Artist who did real work accused of using AI because it looks artificially generated

Posted on Saturday, Jan 14, 2023 by Chris Hayner

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

So here’s an interesting twist on the whole AI-generated image controversy. A real-life professional artist who goes by the name Ben Moran was contracted to create a book cover for an upcoming fantasy book titled “Mandate of Heaven.”

The writer of Mandate has a pre-existing relation with Ben from many previous contracts. Ben worked to create the book cover (which was accepted), and then decided to share it on that bastion of fairness and objectivity, reddit. Here’s where the fun begins.

Ben posted the image on /r/art as a reasonable bit of self-promotion. 100 hours of work went into the cover, why not share it and see if more business can come from it? A reddit moderator looked at the image and said “nah, fake!”, took down the post, and banned Ben from the subreddit entirely.

So this is a laughable case, right? Reddit mods are frequently bad actors, and the one who banned Ben is a historically awful one. But this is probably the beginning of a trend. With AI becoming so prevalent (and capable) it is going to start to be very hard for people to tell real from fake - or fake from real.