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Reddit Bans Artist For Supposedly Using AI Tools

The artwork was an original piece that was flagged as AI-generated, further fuelling concerns regarding AI art tools

Photo credit: Ben Moran, A Muse in Warzone

A concept artist was recently banned from an art subreddit because their work looked AI-generated.

AI artwork has been in discussion for some time. For some, AI art generations are fun to play around with and offer ease of access at no cost. On the other hand, artists who work incredibly hard at their craft are having to contend with AI creations.

Most of these AI art generation tools pull from images across the internet. Using keywords and art style specifications, the AI will then conjure up a piece of work. Part of the issue is that some of the content is coming from real artists’ work, who have not given consent for their work to be shared. Not only is this bad news for artists, but it also leads to confusion as to who did what first. Platforms such as ArtStation have added options that enable artists to opt-out of having their artwork used in AI research.

AI art concerns

Minh Anh Nguyen Hoang, who goes by the artist name Ben Moran recently had a piece of artwork removed from the r/Art subreddit. A moderator flagged the work as AI-generated art and took the post down. The art piece was flagged as breaching the rules against ‘Memes, AI, filters, AI or other low-quality work’. Moran received a permanent ban after posting the piece titled A muse in Warzone.

After the ban, Moran contacted the moderators to explain no AI was used in the creative process. The process of work was offered in the form of a PSD file and a link to Moran’s art portfolio was also given.

A response was forthcoming, but not the one the artist would have been hoping for. The moderator stated “I don’t believe you” and then said that even if the work was not AI-generated, it appeared to be; that the artist should change their style. This type of response is part of what worries the artist community when it comes to AI. Not only is their art at risk of being dubbed as AI-generated, but the pressure to change an entire art style that the artist has developed potentially over years simply isn’t realistic.

The exchange between Moran and the moderator

Proof of work

In this case, the moderator then muted Moran meaning no further discussion to rectify the matter could happen. Moran has gone on to show receipts on social media of the artistic process behind the piece in question.

In an age where AI-generated art can create some very realistic-looking pieces of work, it is understandable that these mix-ups can occur and it’s difficult to sometimes differentiate between the two. Moderators are often working voluntarily and sometimes the wrong call is made. However, an important aspect, especially in this case is communication. If suspicions arise that a piece of work is AI-generated, most authentic artists will be able to show some kind of process behind the work to prove its legitimacy.

Moran is a lead artist at Kart Studio which is based in Vietnam. This piece of work was intended as a commissioned piece for author Selkie Myth who plans to use the artwork in an upcoming book release. Moran’s work can also be found on Deviantart.

Artists continue to explore ways in which they can tackle AI art tools, with some looking toward blockchain technology.

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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