A picture made by AI won an art prize. Artists don’t feel good.
The person who made the art says, “I won, and I didn’t break any rules.”
This year, the annual art contest at the Colorado State Fair had prizes for painting, quilting, and sculpture, just like it always does.
But Jason M. Allen of Pueblo West, Colorado, didn’t use a brush or a lump of clay to make his entry. He made it with Midjourney, a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to turn lines of text into graphics that look very real.
Mr. Allen’s piece “Théatre D’opéra Spatial” won the top prize in the fair’s contest for new digital artists. It was one of the first pieces made by artificial intelligence to win such a prize, and artists were very angry with him for what they saw as cheating.
When Mr. Allen was called by phone on Wednesday, he stood up for his work. He said that he had made it clear that his work, which was submitted under the name “Jason M. Allen via Midjourney,” was made with A.I. and that he hadn’t lied to anyone about where it came from.
He said, “I’m not going to say sorry for it.” “I won and didn’t do anything wrong.”
AI-made art has been around for a long time. But this year, tools like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion have made it possible for even the most inexperienced artists to make complex, abstract, or photorealistic works by just typing a few words into a text box.
Many artists are worried about their own futures because of these apps. After all, why would someone pay for art when they could make it themselves? They have also sparked heated debates about the ethics of A.I.-generated art, and some people are against them because they say they are just a high-tech way to steal ideas.