“I won, and I didn’t break any rules,” the artwork’s creator says.
This year, the Colorado State Fair’s annual art competition gave out prizes in all the usual categories: painting, quilting, sculpture.
But one entrant, Jason M. Allen of Pueblo West, Colo., didn’t make his entry with a brush or a lump of clay. He created it with Midjourney, an artificial intelligence program that turns lines of text into hyper-realistic graphics.
Mr. Allen’s work, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” took home the blue ribbon in the fair’s contest for emerging digital artists, making it one of the first A.I.-generated pieces to win such a prize, and setting off a fierce backlash from artists who accused him of, essentially, cheating.
These new AI apps have made many human artists understandably nervous about their own futures, why would anyone pay for art, they wonder, when they could generate it themselves? They have also generated fierce debates about the ethics of A.I.-generated art, and opposition from people who claim that these apps are essentially a high-tech form of plagiarism.