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Sweeney: Commercial AI models shouldn't use art without artists' consent

CEO of ArtStation parent Epic Games says the company aims to be a "neutral intermediary" on the use of AI in dev

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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said he would like the firm to balance protecting artwork and creators' engagement with new technology such as image generators.

The comment comes from a recent interview with PC Gamer and months after ArtStation, which Epic owns, created a "noAI" tag prohibiting creative work from being used by AI systems on the platform.

"We support a lot of game developers. Some of them will use AI, some of them will hate AI, and we want to be a trustable neutral intermediary that doesn't get in the way of industry development, but also isn't going off and hoovering up everybody's art data," said Sweeney.

During the conservation, he also explained that AI systems shouldn't take artists' works without their consent if the intent is commercial use.

He added, "They're scraping the web to find people's artwork and then using it and not getting their explicit say-so on the thing."

"And a company shouldn't do that sort of thing, right? Maybe that's in bounds for research, but when you're selling a commercial product that's used to generate commercial artwork, you shouldn't do that."

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Jeffrey Rousseau

Staff Writer

Jeffrey Rousseau joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.