The art platform ArtStation removes from its homepage images that protest against AI-generated art, claiming that the content violates its Terms of Service, reports The Verge. Members of the ArtStation community began protesting after AI-generated artwork began appearing on the platform in early December. Protesters are concerned that such images are derived from the work of human artists and are often used without attribution or compensation.
It’s unclear exactly which of the platform’s Terms of Service are violated by the anti-AI images, but the document gives ArtStation broad powers to remove content for a variety of reasons, including if users “end spam or other bulk messages.”
ArtStation (which was acquired by Epic Games in 2021) is considered the leading online portfolio and community for artists working in video games, film, and comics. At the beginning of this year, images generated by Stable Diffusion and Midjourney began appearing more frequently on the platform. After that, many artists asked Artstation to ban them, but the platform refused, leading to a protest that culminated in the publication of “No AI Art” images.
The situation came to a head when ArtStation announced that artists would have to independently enable a new “NoAI Tagging” feature that would prevent AI from using their artwork for training. Opponents of this decision noted that such a feature should be enabled on the platform by default.
Many artists consider AI tools for creating art to be unethical, as they are often trained on datasets that contain artworks found on the internet without the permission of their creators – in some cases even traces of a watermark or signature can be seen.
artstation's marketplace now teeming with reference packs made with AI. packs that are being sold. pic.twitter.com/VJQNtECJjh
— Luke Plunkett (@LukePlunkett) December 16, 2022
Critics point out that while real artists take years to hone their craft, sellers of AI-generated images create boilerplate works based on someone else’s ideas. Given that ArtStation is used by creative people to showcase portfolios and find paid work, it’s no surprise that the community is opposed to accepting AI art on the platform.