Artists are making a statement against AI art

No to AI art
The No to AI art image you see popping up everywhere

AI is hot. Burning hot. Many people are attracted to it and as it becomes more and more accessible more people start to generate images with it. Among those people are bloggers, marketeers and (wannabe) artists. However, there is a big downside to AI-generated art and that is that it is incredibly easy to copy an original artist’s style with it. For example, if you want to generate an image in Van Gogh style, no problem. Do you want something in Da Vinci style, you’ve got it. Not too much harm in that, right? But imagine that you are a living artist and you earn your living with it? What if someone could create a work of art in the style of a living artist. Exactly, it harms those artists, a lot.

Artists are expressing themselves on social media with hashtags like:
#notoaiart, #artbyhumans and #notoaigeneratedimages

What is the controverse with AI art?

Artstation is a massive platform for artists. Currently if you visit their trending images page, you will see hundreds of images saying “AI – No to AI generated images”. The images are posted by the artists who want Artstation to block AI generated art on the platform. Many artists on Artstation say they will leave the platform if no action is taken to ban AI art.

no to ai artstation
no to ai artstation

Some of the statements of artists:

Soufiane Idrassi: “AI is literally stealing from artists and then these losers will come write a few words and call themself artists”

Grace Liu: ” It’s weird but I’ll always feel grateful for the help and the good times, even though I feel pretty disgusted about the complicit silence against its core community facing a major existential crisis.”

DOFRESH: “Hey Artstation, aren’t you supposed to display art and support artists ? Then why are these AI things allowed on your website ?”

Anna Podedworna: Artstation is a portfolio website, it’s no place for AI generated images.

Examples of stolen art by AI

Mageonduty recently posted these examples.

Statement from Steven Zapata Art on AI art

In this video Steven explains step by step what the problems with AI art currently are.

Statement from Loish on AI art

Popular artist Loish (Lois van Baarle), a digital artist from the Netherlands and known from here recognizable style and the The Art of Loish and The Sketchbook of Loish. Yesterday she posted a statement on her Facebook page. She supports the protest against AI art wholeheartedly, she explains “Because my artwork is included in the datasets used to train these image generators without my consent. I get zero compensation for the use of my art, even though these image generators cost money to use, and are a commercial product.”.

Loish continues “Musicians are not being treated the same way. Stability has a music generator that only uses royalty free music in their dataset. Their words: “Because diffusion models are prone to memorization and overfitting, releasing a model trained on copyrighted data could potentially result in legal issues.” Why is the work of visual artists being treated differently?”. She explains there is a difference in artists seeking inspiration and artists using AI to create inspired-on images “Those two are not the same. My art is literally being fed into these generators through the datasets, and spat back out of a program that has no inherent sense of what is respectful to artists. As long as my art is literally integrated into the system used to create the images, it is commercial use of my art without my consent.”. She won’t support AI art until “there is an ethically sourced database that compensates artists for the use of their images, I am against AI art. I also think platforms should do everything they can to prevent scraping of their content for these databases.”. She ends with “Artists, speak out against this predatory practice! Our art should not be exploited without our consent, and we deserve to be compensated when our art is exploited for commercial use”. Finally she calls on artists to speak out against AI generated art until there is a form of compensation.

Statement from Amber Murray on AI art

Also artist Amber Murray gets hit by AI art.

Statement from Kelly McKernan on AI art

AI art has a big impact on Kelly McKernan, a talented artist who creates beautiful vibrant and artistic works. In a Facebook post a few days ago she writes that she was one of the 400 artists that were used to train the AI of Stable Diffusion. She says “At first it was exciting and surreal, now it’s nauseating and devaluing”.

She continues “I’ve since discovered nearly all of my artwork shared online since 2010 through I’ve been shown my own art regurgitated into “new” artwork (all I see is uncanny valley, tbh). I’m credited along with the legendary @yoshitaka_amano on the Wikipedia page for AI art as a “style prompt.” I’m getting tagged in image prompts and met with indignation when I request my name removed. And now many feel comfortable profiting from these images with others happy to pay! wtf y’all??”.

Like other artists, she feels it is unethical and that it feels violating. She’s also worried about her feature and that of creativity “I’m incredibly anxious for the future of my career, more than ever before. Further, I’m concerned for the future of human creativity.”

She also calls on artists to speak out “Please don’t support the unethical use of AI image generators while thousands of artists are infringed upon. Demand better, and please keep speaking out! If artists can’t defend the use of their names and artwork, what have we got left?”.

However, she does think AI image generation is a thrilling development, but that artists should be compensated and have the choice to opt-in the AI learning models.


No to AI - artstation protest
No to AI, round 3, Artstation protest

Today (December 17th 2022) Artstation announced in an e-mail to its users to change the Terms of Service to “reflect new features added to ArtStation as it relates to the use of AI software in the creation of artwork posted on the platform”.

First, Artstation is introducing the “NoAI” tag. If you tag your project using this tag, then your project will be assigned an HTML meta tag. This “NoAI” tag let’s AI system know that you don’t allow them to use your project by AI systems.

Second, they have updated the Terms of Service to “to reflect that it is prohibited to collect, aggregate, mine, scrape, or otherwise use any content uploaded to ArtStation for the purposes of testing, inputting, or integrating such content with AI or other algorithmic methods where any content has been tagged, labeled, or otherwise marked “NoAI”.”.

Artstation states “One of the things is that “ArtStation’s content guidelines do not prohibit the use of AI in the process of artwork being posted.”, which means that both AI generated art and hand-drawn art can be posted”. They believe that “The works on your portfolio should be work that you created and we encourage you to be transparent in the process”. They ask the users to be transparent about the creation process, but there aren’t any checks on whether posted projects are (partially) AI generated or not.

You can read a FAQ about the changes here.

However, it doesn’t seem like this is enough for the users of Artstation as “Round 3” of protest has already started on the platform.

Nicholas Kole writes “those adjustments are inadequate and insulting. They assume that all our work should be “opted in” for AI scraping by default, but I don’t consent that the theft of our work should be the default setting. Ai image generators are already trained on stolen data made up of our intellectual property and artstation has done nothing, and intends to stay doing nothing about it. The algorithms know our names, are trained on every piece in our portfolios, and could not function the way they do if they were not built on our labor- which they stole indiscriminately.”

Cinanr writes “All art should be uploaded as NoAi by default, across the web, always and the only images available for its training use should be voluntarily opted in. Otherwise it’s theft-as-default.”

Finally, Sara Armentano states “Art without soul, without heart is not art anymore”.

Most people don’t want the opt-out to be optional, they want to be opt-out by default.

What do you think about AI art?

What do you think about AI generated art? We recently posted an article about how to create art with an AI art generator which you can read if you would like more or like to know where to try (for free) what it is and what it can do.

Last update: 17-12-2022

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