Artists are moving against art obtained through Artificial Intelligence (AI), on the ArtStation social network. This platform, owned by Epic Games, has been widely criticized for being flooded by virtual art. This kind of social network makes it possible for gaming, cinema, media and entertainment artists to connect. In addition, there is the possibility of exhibiting their work portfolios. In recent days, a sign has been appearing above the word AI with the legend “NO AI GENERATED IMAGES”.
Last week, protests began against the platform for allowing AI-generated images to appear on the site’s homepage. Many artists feel that juxtaposing their work with AI-generated images is demeaning. In addition, from the users’ point of view, the time and skill they dedicate to their art is undermined. Artists do not stop criticizing, harshly, the tools to boost artificial intelligence. Particularly, being extracted from the web after being “designed” by humans. In this way, they are effectively intermingled or even copied without any attribution.
ArtStation as a focus of criticism
Nicholas Kole was the one who first promoted the protest, which was reported on by Kotaku. The illustrator’s movement was accompanied by the publications of costume designer Imogen Chayes. The initial plaque, which appeared on the platform, was designed by illustrator Alexander Nanitchkov. Kole told Motherboard that “seeing that made me feel a little bit of hope and solidarity”. The artist made it clear that “I decided to publish the same miniature in solidarity and see if I could keep it trending.”
“I let Twitter know what was going on and invited anyone who felt the same way about the issue to join,” Kole continued. To this he added that they intended to “see if we could get ArtStation to respond with a policy that really serves and considers their user base of skilled artisans.” Finally, the artist sentenced that:
“After that, everything was organic: the artistic community is a powder keg of passion for our craft and there is a natural growing consensus against AI.”
Searching for new rules
Faced with the wave of protests, ArtStation raised the publication of an FAQ about AI on the platform. It advocated the inclusion of artificially generated works on the site. The company stated that its “content guidelines do not prohibit the use of AI in the artwork publishing process.” However, they stated that “user portfolios should only feature artwork that they create, and we encourage users to be transparent in the process”.
A spokesperson for Epic, ArtStation’s parent company, told Motherboard that there were no deals with companies involved in artificial intelligence. Since, the artists’ belief is that the firm arranged for these companies to extract content from that platform. Frequently asked questions make it possible to recognize where there may be “infringements of the rights” of users.