Jason Baca said jobs not just of models, but of art directors, photographers and designers are at risk
A retired romance novel cover model has slammed the emergence of AI technology as it threatens to decimate the industry and cost thousands of jobs.
Jason Baca, who racked up more than 540 covers in a lucrative decade-long career, said AI-generated art has been a ‘surprise’ to the raunchy book business, and it now has the potential to ‘wipe it out’.
‘I give it five years from now and there won’t be a need for a model, an art director, a photographer or even a cover designer,’ he said.
His comments come as the emergence of artificial intelligence, notably ChatGPT, has threatened numerous industries, from finance and research to art and advertising.
Jason Baca (pictured) appeared on more than 540 covers in a lucrative decade-long career
The raunchy cover model warned that AI will threaten the entire publishing industry
In the world of raunchy romance novels, the cover star can dictate how a reader connects to the book and how well it flies off the shelves.
But Baca maintained that the varied behind-the-scenes roles that go into creating a tome are all at risk as well – and once publishers embrace AI-generated art, there will be ‘no turning back to the traditional ways.’
‘No organizing a shoot a month in advance, no setting up a makeup artist or having art directors expressing their vision to the models, there would be none of that,’ he said.
‘Instead, it’ll be a guy working at the publishing house that knows how to use the right key words for the book he is creating a cover for.’
Baca got his start as a fitness model, but he said the breaks he earned early in his career could soon be eliminated for the next generation of stars.
‘The opportunities I had were abundant compared to what will happen once AI software takes hold and the word gets out,’ he said.
Baca warned that within five years, there ‘won’t be a need for a model, an art director, a photographer or even a cover designer’
The model stepped away from the industry in 2019 after a decade as one of its most in-demand stars
Artificial intelligence has already transformed the way many industries do business, with high-profile tech firms such as Meta introducing in their day-to-day business while simultaneously firing swathes of their workforce.
But its impact on publishing is just beginning, with Baca admitting ‘there were no rumblings whatsoever’ on the horizon.
‘Right now, it’s in its infant stages,’ he said.
‘You may see some covers for the self-published authors out there right now, but once the bigger publishers get a hold of things, I can see it being a challenge for any cover artist and anyone in the book cover department to stay employed there.’
Baca was a familiar face in the romantic book aisle for years, where he set the record for the most covers of any model at over 540, surpassing Italian heartthrob Fabio who had 462.
He decided to step away from modelling in 2019, but now fears the industry he once commanded will become obsolete.
The star told DailyMail.com that unless something is done to halt the expansion of AI, there will be ‘no turning back to the traditional ways’
Publishing house Tor was criticized for using this AI-generated cover last year
Last year, publishing house Tor came under fire after it used an AI-generated image for the cover of Christopher Paolini’s book Fractal Noise.
Viewers quickly realized the art had been created by artificial intelligence rather than professionals, in the most high-profile case yet of a publisher turning to the tech.
In a statement following the backlash, Tor apologized for the move and said it did not realize the art had been generated by AI, but decided to stick with the same design anyway.
But Baca said the emergence of AI is more dangerous than many may think – and fears his entire industry is at risk of being wiped out.
‘All the minds that would go into the makings of a cover, who knows what becomes of all of them?’ he said.
‘And yes, I do hope that AI will prove not to be a success and that the publishers will once again go back to the old-fashioned way of hiring a model, a photographer, an art director and a cover designer.’
GPT’s reaction to this article:
As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs. However, I can provide information on the article you shared. The article discusses the concerns of a retired romance novel cover model, Jason Baca, about the impact of AI technology on the publishing industry. Baca states that AI-generated art has the potential to wipe out the need for models, art directors, photographers, and cover designers. He warns that once publishers embrace AI-generated art, there will be no turning back to the traditional ways of creating book covers. The article also mentions the case of Tor publishing house using an AI-generated image for a book cover, which sparked controversy. Baca fears that the entire industry is at risk of being wiped out and hopes that publishers will go back to the old-fashioned way of creating book covers.