Image ID 156373313 © via Miriam Doerr | Dreamstime.com
With the rising popularity of DALL-E and other artificial intelligence (AI) generators, creating visual works of art has never been easier. Simply enter a few keywords, and voilà, you’ve got yourself a masterpiece.
However, not all artists are in favor of such systems being used, with one in particular coming under fire after winning Colorado State Fair’s fine art competition using an AI-generated artwork.
Jason Allen, who goes by ‘Sincarnate’ on Discord, announced he had been awarded first place despite not having painted the piece himself, opting to use a software named Midjourney instead.
TL;DR — Someone entered an art competition with an AI-generated piece and won the first prize.
Yeah that’s pretty fucking shitty. pic.twitter.com/vjn1IdJcsL
— Genel Jumalon ✈️ ARTapalooza Cedar Falls (@GenelJumalon) August 30, 2022
There’s no doubt the final work—titled Théâtre D’opéra Spatial—is captivating, depicting renaissance-era figures facing the sun in a dreamy sci-fi-like landscape.
But instead of plaudits, Allen has been criticized by countless artists for spearheading “the death of artistry,” with the incident first coming to light via a viral tweet.
“TL;DR—Someone entered an art competition with an AI-generated piece and won the first prize. Yeah that’s pretty f***ing sh**ty,” wrote artist Genel Jumalon, expressing clear distaste for the matter.
This is the literal definition of “pressed a few buttons to make a digital art piece”
AI artwork is the ‘banana taped to the wall’ of the digital world now.
— 🎃 Saphire Shear🎃 (@SaphireShear) August 30, 2022
Angry replies quickly followed, with other art enthusiasts remarking that it didn’t “bode well for the ‘human vs AI’ illustration” debate and was “the exact same reason we don’t let robots participate in the Olympics.”
Twitter user OmniMorpho summed up the community’s displeasure, writing: “We’re watching the death of artistry unfold right before our eyes—if creative jobs aren’t safe from machines, then even high-skilled jobs are in danger of becoming obsolete. What will we have then?”
According to Vice, in response to the controversy, Allen said in the Midjourney Discord sever that his dissidents were “discrediting the human element” of his work, and that it was a “hypocritical” move.
I don’t see a problem with this. Not sure how this is that different from photography. Person spent weeks refining the input, and then combed through hundreds of options to arrive at the “best” ones. That requires subjective art experience. It’s not like the AI did it on its own.
— Ben Rhoades (@aetheredgefilm) August 30, 2022
To him, his input was the key to generating such a stunning painting, detailing that he had been “exploring a special prompt” by creating hundreds of images over the course of many weeks, and chose his top three to submit for the competition.
The digital artist told The New York Times he had submitted the entry by declaring the work was made using AI, and that he had won fairly without breaking any rules, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.
This content was originally published here.