Netizens Debate “Whether AI Art Is Art” After AI Wins Art Competition

Jason Allen, a synthetic media artist, reportedly won a fine arts competition at the Colorado State Fair after he entered an AI-made digital artwork in the contest. Allen won the first prize under the Digital Arts/Digitally Manipulated Photography category.

Allen said he used Midjourney, which is a commercial image synthesis tool, for creating a series of three images. He printed the images onto a canvas after upscaling them and submitted them to the contest in early August.

One of the portraits, titled Théåtre D’opéra Spatial, reportedly won the first prize. Allen then posted the same on the Discord server of Midjourney. The victory of Allen’s artwork created discussions on Reddit, Twitter, and the Discord server of Midjourney. The debate went up on the definition of an artist and the spirit of skill.

Contrary statements have been coming from various commenters. Some think that technology will bring evolution in the art sector, while others believe that AI will doom human artistry.

This conversation supposedly gained a significant amount of fame that Wired wrapped in July. The commenters argued about the fairness of the result, questioning if the judges had an idea of the art being an image synthesis.

This incident led the users to contact the judges, who found out that the judges did not have any idea about the truth behind Allen’s artwork.

Amid rising confusion and criticism, someone joked through a tweet that the art settled the debate on “whether AI art is art” since it was good enough to fool humans.

Following the results, artists and netizens are left contemplating if human artists will eventually be replaced by machines.

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