An AI-Generated piece of art titled ””Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” by state fair entrant Jason Allen has won first prize at the Colorado State Fair. The piece won for best digital art but the means of creation left many who entered feeling angry and confused. This was not to make a statement on AI or ethics. It was more about seeing if he could win and to shout out the platform he used. Pretty tone deaf when you think about it.
The software used was called Midjourney and by using Allen’s prompts created the art. He picked his favorites and had them printed on canvas and submitted to the contest. It won not by technique but by overall design, which is nice. It’s no wonder artists are angry. Think about all the time those other artists spent making layers upon layers and fine tuning. Only for something that was created in possibly just minutes to take the prize.
The winner posted on Discord under his user name Sincarnate. More information about Jason Allen tells us that he is the president of Colorado-based tabletop gaming company Incarnate Games. We’re not sure how we feel about him gaming the system here. This leads to a heavier discussion about what is ethical or not when it comes to things like this.
Can this be fixed?
There comes a time when we have to set a hard boundary on what can be entered into contests. When AI starts winning contests over artists who’ve spent years refining their craft that creates a worrisome state of affairs. Many are wondering when artists will become obsolete since AI can seemingly create better and better art using just words. There could be an easy fix and that would be to add another category to submissions of AI produced art. So that those who enjoy working in that particular medium can have a place of their own. But for now, it seems awfully unfair for others.