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How do you tell when something is AI art?


Well, that was fun
Staff member
There’s been a few false accusations of AI art recently. People point at any artistic flaw as evidence of AI (as if humans never make mistakes or produce poor quality things). Tools that claim to be able to detect them are unreliable.

How do you tell? And is it going to get harder to do so?

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It's generally rather difficult, already. Sure, you can occasionally find obvious physical flaws that would never have escaped a flesh and blood artist. For example AI seems to have a great deal of difficulty with understanding archery. A quick search for "AI archer", on google, will turn up dozens of bizarre bows with multiple, impossible strings. Frequently, however, it seems that something that "just looks too good" is a give-away to it being AI created.


How do you tell? And is it going to get harder to do so?
It is getting much, much harder, and quite quickly, based on my experiments: stuff that was a dead giveawaya year ago no longer is nuch of a problem for AI (such as hands), and stuff that is a tell right now (letters and numbers) is something the AI engineers say they have figured out fir their next generation

Unfortunately, we may already be at the point where the question isn't being able to tell if something is AI at all, and more of artists maintaining proof of work fir verification.

You can tell from some of the pixels. /s

As mentioned above, it's rapidly becoming more difficult to tell, as the developers are working on fixing the obvious telltale signs (anatomy issues, weird blendings and blurs). At this point, it seems to come down to abnormalities in fine details, or just excessive detail in something that a human artist wouldn't necessarily have focused on. Point being, it's getting a lot harder to tell.


Hwre is an example of aomethign I juat dashed off with Bing:

pre-raphaelite oil painting, a blue-haired violet-eyed female 6'2" tall 220-pound statuesque strong athletic robust woman in well-fit wizards robe and lots of jewelry everywhere smiling broadly off camera in a fairy tale garden while holding up a scroll covered in beautiful calligraphy of a text written "This is a test"



B/X Known World
At present some of the dead giveaways are hands, fingers (number/angles), feet, eyes, any text, objects merging/blurring together, guns, noise/debris, and things that should be straight lines. Some of this stuff might be attributed to the artist making a choice, but most of it is too obvious to be an intentional artistic choice. That said, I've seen "AI" art that is better than what some publishers put out. Hands are hard to draw right, even for people. I'd take most "AI" art over anything from Rob Liefeld, for example.

The more the art tries to depict things we're familiar with, the more obvious it will be that it's "AI" art. The uncanny valley. We know what it's supposed to look like, but it's wrong. The more details the art includes, the more likely the "AI" is to get something wrong. Once you prompt the thing to not depict humans, human-like creatures, or objects we're familiar with...or to use a simpler, more abstract art style, things get a lot harder to spot.

Another dead giveaway is consistency over time. Even with an incredibly detailed prompt, the thing won't produce similar results over time. All three of the Hulk images are from the same prompt. It's like three different artists drew those. Having the same character, with the same details, appear in different situations is basically impossible.

Here are some examples.


Too many fingers.


The feet.


The feet.


The text on the jerseys. The pucks and sticks are clearly wrong. All beyond "artistic choice" as an excuse.

But this one...


I don't immediately see anything that couldn't be attributed to "artistic choice."
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Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Right now the only way is to see the process. See sketches, work in progress and source files with layers.

Also, permanency. Keeping a character consistent across pieces is hard.

As @overgeeked already mentioned: one indicator is the telltale signs like too many fingers. Also, when experimenting with AI art myself, there were often problems with some elements appearing in slightly wrong places, but in ways I haven't seen too often in human art, e.g. a cigarette being placed a few centimeters below the mouth. And then there's often "spillover effects", where the eye colour you want ends up on all people in a scene.
But the most obvious sign for me is that images either have a sort of plastic look, or appear too noisy. I have seen how people avoid this with good prompts, and the software also seems to get better. Right now, though, this seems to affect a lot of the AI-generated art.

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