AI generated images

Artists protest when AI-generated images are shown on ArtStation

Few defences are in place against the largest portfolio site in the sector, but that may change.

A community that makes a living by making art is particularly concerned about the technology, which is fundamentally flawed. As such, the businesses in charge of owning and hosting that community ought to share this concern.

But at the moment, ArtStation does not have any guidelines that specifically forbid hosting or displaying AI-generated imagery on the service. . As a result, ArtStation’s “Explore” section, which is its most popular way of presenting the work of artists, has seen countless occasions when artworks made by computers rather than humans have risen to the top.
Unsurprisingly, that is making a lot of people angry.

In fact, during the past 24 hours, a large number of artists have started spamming their portfolios because they are so upset that the site allows AI-generated imagery.

Due to a protest started by costume designer Imogen Chayes and cartoonist Nicholas Kole, ArtStation’s top page currently reads as follows:

Hundreds of artists have repeatedly reproduced the exact same image, which was first developed by Alexander Nanitchkov and declares “No To AI Generated Images”:

These artists have good reason to be angry!
All websites will suffer from the rapidly advancing practise of AI-generated images, but it is extremely unprofessional to permit it on a website created to highlight the work of outstanding human artists.

A spokeswoman for Epic Games, the company that owns ArtStation, said the following platform’s content guidelines “do not forbid the use of AI technologies in the process of creating artwork that is shared with the community.”
“Having said that, ArtStation is a portfolio site designed to honour originality and backed by an artist community.

Only original artwork created by the user should be included in their portfolios, and we encourage users to be open about their creative processes.
Here are our content guidelines.

However, Epic also state that they “do not make any agreements with companies allowing them to scrape content on our website.” While that is also an expected response given the The current ubiquity of AI-generated pictures on the website and the seeming lack of moderation involved in permitting them to remain online.

If AI businesses are using this material outside of academic settings (where copyright fair use may apply), they may be violating the producers’ rights of ArtStation.

Additionally, Epic states that they will “offer more information in the near future” and that they are “in the process of giving ArtStation users more control over how their work is shared and labelled.”

However, the fact that ArtStation users’ portfolios have already been fed to these AIs and that nothing will be done to stop AI-generated images from encroaching on a website that is supposed to be showcasing the best in human art in the short term despite the veiled legal threat being a possible indication that Epic aren’t quite as cool with the practice as it seems.

For the time being, asking to see the fingers is still the easiest approach to spot AI-generated imagery and dismiss it (or, even better, report it).

Everybody has to be able to participate in a future that they want to live for. That’s what technology can do.

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