Introducing the Human Made Content Badge

July 13, 2023

It’s been a rough year or so for human creatives. Data-generated images (“AI”) and content have swept the public and resulted in the loss of real, alive, working people losing projects, jobs, and ultimately money. DGI has sewn further confusion and mistrust in social media (No, that adorable baby peacock is not what an actual baby peacock looks like. They do not have cartoonishly huge eyes and mature male feathers) and turned the art world on its head.

Artists like myself who have relied on traditional tools and methods have looked for ways to lessen the damage to ourselves and our artwork. We started out by asking data-generated images (“AI art”) to be labeled as such, but so many people are using these tools, and using them without being honest about them. The desire to claim it is digital art with a tablet pen is too much for some people, and they get swept up in feeling like they made something – despite not having actual skills to do so without a text prompt. I myself have encountered quite a few people who refuse to label their artwork or even acknowledge the image was data-generated long after it has been identified as such. Reverse-algorithm tools can help identify DGI (“AI art”) and filtered works, but many of us already know what to look for.

The unfortunate byproduct is that artists with styles that are most easily regurgitated by data-generation (Think concept art) are the ones impacted most. Artists are fearing being accused of using data-generated images when they’ve carefully honed their skills themselves, and many artists have already been accused of so much.

That’s why I came up with the self-identifying human made content badge.

100% Human Made No AI Used

The badge is very simple. It’s an image asset to help human content creators affirm that they did not use data-generation (“AI”) in the creation of their works. It’s free, comes in a variety of colors, and can be used however you like whether it’s on crowdfunding campaigns, blogs, or portfolio sites.

You can view and download the assets on my human-made badge page.

Who can use this badge?

Anyone who makes stuff and has been impacted by the scourge of data-generated content and doesn’t use those things themselves to complete their process. No, using Photoshop (Sans DGI tools) or Painter or Procreate doesn’t count as “AI” – these are tools akin to a paintbrush or pencil. Basically, if you cannot turn off a phone/tablet/computer/internet and make something comparable (or your “skill” is swept away with a version update), then this badge is not for you.

What’s stopping an “AI artist” from using the badge too?

Nothing, unfortunately. All I can hope for is that an “AI artist” should be proud of the tools they are using and should have no problem identifying what they used. I can’t stop people from outright lying.

My goal with the badge is to help sew confidence in human made creators for the average person. Pairing a human-made badge with something like WIPs and videos of works being completed can help you feel better about patronizing a real living, working, breathing artist.

I hope this badge helps bring clarity to your community and convey your process to your followers!

Aimee Cozza is a freelance illustrator out of Southern New Hampshire. She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in illustration. Since then, she has been working in a variety of ways completing various illustrations for clients, friends, and for herself.

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