Artists protest as ArtStation allows AI-generated art on site
Art Station is probably the most important site on the entire Internet for professional artists, especially those working in entertainment fields such as video games (most of ours Fine art links point there, for example). Therefore, the site’s continued permission of AI-generated images has become a point of contention with its users.
Technology, which is rotten to its core, is of particular interest to a community that makes a living from creating art, and as such should also be a concern to the companies responsible for owning and hosting that community. But from today, Art Station has no policy directly restricting the hosting or display of AI-generated images on the site, which has led to repeated instances where images made by computers, not humans, have risen to the top of ArtStations The “Explore” section, its most popular way to showcase artists’ work.
That is, understandably, pisses off a lot of people. In fact, over the past 24 hours, so many artists have become so outraged by the site’s permission of AI-generated images that they’ve started spamming their portfolios, with a protest sparked by illustrator Nicholas Kole and costume designer Imogen Chayes Resulted in ArtStations The front page looks like this at the time of writing:
It’s just the same picture, originally created by Alexander Nanitchkov and saying “No to AI generated images”, posted again and again by hundreds of artists:
These artists are pretty sad! The rapidly encroaching practice of AI-generated imagery is going to trash all kinds of websites, but allowing it on a site specifically designed to showcase the work of talented human artists is a particularly bad look.
“ArtStation’s content guidelines do not prohibit the use of AI tools in the process of creating artwork shared with the community,” a spokesperson for Epic Games, the owners of Art StationNarrator my city. “That said, Art Station is a portfolio platform designed to elevate and celebrate originality powered by a community of artists. Users’ portfolios should only contain artwork that they create, and we encourage users to be transparent in the process. Our content guidelines are here.”
While that’s an expected response given the prevalence of AI-generated images on the site, and the apparent lack of moderation involved in allowing them to stay up, Epic also says that they “do not make any agreements with companies that allow them to scrape content on our website. If AI companies do this without permission and beyond purely academic use (where copyright fair use may apply), they may be infringing the rights of ArtStations creators.”
Epic also says that they are “in the process of giving ArtStation users more control over how their work is shared and tagged, and we will provide more details in the near future.”
While the veiled legal threat might be a sign that Epic isn’t quite as cool with the practice as it seems, and word that user controls are coming in the “near future” is promising to an extent, it doesn’t change that fact. to Art Station users’ portfolios have already been infused with these AIs, and that it will do nothing in the short term to prevent AI-generated images from infiltrating a site that is supposed to showcase the best of human art.
For now, the best way is to detect AI-generated images and ignore it (or better yet, to report it) is the same as it has been for the past few months: Always ask to see the fingers.