Artists rebel against AI Art generation with mass online protest

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The art community has rallied against AI art generation products such as Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. As platforms such as ArtStation begin the allow the spread of AI-generated artworks, the art community is fighting back in the only ways it really can.

ArtStation is one of the most prominent websites for real-life artists. Prominent workers in the games, movie and illustration industries use the website to host their portfolios.

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As it turns out, a lot of artwork from ArtStation has been taken without permission to fuel AI art generators. Services such as Stable Diffusion take these images, add prompts and use these images to create an AI model. This means that entire art styles of established working artists can be ripped and recreated with AI.

In response to this, ArtStation users have started to overtake the platform with an anti-AI logo. Across ArtStation and more, the logo has flooded a litany of art-focused websites including DeviantArt and more.

Across social media, the art community has handed together to fight against the spread of AI art theft. Across all of these platforms, thousands upon thousands of instances of the anti-AI logo can be seen, making waves across every major art platform.

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While not effective yet, artists are hoping that auto-scraping AIs will end up incorporating this logo into their neural nets. This would result in artworks generated by AI becoming twisted with the logo. However, that has yet to happen.

Following the mass protest, ArtStation responded to users. The website revealed that it will not prohibit the use of AI tools from assisting with art. However, any artwork on a user’s portfolio should only consist of artwork that they create.

The website revealed that its scared of becoming a “gatekeeper” against those that use AI. Furthermore, it does not wish to “stifle AI” research and commercialisation.

At the time of writing, ArtStation users have not stopped their protest. In fact, after the website’s statement, even more are joining in as the website refuses to listen to its devout, hard-working community.

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In a follow-up, the website did reveal a new feature to combat AI, although it’s far from perfect. ArtStation introduced a “NoAI” tag for users to mark their posts that will stop it from being included in specific AI programs. However, there’s no way of knowing if this will actually help at all. In fact, knowing certain AI crowds, they will specifically target those with “NoAI” tags.