OPINION: Tabletop Creators Should Not Use AI-Generated Art (Until It Looks Much Better)
With the advent of artwork cobbled together by artificial intelligence, artists have decried the use of digital scrapers that impede upon their body of work, and independent tabletop creators such as myself should absolutely listen to them until the technology gets much better. It’s immediately clear that AI art is an ethical nightmare as tech companies and venture capital seeks to completely divorce the living artist from their art, and we should refuse to take part in it until the generated art begins to actually look pretty good.
I think many tabletop creators are too ready to jump right in, blinded by the fact that someone is finally listening to what they say for once, even if that someone is an algorithm. Once you get over the fact that someone is vaguely doing what you say, you realize that the art is… off. Fused hands, mismatched horizons, and “trending on ArtStation” works that all look like they’re specially made to be someone’s forgettable desktop background. All of these are perfect reasons for me to not use AI as I wait for the technology to improve.
While I wait for this technology, I will caution artists to not get too much in a tizzy as progress marches forward. Perhaps use the time to instead hone your writing skills. While mere lines and colors may be reproduceable by an unfeeling machine, the myriad combinations of letters and words that create the written language will never be the domain of automatons. Certainly not to the level where they could emulate meticulously balanced narrative game systems. Though the technology will certainly advance to the point that I am no longer embarrassed to use AI-generated art, I can rest assured that my own pursuits will never be overtaken in such a way.