desire to create something new and scary. It’s like something that you didn’t think you were afraid of before suddenly becomes scary. I once drew a manga called Uzumaki. The swirl pattern that exists naturally and fear are connected, and the swirl pattern that was casually seen until then becomes scary. In this way, I would like to create a story in which the unexpected becomes frightening before AI.”
He also thinks people would prefer art from humans as opposed to art from AI.
“Unlike the old days, there is a word ‘hitokowa’ [‘unmasking’],” he remarked. “In the sense that people are afraid of the psychopathic side of humans, I feel that this tendency is stronger than it used to be. However, it does not categorize or verbalize fear, so there are things I do not understand well. If I can analyze those parts, I can incorporate those tendencies into my work and create something that sells.”
Other people working within the manga world, including translators and letterers, have also expressed their concerns of being replaced by AI. And a few years ago, Hayao Miyazaki commented that using AI for art “is an insult to life itself.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.