New Kickstarter policy requires transparency from AI-involved projects

If Kickstarter creators want their AI-featured projects on the platform, they have to be as open about the process as possible.

Months after stating it would continue hosting AI projects on the platform, Kickstarter has released a new set of guidelines for the controversial technology. 

Last year, AI gained ground on the popular crowdfunding site around the same as it did ArtStation. The latter site opted for a simple tagging system so users could decide if they wanted their work to be scraped for AI research, but Kickstarter is going for a more extensive and thoughtful policy.

Beginning August 29, any AI that's featured in a creator's project must have its use disclosed by the creator during the project submission process. This extends beyond art and also applies to generative writing or "any other output." 

"We want to make sure that any project that is funded through Kickstarter includes human creative input and properly credits and obtains permission for any artist's work that it references," wrote trust and safety director Susannah Page-Katz.

"When we’re all on the same page about what a project entails," she continued, "it builds trust and sets the project up for success."

Per Kickstarter, creators must disclose their overall plans for using AI in the project, and which parts of it were made by AI versus their own human output. Similarly, projects focused on AI development, such as tools, art, or software have to disclose information about the data and databases used, along with those sources' consent policies.

After a project gets approved during submission, any AI components will be made clear to potential backers with a "Use of AI" tag at the top of a project's page. The aim is to be as transparent as possible while still letting backers make their own call on whether or not to support the project.

Failure to comply with the above guidelines will result in the project being temporarily suspended. Kickstarter added that any attempts to get around the suspension or submission process will lead to restrictions from future project submissions on the platform. 

Kickstarter stressed that the process was iterative, and that it would "revisit how this policy is working and how we can strengthen it over time."

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