Controversy in the artworld as A.I scoops award

Controversy in the art world as an A.I (Artificial intelligence) generated picture came first – and the artist didn’t even touch a brush.

This has caused a huge uproar among fellow artists who have expressed their frustrations after the Théâtre D’opéra Spatia painting came first in a category at the Colorado State Fair Fine arts competition.

“We’re watching the death of artistry unfold right before our eyes — if creative jobs aren’t safe from machines, then even high-skilled jobs are in danger of becoming obsolete, what will we have then?,” one Twitter user wrote.

What caused this drama?

The Colorado State Fine Arts competition issued prizes on the following categories, painting, quilting and sculpting.

Jason M. Allen submitted artwork titled Théâtre D’opéra Spatia but he didn’t even touch a brush to create the piece.

Allen created his artwork using an artificial intelligence program called Midjourney.

The AI turns lines of text into realistic graphics.

What’s Midjourney?

Midjourney, is an AI programe which uses machine learning to generate images based on text prompts.  Anyone can try the beta version of Midjourney.

Users must have a discord communications app account to communicate with the Midjourney bot.

Users can sign up for the free version or the paid version.

Can anyone use it?


But other artists aren’t happy.

Mr. Allen created his artwork with Midjourney, he had an idea to submit this creation to the fair which had a division for digital art/digitally manipulated photography.

He had a shop print the image on canvas and submitted it to judges.

The Théâtre D’opéra Spatial artwork received a blue ribbon at the fair for emerging digital artists, a first for A.I generated pieces to win such a prize.

The other artist’s have accused Allen of potentially cheating.

“The AI is not a person, but the person who generated it by typing words into the AI is not an artist. They created nothing. At best, they collaborated. A collaboration they can take credit for because there’s no human on the other end. This should not be allowed. It’s terrible,” said another user on Twitter.

What is your take, is Allen wrong for submitting the artwork or do fellow artists have a point that he did not paint the artwork and should not have submitted it?

Reach out on We’d love to here what you think.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, we’d like to get your input.

Marcus Gopolang Moloko


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