Jason M. Allen, a 39-year-old tabletop game studio owner from Colorado, has just won Colorado State Fair’s art competition with his artwork generated by an AI art tool program called Midjourney.
Allen’s work, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” has stunned the judges and the audience with its unlimited imagination and detailed images, taking home the blue ribbon for emerging digital artists.
Allen’s prize-taking triggered huge debate instantly. Some worry that the prize awarded declared the death of artistry. Others defend that using AI tools are nothing different from using photoshop.
In fact, AI-generated artwork has been prolific all over the internet. It has also long been a source professional artists and creators use to enhance their work or draw inspiration.
What has caused the havoc might be it is the first time an AI-generated piece wins the title of ”emerging digital artist” for the man using it. Some are pleasantly surprised, while others are appalled that the line between human creativity and artificial intelligence has been blurred.
Allen has reportedly defended himself by posting on the Midjourney Discord Server.
“How interesting is it to see how all these people on Twitter who are against AI generated art are the first ones to throw the human under the bus by discrediting the human element! Does this seem hypocritical to you guys?”Jason M. Allen
He insists that the prompt he created and used on the Midjourney Server to generate the prize-winning artwork is the essential human part ignored by the panicking critics.
Midjourney, the AI art generator on Discord, has also been thrown into the epic center of controversy. Its most recent virtual office hour on Discord has attracted more than 1000 users, many from abroad.
For over three hours, the audience bombarded the Midjourney speaker DavidH with endless questions about the platform’s algorithm, digital affordance and ethics.
DavidH expressed his excitement about the speed and extension of aesthetic exploration while promising to address the tech issues brought by a sudden surge of users.
He also admitted that he and his team did not think a lot about the sudden fame. They also have no plan to spend on a big server, but will stick to the vision to be the ”flagship affordable” and improve”user interface and physical interaction”.
Mo, a professional digital artist based in the bay area, admits the algorithm used by Midjourney is impressive but finds no need to panic. “A.I. generator is a great tool in facilitating brainstorming, but the final product still needs a lot of revision and fine-tuning before any real commercial use.”
“The differences (between a real art piece and an A.I. generated one) are obvious to trained eyes, but there is always a risk of misuse, ” said he.