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Kickstarter shares policy for campaigns featuring "tricky" AI artwork

For now, Kickstarter is looking at AI-related work on its platform on a case-by-case basis.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 21, 2022

2 Min Read
Graphic for  crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter issued a statement on  the use of AI software and artwork on its platform. In its statement, it wrote that it understood the feedback provided regarding AI in the art space, and is "considering when it comes to what place AI image generation software and AI-generated art should have on Kickstarter, if any."

For artists in the entertainment industry, the use of AI software has recently become a divisive topic. Last week, ArtStation gave its own position on the matter, and said that it would implement a tagging system where artists could choose whether or not their work could be used for AI research. 

Going forward, Kickstarter said its stance on campaigns with AI artwork on the platform will depend on if said project is exploitative or puts anyone in harm, and if that project is actively copying or mimicking an artist's work.

What kind of place does AI art have on Kickstarter?

The website was previously mum on the subject until a recently launched campaign for AI software caught criticism for reportedly using AI models built primarily on the work of artist Greg Rutkowski. That Kickstarter has since been suspended, and the website added that it "must, and will always be, on the side of creative work and the humans behind that work."

Kickstarter added that it would be evaluating situations where an art with a previous copyright claim doesn't appear on a Kickstarter page, but is still used in the AI software. Other situations requiring evaluation include when the original creator either didn't give consent for their art to be used in the software, or was aware their art was being used in the first place. 

In its closing statement, Kickstarter wrote that it still wanted users to provide feedback on AI art as it continues to "develop our approach to the use of AI software and images on our platform." 

"The decisions we make now might not be the ones we make in the future, so we want this to be an ongoing conversation with all of you."

Like ArtStation, Kickstarter's response is more an acknowledgment that things are changing in the art landscape rather than a full condemnation of AI software. With how many advocates of AI there are at the moment, and the technology's widespread use on social media, we may be at the point where asking to have outgoing conversations may no longer be sufficient.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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