Is AI Ruining Etsy?

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Is AI Ruining Etsy?






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BeauHD

from the complicating-matters dept.

Emily Dreibelbis reports via PCMag: Etsy’s reputation as a haven for small, independent creators has come into question as tools like Midjourney have made it easy to list art without disclosing that it’s been AI-generated, and shoppers are not happy. “The fact that it’s AI isn’t listed anywhere,” says one Reddit user who purchased a stock photo on Etsy that seemed suspiciously low cost with glowing reviews. “I was so mad at myself for not noticing it was AI before purchasing.” […] “Being avid user of Etsy, I really enjoy supporting small businesses and the talent that goes into their work,” the buyer tells PCMag in a private message. “Shops such as we discussed selling massive amounts of AI-generated images take away from genuine sellers who put hours into perfecting their craft.”

Etsy’s seller policy does not mention artificial intelligence. The platform is still determining the place AI-generated works have on the site, a source tells PCMag. Complicating matters, some sellers take AI-generated images and modify them, adding a hint of human artistry. Etsy also has a policy regarding when sellers can claim an item is “handmade,” but it also does not mention AI and appears virtually unenforceable. […] Beyond the legalities, Etsy shoppers debate the ethical and economic implications. One argues it devalues the work, citing an ancient example of explorer Mansa Musa handing out fake gold during his travels, inflating the overall supply and tanking the market. If anyone can create art at the push of a button, what defines an artist’s work? And what role does Etsy play in answering that question?

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