Game studio Bungie spoke out in support of human creatives in a blog post last week after it was revealed that the Destiny 2 developer had unknowingly showcased an AI-generated image during its “Artist of the Week” community highlights (seen via Kotaku).

The image was accused of being created using generative AI by Bungie forum members following the spotlight. The user who posted it didn’t deny the claims, responding that they would remove the image and that they “just thought the picture was really neat.” At the time of writing, the post is still live but can no longer be found on the Community Creations page.

Artwork and movies selected to feature on the weekly “This Week at Bungie” blog are manually reviewed, and Bungie later acknowledged that the AI-generated image had been mistakenly featured. “We want to keep this celebration of our community for those that work hard to bring their creative selves to the forefront when creating works that the Traveler would find joy in,” said Bungie community manager Liana Ruppert. “Because of this, we will not knowingly ever feature AI art submissions as a potential #Destiny2AOTW or #Destiny2MOTW winner.”

It can sometimes be difficult to tell AI-generated images apart from artwork created by real human artists

That will likely be easier said than done. While Bungie mandates that “all content submissions must include a direct link to the Creation,” users aren’t obligated to disclose how an image was created, and its community forum doesn’t have a tagging system to otherwise label images created using generative AI. Images created using generative AI tools don’t always contain identifiable artifacts like extra fingers or traces of signatures, either, which Bungie acknowledges can make it difficult to filter from artwork created by real people.

As there’s no software or application that can identify if an image was created using AI, Bungie’s solution is simply to keep a watchful eye on submissions — and it’s asked its community members to be nice if it makes the same mistake again. “The process of choosing these involves a team effort and with this technology being so new, we don’t have a foolproof way of knowing what submissions are AI art,” said Ruppert. “We ask for grace if we mistakenly feature a submission generated by AI, and a respectful heads up should it ever happen again in the future. Appreciate the assist!”

Bungie hasn’t explicitly banned AI-generated fanworks from being submitted to Community Creations

Bungie’s current eligibility guidelines for Community Creations don’t explicitly ban submissions created using generative AI, nor do they exempt them from appearing in the developer’s weekly artist spotlights. In fact, the criteria simply request that users “create the submission using any form of artistry.” Bungie hasn’t updated these guidelines to reflect its statement, and the company hasn’t condemned the use of artificial intelligence outside of its community spotlights.

Artificial intelligence has dominated the news in recent months, and while big names like Shutterstock and Adobe have been quick to jump on the explosive popularity of AI art generators like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, not every organization has welcomed the emerging technology. Getty is notably suing Stability AI for copyright infringement, alleging that over 12 million images had been stolen from the Getty database to train the Stable Diffusion AI art generator. Meanwhile, the creative community over at ArtStation has held monthslong protests over the platform’s refusal to ban AI-generated images.

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