Prize-winning AI Generated Art Sparks Controversy

Is this the death of artistry?
21 September 2022

A game designer has sparked controversy after submitting an image created by an AI text-to-image generator called Midjourney to a state art competition and taking home first prize.

Text-to-image AI systems are trained on billions of pairs of images and text descriptions, which they mine for visual patterns. 

Users then feed the text-to-AI system text descriptions known as prompts.  The software then generates an image that matches this description based on its training data.

Midjourney is known for its finely tuned aesthetics, which often mimic contemporary digital art styles.

Jason Allen entered the artwork titled “Theatre d’Opera Spatial” in the Digital Arts category of the Colorado State Fair fine arts competition.

Responses to Allen’s win have been mixed, with many accusing him of deceiving the judges, who were not fully aware of how the piece was created. 

Allen defended his actions, staying he wanted to make a statement using artificial intelligence artwork. 

Allen said he told people at the show that the piece is “digital art created using a.i. tools” and that he doesn’t need to explain what Midjourney is any more than a digital artist might explain how Adobe Illustrator works. 

On Twitter, responses to Allen’s win were extreme. “We’re watching the death of artistry unfold right before our eyes,” said one user.

Allen suggests that some reactions to his win — and to AI-generated artwork more generally — may be motivated by fear.  “Artists are scared,” he said. “They’re worried that they’re going to be replaced by the robot.”

- CyberBeat

About CyberBeat

CyberBeat is a grassroots initiative from a team of producers and subject matter experts, driven out of frustration at the lack of media coverage, responding to an urgent need to provide a clear, concise, informative and educational approach to the growing fields of Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy.

Contact CyberBeat

If you have a story of interest, a comment, a concern or if you'd just like to say Hi, please contact us

Terms & Policies >>


We couldn't do this without the support of our sponsors and contributors.