Scroll through Etsy, and you’ll find plenty of AI (artificial intelligence) generated Tarot decks. Some of them are beautiful. While there is nothing wrong with using AI to create, a “designer” recently took this a step further.
They scanned images of a published deck from a well-known Tarot artist through AI and are now running a Kickstarter campaign to sell their “creation.” This is nothing more than intellectual property theft, or if I’m being generous, a lazy way to profit off someone else’s hard work. No matter how they try to spin it, it’s unethical.
While many think AI might open up possibilities for creativity, situations like this point to problems that can arise when it’s in the wrong hands. Greedy types are sure to find plenty of ways to profit at the expense of others – without doing actual work that requires skill.
The artists who make Tarot decks are trained, and they take their craft seriously. Many of these artists are already dealing with pirated copies of their work. Now, they must contend with strangers running their art through AI and promoting it as “their” creation. Not only are these artists’ livelihoods at risk but also, an unsuspecting public may not be aware they are purchasing stolen content (you know, some people will buy these Frankenstein decks).
Artists deserve to be paid well. They deserve to have their work respected. We cannot and should not support these AI rip-offs and pirated decks. If we do, the market will continue to be flooded by amateurs who don’t give a shit about the craftsmanship needed to produce the beautiful art that inspires Tarot readers.
Writers also need to be concerned. We can be replaced by this technology, even though it will never land the same as writing by real humans. Part of the reason the Writers Guild of America is striking is due to this issue.
There are other things to keep in mind about the issues with AI in the metaphysical realm. For example, you can get an AI astrology or Tarot reading. Convenient? Yes. AI can gather information from various sources and perhaps deliver a decent reading. But the human touch is missing. While a computer can find all the data, it’s not intuitive. Frankly, I don’t want that. I prefer paying an actual human a living wage and receiving a reading that comes from experience, not data mining.
This also leaves open the possibility of people who don’t take time to hone their Tarot or astrology skills to hastily set up a site and use AI to create readings because they assume this work is “easy money.” (If you’re intuitive, you’ll quickly pick up on the “off” energy of these readings). Suppose someone like that manages to create a slick social media presence. In that case, suddenly, they’re the go-to “expert,” even though they have zero experience.
I’ve already come across these types who are more concerned with their brand instead of honing their craft. Ask them simple tarot or astrology questions; they’re like a deer in the headlights. They don’t know because they are intellectually lazy, and their goal is to be an “influencer,” not a reader. There are many out there, but you have to look beyond the glossy graphics and ask the right questions to see if they know what they purport to talk about.
So what can we do?
:: Be leery of AI. I am no Luddite – I love technology. But we should all be aware of how artificial intelligence can be problematic and speak up.
:: Support artists, publishers, writers, tarot readers, and astrologers. Buy their work.
:: Do NOT support folks who steal tarot art and run it through AI.
:: If you’re throwing down cash for a reading, make sure you vet your reader thoroughly. Find out how long they’ve been reading and where they learned, and ask some basic questions. If you don’t get a good feeling or if they are unwilling to share info, take a pass. If you get a reading that seems computer-generated from a “live” person, ask how they created the reading. What’s their source? Don’t be afraid to inquire. You deserve to know if they are doing the work or relying on AI.
:: Do not purchase pirated decks on Temu or any of those places. (Here’s a video and two posts telling you how to spot a fake.)
We may have to live with AI in our world, but we don’t need to let it destroy the hard work of the artists, writers, and readers who have dedicated their lives to this work.
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October 7, 2023: Tarot for Mediumship. Join me at the Boston Tea Room in Ferndale, Michigan, and learn how to use Tarot to receive messages from the dearly departed.
October 7, 2023: Ethics and Responsibilities for Professional Tarot Readers and Astrologers. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to deliver ethical, responsible readings. Where: Boston Tea Room in Ferndale, Michigan.
October 13, 2023: Book signing at Free Spirit Crystals in Butler, Wisconsin. 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Come on down, say hi, get a copy of The Cards You’re Dealt signed, and check out the cool crystals in stock.
October 21st, 2023: Book signing at Aum Shanti in New York, NY. 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Meet me in the Big Apple and get your book signed. Yay!
What I’m Grateful For:
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Soundtrack for 9/2/23
Gossip by Night Club
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2023
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