A designer has sparked controversy after his artificial AI-generated piece of art won the top position at a competition in the US, with critics calling the win a threat to human artists everywhere.
Jason M Allen and his Theatre D’opera Spatial image beat more than a dozen other digitally manipulated/digital art photography entries at the Colorado State Fair.
The winning artwork was created using the Midjourney, an AI tool that turns lines of text into realistic graphics. The award included a $300 cash prize. AI tools for generating images have been around for years, with companies such as OpenAI and Google being notable investors in these text-to-image systems.
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However, several individuals have taken to social media to express their anger over the award. They argued that it took away from the hard work invested by humans to create unique art physically. One social media user said on Twitter that Midjourney could be fun, but it should never be used to cheat on other artists.
Some expressed concern that it could endanger their livelihoods. In contrast, others said AI-generated art should have its separate category in the future, something Allen also suggested as a way to avoid any future controversy in an interview with the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper.
The two judges for the category were unaware that Allen’s submission was AI-generated, but they also said that it would not have changed their decision as they were looking for how the art tells a story and invokes spirit.