The online portfolio platform ArtStation (opens in a new tab) announced that users will be able to opt-in to a feature that purports to exclude their work from algorithmic art generation tools—”AI” platforms like DAL-E that aggregate large libraries of images in order to respond to human prompts with “new” creations. The sourcing of these images has become a controversial topic, with artists claiming that their work is taken and reworked without credit or consent.
ArtStation’s announcement came after widespread user protest (opens in a new tab) of the Epic-owned site that left its trending page flooded with an anti-AI logo designed by illustrator Alexander Nanitchkov (opens in a new tab).
ArtStation users will now be able to tag individual works with a “NoAI” HTML tag or, helpfully, enable the setting across their entire portfolio. ArtStation has updated its terms of service to prohibit the use of tagged art by automated platforms of any kind, but it’s unclear from the post if the tag will immediately start blocking. these programs, or if it requires the compliance of the developers of these platforms first. .
Likewise, it’s unclear how ArtStation will detect unauthorized use of artists’ work if developers find a workaround to the tag, and what the app will look like. We’ve reached out to ArtStation for comment and will update this story if we get back to you.
It’s a win for artists who struggle with image aggregation tools, but many still have unmet requests. Some of the protesting users mention that they take issue with the presentation of algorithmically generated images alongside handcrafted artwork, with differentiation left to the honor system. “We encourage you to be as transparent as possible in your process by including the appropriate software, topic and support [in a post’s tags and description]“, wrote Artstation in its latest update.
Nanichkov, the artist behind the “No AI” logo, is not yet satisfied. “Anything generated by today’s AI/ML/Prompting is soulless theft,” the illustrator’s latest post (opens in a new tab) on ArtStation reads. “Sold as a utopia of technological progress, it is mostly fueled by short-sighted greed.” Nanitchkov would like to see the NoAI tag enabled by default for users, and is also concerned about the vast library of uncredited images already collected by generative tools. Other artists, meanwhile, wonder about the dissuasive effectiveness of the tag.