In the world of Frank Herbert’s Dune, the “Butlerian Jihad” has led to the destruction of “thinking machines” across the known universe and the birth of a civilization focused on improving the human intellect.
In the online community on the r/Dune subreddit, the birth of AI art has led to a similar, albeit smaller, war on technology.
There, users who have nearly a quarter of a million fans of the new series, as well as its two film adaptations, decided to ban AI-generated art this week, after a wave of Auto-generated content flooded the boards.
The ban “applies to images created using services such as DALL-E, Midjourney, StarryAI, WOMBO Dream and others,” the moderators wrote. in a message announcing the decision. “Our team has been removing said content for several months on a post-by-post basis, but given its continued popularity on Reddit, we felt a public announcement was warranted.
“We recognize that many of these pieces are pleasing to the eye and the technology is certainly fascinating, but it technically qualifies as low effort content – especially when compared to the original ‘man-made’ art that we would like to prioritize in the future.
In the Dune series, the destruction of thinking machines led to the rise of “Navigators”, humans specifically bred and bred to perform the complex calculations required for interstellar travel. In the r/Dune community, the ban has led to similar proposals. “We just need to do some weird genetics that creates an animal whose sole purpose and sole characteristic is to make Dune fan art,” one user offered.
The growth of AI-generated art has also disrupted other communities. In August, a painting created by the artificial intelligence tool Midjourney, titled Space Opera Theater, won first prize in the digital art category at the Colorado State Fair. In a post announcing the win, Midjourney user Jason Allen said, “I’ve created hundreds of images using it, and after several weeks of tweaking and curating my [generations]I picked my top 3 and had them printed on canvas after scaling with Gigapixel AI… I decided to make a statement by using Midjourney competitively and wow!
In a follow-up interview with Vice Magazine, Allen defended his decision to enter without explicitly labeling the artwork as AI-generated. “What if we looked at it from the other extreme, and if an artist did a series of extremely difficult and complicated constraints in order to create a piece, say, they did their art while hanging upside down and being whipped painting”, he said. “Should this artist’s work be evaluated differently than another artist who created the same piece ‘normally’?
“I know what will happen to that in the end, they’re just going to create an ‘art of artificial intelligence’ category I imagine for things like that.”