Center for the Arts is probably the most important site on the entire Internet for professional artists, especially those working in entertainment fields like video games (most of us Fine Art links, for example, point there) That’s why the website’s continuing to allow AI-generated images has been a point of contention with its users.
Technology, which is rotten to its core, cares deeply about the community that makes a living creating art, and therefore should be concerned for the companies involved in owning and hosting that community. But until today, Center for the Arts does not have a policy that directly prevents the hosting or display of AI-generated images on the site, which has led to frequent instances where computer-generated images, and not humans, have floated over of ArtStation The “Discover” section, its most popular ways to showcase artists’ work.
That is, understandably, to offend many people. Indeed, over the past 24 hours many artists have been so outraged by the site’s allowance of AI-generated images that they’ve started spamming their portfolios, with protests fueled by painter Nicholas Kole and costume designer Imogen Chayes cause of ArtStation the front page looks like this at the time of writing:
It’s just the same picture, the original designed by Alexander Nanitchkov and saying “No to AI Generated Images”, posted again and again by hundreds of artists:
These artists have the right to be angry! The rapid intrusion exercise of AI-generated images will give us all kinds of websites, but allowing it on a website designed specifically to showcase the work of talented human artists is a very bad look.
“ArtStation’s content guidelines do not prohibit the use of AI tools in the process of creating artwork that is shared with the community”, a spokesperson for Epic Games, owners of Center for the Artshe says Box. “That said, Center for the Arts is a portfolio platform designed to elevate and celebrate originality driven by a community of artists. User portfolios should only feature the artwork 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 currently on the site, and the lack of moderation involved in allowing them to stay up, Epic also says they “do not make any agreements with companies that allow them to delete content from our site. If AI companies do this without permission and other than professional use (where copyright use may apply), may be infringing the rights of ArtStation’s creators.”
Epic also says 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 that veiled legal threat is perhaps a sign that Epic isn’t quite as good with practice as it seems, and word that user controls are coming in the “near future” is somewhat promising, that doesn’t change the truth. that Center for the Arts User portfolios have already been fed to these AIs, and that will do nothing in the short term to prevent AI-generated images from invading a site that should showcase the best in human art.
Currently, the best way to detect AI-generated imagery and ignore it (or better yet, to report) is the same way it has been for the past few months: always ask to see the fingers.