Picsart, a developer of photo and video editing apps, has launched an iOS app called SketchAI, which transforms photos and drawings into digital art. The app allows users to sketch a picture or upload an existing image and apply a range of artistic styles to it. The app includes pre-selected styles such as ink drawing, pencil sketch, and "Da Vinci" and "Van Gogh" inspired styles. Users can also add a prompt to describe the image they want to generate to enhance the results. While the app is free to use, a subscription is required to access unlimited generations, costing between $\(5.99 per week to \)17.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
SketchAI is one of Picsart’s AI tools, which also includes AI Avatar, which creates custom AI-generated profile pics from selfies. The launch of the app has sparked controversy among users and the artistic community, as art-generating AI apps are perceived to threaten the artistic integrity of platforms such as ArtStation, which recently began allowing AI art for the first time. The system behind SketchAI, Stable Diffusion, has faced criticism for reproducing biases and creating offensive content such as deepfakes. Picsart has fine-tuned and optimized Stable Diffusion for SketchAI and put filters in place to prevent the creation of certain types of "unsafe" art. However, the company has not established a way for artists to opt out of having their styles used in the app.