Crowdfunding Site BackerKit Bans AI-Generated Imagery from Campaigns

BackerKit has joined the growing list of platforms prohibiting the use of AI-generated content, announcing on Monday that it would ban campaigns that used generative AI to create images due to copyright and artist compensation concerns.

“Creators invest significant time, effort, and resources into their projects,” the company explained. “BackerKit’s Trust & Safety team aims to safeguard these endeavors, creating a respectful space for projects and interactions between creators and their backers.”

Decrypt confirmed with a BackerKit Trust and Safety representative that the new policy does include images submitted to crowdfund board games. The new policy takes effect on Wednesday.

“[October 4] worked best for completing the development of the policy, timing with notifying current users via announcement, and ensuring that the rollout is logistically smooth for our team,” the representative told Decrypt.

BackerKit also cited concerns regarding ownership of content, ethical sourcing of data, and compensation “for the process of creating content.”

While BackerKit prohibits the use of images created by AI tools, it will allow images that have been edited using AI tools.

“This policy emphasizes that projects on BackerKit cannot include content solely generated by AI tools,” the company explained. “All content and assets must first be created by humans.”

In August, leading crowdfunding platform Kickstarter announced that it had updated its policies regarding AI-generated images. Kickstarter said it prioritized user transparency, proper attribution, and consent, emphasizing that humans and not just AI must be involved in the creative process.

“To be clear, our new policy does not ban the use of AI in Kickstarter projects,” Kickstarter said. “However, we want to make sure that any project that is funded through Kickstarter includes human creative input and properly credits and obtains permission for any artist’s work that it references.”

Kickstarter’s policy update says users must disclose the use of AI-generated content and a “Use of AI” section will be added to project pages, adding that failing to disclose the use of AI can lead to a project being suspended.

Kickstarter did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

Last month, Getty Images launched what it called a “safe” generative AI image tool that was trained on the company’s massive library of owned and licensed content. The company said the tool created indemnified and commercially clean images.

In July, Hasbro, the entertainment company behind Transformers, G.I. Joe, and My Little Pony, found itself in the AI-generated images conversation when it said the company would be using generative AI for future board games, clarifying that the tool would not be used for its iconic Dungeons and Dragons brand.

Since the launch of ChatGPT late last year, generative AI tools have flooded the mainstream as companies like Microsoft and Google invest billions into the emerging technology. Generative AI refers to tools that allow users to create text, images, and videos using prompts. Many of these tools are trained on large datasets harvested from the internet, including books, research papers, and images.

“AI-assisted writing, image generation, and video technology are advancing rapidly, as are the discussions surrounding their creative applications,” BackerKit said. “It’s important for us to recognize both the immediate and long-term adverse effects they may pose to the creators and creative communities we serve.”

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