In August last year, online art platform DeviantArt released a tool to index NFTs minted across nine blockchains, scanning them for art infringement and theft. To date, Protect Protocol has indexed nearly 600 million NFTs and uncovered half a million infringement claims.
Now, DeviantArt is taking an equally conscientious approach to A.I.-generated art.
On November 9, the art-sharing hub released DreamUp, its own A.I. tool powered by Stable Diffusion. Unlike major art generator models, DeviantArt is actively prioritizing user copyright and consent.
“The team interviewed hundreds of Deviants to understand creators’ thoughts, pains, fears, and needs with regards to A.I. art,” Moti Levy, CEO of DeviantArt, told Artnet News via email. “DreamUp lets you create A.I. art knowing that creators’ work is treated fairly.”
The algorithms underpinning DreamUp may be mind-bendingly complicated, but the process of establishing usage preferences is straightforward. Users simply tag their original, human-made works with the directive “noimageai.” This choice means DreamUp won’t use the work to conjure future images. For third parties using DeviantArt content to train machine-learning models, the terms of service agreement demand they exclude “noimageai” works. Those creators that allow the platform to use their art for inspiration will be clearly credited on published images.
DeviantArt’s attitude to A.I. art also extends to its 75 million registered members. The platform has seen a 1,000 percent increase in A.I. art images submitted over the past four months and will automatically tag all images created with DreamUp with #AIart in order to maintain transparency. Users will also be able to determine how much A.I.-generated art appears in their feed.
“A.I. technology for creation is a force we can’t ignore,” Levy said. “We see so many instances where A.I. tools help creativity. But we have a responsibility to all creators. To support A.I. art, we must implement fair tools and add protections to this domain.”
The proliferation of A.I. image platforms has stoked questions of plagiarism and theft already raised by the emergence of NFTs last year. Such problems are nothing new to the art world, but the speed, ease, and anonymity of creating and selling such work online is a headache for creators and collectors alike.
Moreover, with A.I.-generated images, the very models are problematic, given that they are trained on vast bodies of copyrighted work, and produce images without assigning attribution or compensation. Despite DeviantArt’s efforts to offer creators a safe and fair generator, it uses Stable Diffusion, which is trained on datasets that scrape images from across the internet, though the platform has guided the generation process using its own specifics.
In its press release announcing DreamUp, DeviantArt pushed other creator platforms to adopt the same transparent approach. Artists will certainly be hoping that call is heard.