Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about art created by AI. The internet has quickly transitioned from utilizing amusing prompts to create meme-like DALL-E graphics to debating whether an AI’s “painting” could be compared favorably to human art in recent months. Whether out of true artistic interest or just curiosity, the uproar has only served to publicize AI-generated art. Online art communities are attempting to draw a line in the sand in the meantime.
Last year, the “ban hammer,” so to speak, started to break the ice. Artists were not allowed to share photos made with Artbreeder, a machine learning-based application that mixes two or more photographs, on the creative content sharing website Newgrounds. More recently, the website outright forbade AI-generated art, which encompassed Midjourney, Dall-E, CrAIyon, and other well-known AI algorithms.
The current version of Newgrounds’ wiki states, “We want to preserve the focus on art contributed by individuals and not have the Art Portal overwhelmed with computer-generated art.”
There are a few instances where Newgrounds does permit AI-related work, such as when an artist-drawn character’s background was created using AI. Even so, the usage of AI to construct a piece of the image must be explicitly disclosed by the artists. Additionally, the website forbids artists from copying AI-generated artwork and then claiming it as their own.
It’s possible that Newgrounds’ ban on AI-generated art inspired other online communities to impose similar limitations. A furry art forum called Fur Affinity rejected AI-related work last week on the basis that it “lacked artistic merit.” The website’s new restriction appears to be in line with the worries of many AI art reviewers who believe that AI-generated art inadvertently copies the creations of human artists.
A Fur Affinity moderator stated that “AI and machine learning apps (DALL-E, Craiyon) analyze other artists’ work to develop material.” “The content generated can use hundreds or even thousands of pieces of art from other creators to produce derivative visuals.”
A few days after Fur Affinity’s ban took effect, InkBlot, an artsy social media network, changed its content policies to forbid AI-generated art. Similar to Newgrounds, the website permits “AI utilized for visual reference or as a tool for inspiration,” but creators must give appropriate acknowledgment when using AI. Tracing of artwork created by AI is likewise prohibited.
Recently, supporters of AI-generated art have argued in favor of an AI-only art category. AI-generated images would be regarded separately, just as digital art incorporating Photoshop and Procreate is frequently distinguished from printmaking and oil painting. Others, on the other hand, maintain that referring to any AI-generated image as “artwork” dilutes the concept of what it means to make art, which traditionally entailed developing one’s technique and incorporating emotional significance.