You've probably messed around with some of those AI-generated art memes before. They're definitely neat and super interesting, but they pose a problem for artists these days.
According to Practical Ethics - a blog from the University of Oxford - AI generated imagery "draws on the common pool and democratizes much image generation, often in creative ways through prompt writing, selecting the best output, or entirely new visual forms." An image generated via an AI program even won first prize recently at a State Art Fair.
Image of artwork that won 1st place at the Colorado State Art Fair
A video game designer named Jason Allen spent roughly 80 hours working on his entry, where first place awarded him with a $300 prize. He shared his work via social media, where it went viral - but not in a good way. When Allen revealed that he had created his art piece using a program called MidJourney that can turn text descriptions into images, people in the art community were incensed.
His ribbon has since sparked a fierce debate about what constitutes art. Allen technically didn't break any rules - nothing expressly forbids the use of AI generation for entries - but it leaves open a gray area that has many artists and art-enthusiasts concerned.
This seems to have also moved over into the video game world with a game called This Girl Does Not Exist. This game recently released on Steam and features simple puzzle gameplay. The developer claims that everything - the art, the story, etc - was generated by some kind of AI.
"This Girl Does Not Exist" image via Cute Pen Games.
The game isn't exactly popular - it has one review, and it's far from favorable - but the story behind its existence is as interesting as it is troubling. I originally stumbled upon an article describing the game via Kotaku, and then when I went searching further I found an article about another game that was made using only AI-generated images called Shoon. Shoon hasn't appeared on any storefronts, though - yet.
It's all really fascinating and leaves us to ponder about what art is and what contributions toward art are valid. What are your thoughts on it?