It seems that the backlash against AI-generated artwork is coming to a head. As reported by 80.lv, thousands of creators are demanding ArtStation remove AI content from their platform. For those unfamiliar with ArtStation, it’s a platform that allows artists to set up shop and sell their work to a global market. But it seems that creators on the platform are growing concerned with the influence of AI-generated art, and are asking for action. Many are changing their profile photos on the platform that shows the letters “AI” crossed out. The protest has garnered the attention of many within tech, including NVIDIA Creative Director Hexeract.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, HEXERACT opens up about his opinion of AI art and his work as a creative director. The very first tweet lays it out quite clearly. “Typing prompts and claiming to be an “AI artist” is not a valuable skill in a production environment. These types of abilities are not relevant in a professional setting.”. But he didn’t stop there. HEXERACT goes on to break down the difference between artists using machine learning tools to enhance work and those just using text prompts. Saying in part, “Real artists who may use machine learning as a tool have a deep understanding of the craft and can modify their work in various ways, such as changing poses, lighting, and backgrounds.”
He then turns to those just typing away at image generators, saying, “people who simply type prompts into ML image generators are limited to the output provided by the algorithm and do not have the technical knowledge to modify the artwork.” But it didn’t end there. He finished off the tweet with a zinger, saying so-called AI-artists “are not valuable in any way to a production environment.” For HEXERACT there was more to this than AI vs Artists. Like many have pointed out, there are real ethical concerns related to data sets using real art from artists without compensation or credit to train machine learning algorithms. “Real artists have NOT opted in to have their work stolen and used to train machine learning algorithms. This raises ethical and legal concerns.”
Since October, these same concerns have been circulating on Twitter. The thread below details how art from artists has been used to train machine learning algorithms, essentially – in their opinion – copying an artist’s original work without permission:
Before I go to bed, I wanted to say this. I love the art community deeply. When AI artists steal/co-opt art from us I don’t just see art, I see people, mentors and friends. I don’t expect you to understand. #artcommunity #aiart pic.twitter.com/5z77aqI3aK
— Jon Lam #CreateDontScrape (@JonLamArt) December 5, 2022
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro gave his opinion on the subject. It’s pretty clear that he has a preference for human-made pieces. Saying in part he would always seek out and enjoy art made by humans. You can see the clip below:
— Decider (@decider) December 9, 2022
What do you think of these questions? Are data sets using the uncredited work of artists unethical? Also, how do you believe responsible AI can create a foundation of understanding between the two communities?