Dozens of Artstation Creators Have United in Protest Against AI-generated Image: For artists who make their living in the entertainment industry, including those who work on video games, ArtStation is arguably the most essential website ever created.
That’s where most of the links in our Fine Arts section lead. So it’s no surprise that the site’s continuous acceptance of AI-generated pictures has sparked debate among its audience.
As a group whose members make their living as artists, this rotten-to-the-core technology is of great concern to them; thus, the firms which own and host them should be concerned as well.
ArtStation’s “Explore” section is the platform’s most popular way of showcasing artists’ work, but as of right now, the platform has no policy directly restricting the hosting or display of AI-generated imagery on the site.
This has led to repeated instances in which images made by computers, rather than humans, have risen to the top of the Explore section.
Of course, that has angered a lot of people. Indeed, in the last 24 hours, a large number of artists have gotten so outraged by the site’s acceptance of AI-generated images that they have begun spamming their portfolios.
At the time of this writing, the top page of ArtStation looked like this due to a protest started by illustrator Nicholas Kole and costume designer Imogen Chayes.
Many artists have copied and pasted the same picture, which was first made by Alexander Nanitchkov and reads “No To AI-Generated Images.”
I can’t say I blame these creators for being angry. Allowing AI-generated graphics on a website meant to highlight the work of outstanding human artists is a terrible look in an industry where the technique is fast expanding.
Dozens of ArtStation creators have united in protest against AI-generated images and demanded that ArtStation removes AI content from the website.
— 80 LEVEL (@80Level) December 14, 2022
“ArtStation’s content guidelines do not prohibit the use of AI tools in the process of creating artwork that is shared with the community,” according to a statement sent to Kotaku by a representative of ArtStation’s owners, Epic Games. “That said, ArtStation is a portfolio platform designed to elevate and celebrate originality powered by a community of artists. Users’ portfolios should only feature artwork that they create, and we encourage users to be transparent in the process. Our content guidelines are here.”
Given the abundance of AI-generated images on the site at the moment and the apparent lack of oversight involved in allowing them to stay up, that attitude is understandable; nevertheless, Epic also state they have no plans to remove them.“do not make any agreements with companies allowing them to scrape content on our website. If AI companies are doing this without permission and beyond purely academic use (where copyright fair use may apply), they may be infringing the rights of ArtStation creators.”
Epic further claims they are“in the process of giving ArtStation users more control over how their work is shared and labeled, and we will provide more details in the near future.”
The fact that ArtStation users’ portfolios have already been fed to these AIs and that nothing will be done in the short term to stop AI-generated images from encroaching on a website that is supposed to showcase the best in human art is disappointing, but the veiled legal threat is perhaps 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.
As has been true for the previous few months, asking to see the fingers is now the best approach to recognize AI-generated graphics and ignore them (or, ideally, report them).