Artists upset after Wacom uses AI art to market artist gear

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This is the real danger of “AI”; companies will use the parts that actually do work to fuck over writers, artists and other creators.


I’m really conflicted about something. I saw a call for papers for a conference session on some medieval topic today, the graphic design of which really gripped me. Upon looking closer I realised the central image was AI generated.

Now, having made such CfPs myself, I know that there is no way an artist or graphic designer would have been hired to make it if AI wasn’t available. This was made by a scholar either way. So no work was lost for anyone and the design did its job in making it stand out.

On the other hand, the graphic is basically fantasy more than medieval. So the authors are using imagined medieval imagery rather than the real thing. It’s aimed at specialists, so they’re not at risk of misrepresenting something, but I still think it’s iffy.

It’s certainly not as clear-cut as Wacom’s blunder but it made me wonder why I reacted negatively to it. In theory this use-case is OK. Maybe it’s because I pride myself on making CfPs that stand out due to their design, but it takes a lot of work and time.

ETA: I realised that I can actually show the image rather than describing it in vague terms, since I’m in no way affiliated with the project and thus not doxxing myself. As you can see, the rest of the graphic design isn’t outstanding, further reinforcing my point that without the AI image it probably wouldn’t have been remarkable.


Is it? Artists’ works were used to train that AI, and they almost certainly weren’t compensated for that use.


How is the WOTC ad obviously using AI? is there a tell-tale? I couldn’t see any obvious signs in the image that was included.

A good point. There is certainly an argument to be made about boycotting generative AI in its entirety, at least until there are options available that were trained on licensed images


It’s not about boycotting. I think it’s arguably copyright infringement. Regardless, it’s at least unethical.


That line of reasoning is one heck of a slippery slope though. There are surely countless examples of amateurs or independant people working with small budgets who will use AI to generate some kind of content that they wouldn’t have been able to pay for from a traditional artist, filmmaker, writer, etc. But jobs absolutely will be lost because there’s not much motivation for profit-driven studios to pay traditional artists if they want to stay competitive with these smaller creators.


This kind of low-end image creation will be replaced by AI. Artists need to focus on making actual art which AI can’t do.

It looks like it was trained on the art for something like Seven Wonders:

rather than more appropriate images. Which it could have been if they restricted themselves to images that they didn’t steal.


it has this weird, classical ultra-detailed but “soft” “ai”-midjourney look. strange illumination and a fakey blurred background.


to my eye:

the teeth are weird, where does the tail go, why is there fur on both sides of the tail, the white space between the feet, why does the chest not turn but just sort of spread out, the odd hair color splash on the chest… ( eta: and that outline snot(?) to the right of the nose. if a human made that, they’re super lazy )

an artist could have done all that, it’s just odd. it should make a little more anatomical sense all around


Sarcastic Game Show GIF by ABC Network



People need to stop stealing art for their picture-smashing programs.


I thought it was about the second picture;

Sounds like victim blaming; always so useful in actual problem solving.


it’s both. the wotc one has pipe screws on the outside, text in the dial that’s unreadable, and other similar wrongness bits

( eta: the top one is from wacom’s ad, the second from wotc. )


fair enough but a lot of stuff seems to look that way well maybe until you really start to study it I suppose.


Yeah. It’s caused all kinds of problems over the last year or so. From a writer’s perspective, this is the worst year I’ve seen in a very long time, if not ever. First AI disrupted everything, then people dropped the rates they were offering writers (which were already quite low).

The people who are doing this didn’t respect artists/writers to begin with. By knocking out that bottom tier it just gets harder for everyone to both get started and make a good living at it. As a result, the market is getting flooded with people desperate for work. I’ve seen countless jobs for writers with well over 1,000 applications.


Looks like they used someone with graphic design chops to design the poster. They probably could have used their skills to make one of the thousands of freely available medieval images look nice.