On Tuesday, members of the online community ArtStation began widely protesting AI-generated artwork by placing “No AI Art” images in their portfolios. By Wednesday, the protest images dominated ArtStation’s trending page. The artists seek to criticize the presence of AI-generated work on ArtStation and to potentially disrupt future AI models trained using artwork found on the site.
Early rumblings of the protest began on December 5 when Bulgarian artist Alexander Nanitchkov tweeted, “Current AI ‘art’ is created on the backs of hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers who made billions of images and spend time, love and dedication to have their work soullessly stolen and used by selfish people for profit without the slightest concept of ethics.”
Nanitchkov also posted a stark logo featuring the letters “AI” in white uppercase behind the circular strike-through symbol. Below, a caption reads “NO TO AI GENERATED IMAGES.” This logo soon spread on ArtStation and became the basis of many protest images currently on the site.