Not every piece of art you don't like was made by AI

If you genuinely, genuinely believe something to be AI perhaps the first step would be to contact the publisher directly.
Sure, but it's extremely likely with a lot of publishers, especially larger ones that you will either get:

A) No response whatsoever.

B) A flat proforma denial that they use AI art.

Some publishers may forward your email to the art team to check. Others will simply effectively bin it as "customer feedback".

In which case, what is step two? I would suggest the only possible step two in most cases is to publicly comment that you are concerned that this art is AI art and explain the basis of your concern. Obviously you should do so politely and frankly if possible keep the artist's name out of it (unless they solely work in AI art, and nothing else, in which case it is obviously relevant), and focus on the specific piece.
But just shrieking "AI!" every time you see a slightly odd-looking object in an art piece is just creating useless noise and not helping the situation at all. It's not helping the artist, it's not helping the publisher, it's not helping the customer.
This seems like a rather exaggerated and negative portrayal, using intentionally emotive words like "shrieking" and "useless noise" (something I've been called out for before, so I recognise it!) and seems to be implying people are all jumping at shadows that are absolutely not real.

But that's not the case - many of these shadows really do have metaphorical monsters in them! And whilst there are always a few unhelpful shriekers and witch-hunters in any situation, most people have been quite reasonable about this, and have not been throwing accusations around lightly, but rather after close examination of pieces, where they've found stuff that was either suspicious as hell or clearly was AI-generated. Indeed, we've already seen a case where the publisher (WotC, again) publicly denied that a piece used AI art, and was only forced to backtrack after people kept publicly pointing out that it obviously did (the Steampunk room advert).

So I think whilst sure, your first port of call should be the publisher, especially with smaller, more responsive publishers who may well look into it (as opposed to large corporations like WotC), if you get a non-response or a proforma denial of the use of AI art, and you think you have reason to believe the art is AI, I think it's perfectly fine for you to (politely) point this out in a public forum, like Twitter/X. Again I would suggest decorum and decency dictates avoiding the artist's name unless they are an AI art specialist (which has been the case a couple of times).

This is something society is going to have to deal with, and yes it's going to be a little uncomfortable for a while. But remaining silent as AI art creeps in is not better for artists than pointing it out - sometimes inaccurately. It's objectively worse. Again I point out that corporations have already falsely denied using AI art. We cannot trust them to be accurate about this at the first instance (I say accurate instead of honest because I am giving the benefit of the doubt). Clearly even major companies with budget to spare are not doing due diligence, and not even following up after accusations properly. That may be changing but until we've gone a while without any such scandals, I think we need to be on our toes.

Re: buying art from studios sure, and new standards clearly need to be established there. Studios selling art in batches need to certify their art as AI free and there need to contracts with consequences if it turns out that they are being untruthful or inaccurate. This is change that needs to happen. It is not a change that will happen if we all decide to shut up about AI art.

The ideal situation would be for some sort of voluntary formal "not AI" certification to be created, but I do worry that this would manage to be monetized or co-opted by some unscrupulous group, even if it was an open standard (thanks to the tragedy of the commons, many open standards have already been subverted).
 

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Stalker0

Legend
I don't think that's true at all, and I don't think you can back that up with any evidence. It's just a different kind of panic-mongering, frankly.
Maybe not the “first thing you search”, but it’s a well known psychological effect that humans tend to believe the first thing they hear.

If a humans first hearing of an artist is an article claiming they did something wrong…that impression tends to linger no matter how much correction occurs later.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, I don't think it's controversial that it's hard to shake off an accusation of wrongdoing even if you can prove otherwise. Not that it can't be done but it's harder than making the accusation in the first place. Things have a tendency to stick with you, and bad news travels faster than good news.
 



Stalker0

Legend
This is something society is going to have to deal with, and yes it's going to be a little uncomfortable for a while. But remaining silent as AI art creeps in is not better for artists than pointing it out - sometimes inaccurately. It's objectively worse. Again I point out that corporations have already falsely denied using AI art. We cannot trust them to be accurate about this at the first instance (I say accurate instead of honest because I am giving the benefit of the doubt). Clearly even major companies with budget to spare are not doing due diligence, and not even following up after accusations properly. That may be changing but until we've gone a while without any such scandals, I think we need to be on our toes.
This sums up the old legal debates of "Innocent or Guilty until proven otherwise"

Innocent until proven Guilty means that some guilty people go free; it also means some innocent people that would have been convicted are not. Which is better has been a long debate in human society.
 

This sums up the old legal debates of "Innocent or Guilty until proven otherwise"

Innocent until proven Guilty means that some guilty people go free; it also means some innocent people that would have been convicted are not. Which is better has been a long debate in human society.
Yes, but that merits further consideration, because "innocent until proven guilty" exists as a principle not generally throughout our laws, but rather specifically for serious crimes, which the state accuses you of (not individuals) and where you face life-altering punishments. It's notable that when the consequences are less than life-altering, the principle becomes drastically less relevant for most people.

Also the level of proof required varies hugely throughout society and different rules and laws and so on. Civil cases for example require the balance of probabilities, i.e. 50.1%, whereas criminal cases require a far higher standard.

Here we benefit from the nature of digital art technology, which creates files which themselves are a history, telling us how this piece of art came to be. That's built into their fundamental functionality. It's not difficult to prove how a piece of art was created. It doesn't require specialist knowledge, either - even a layman can quickly be shown how the history of a digital art file works - if you can operate a computer or a phone you can understand it. Unless the allegation is very complex, as soon as the history appears, the allegation can be thrown out.

I think this mostly needs to be solved "industry side". But capitalist industries are inherently lazy and unprincipled, and seek to do the least possible work and spend the least possible money, so that means pressure needs to be applied to them. They need new standards of due diligence re: art, at the very least extracting signed "I swear this isn't AI-generated" statements from people supplying art.

If we suddenly all stop applying pressure right now, though, the industry is not going to adopt those, they're going to go "Oh no-one really cares so we won't do anything about this due diligence-wise, we'll just assume it's all fine and say that's because we're good people who naturally assume the best, not doing the old 'I see no ships'!". Just a coincidence this is also the attitude that saves us the most time and money, of course.
 

dragoner

KosmicRPG.com
For me as a small publisher I loved shutter and adobe stock, was a lot of fun to have a sub and curate art. Definitely is being ruined by AI, I mean where one search used to pull up 20,000 hits, with AI it jumps to 80,000. One can hit the no AI button, though the sites turn that off automatically so you have to be constantly going back and clicking it. I know another prominent RPG author said it increased his work flow. I bought pieces of art accidentally and put them in books so that after looking at the artist's description, I noticed they had changed it to being AI. There are a lot of artists that use AI and then change the picture, so that could be an overlap between the two. Having AI stuff constantly rammed down your throat is further en$!&%ification of the whole internet. Esp since 90% of it is crap eg Sturgeon's law. I mean otherwise, people doing stuff for themselves, posting it in their own places, I don't care about.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't think that's true at all, and I don't think you can back that up with any evidence. It's just a different kind of panic-mongering, frankly.
We see it all the time. News agency prints a front page headline(whether physical or on first page of website) and gets it wrong. The retraction will be 12 pages in behind Granny Fanny Packs or something and virtually no one will see it.

Accusations are sensational!!! Proof and retractions not so much unless you are very, very high profile person.
 

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