Online artist community DeviantArt has announced the launch of DreamUp – an AI-based text-to-image conversion service that uses Stable Diffusion technology. At the same time, DeviantArt added an option that allows artists to opt out of AI training based on their images, but by default this option is turned off and all of the artists’ images go to the AI, which outraged many community members, writes ArsTechnica.

DreamUp creates new AI images based on text clues. Thanks to its roots in Stable Diffusion, DreamUp learned how to generate images by analyzing hundreds of millions of images scraped from sites like DeviantArt and collected into LAION databases without the permission of the artists that some DeviantArt members considered a problem.

Earlier this year, Stable Diffusion sparked a serious debate among artists questioning the ethics of AI-generated artwork. Some art communities have taken a hard line against any AI-generated imagery, banning it entirely.

Perhaps anticipating the backlash, DeviantArt is taking the first steps to appease artists who may be unhappy about their work being used to train AI image generators. Website implemented a “noai” flag that artists can set in their image settings to opt out of being included in the datasets. However, whether third-party systems will take it into account is not clear yet. DeviantArt notes that they have given consent to use images from the site to train third-party AI models (such as Stable Diffusion).

DeviantArt has disappointed artists with the new DreamUp artificial intelligence generator
DreamUp testing with “Abraham Lincoln as a cowboy” and “vintage computer, 35mm photo”.

DeviantArt members get five free generated images to try DreamUp and can also purchase more, subscribing to CORE’s various price plans, which range from $3.95 to $14.95 per month.

Additionally, it is possible to use Stable Diffusion locally for free by installing the package from GitHub or by downloading an app Draw Things on iPhone.

In response to criticism, DeviantArt announced an update to its AI dataset policy, saying that in response to community feedback, all images posted on DeviantArt will be “automatically flagged as NOT permitted for use in AI datasets.” However, artists who wish to opt out of DeviantArt’s AI training for DreamUp must still complete a separate form to be validated manually.