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AI art is starting to become popular. Its particular use for transforming art into different styles has shown up several times recently. Maybe certain uses are just the latest craze people are experimenting with, but it looks like AI in general is likely to become a permanent fixture in art, and grow in application.

Is it time to think more seriously about how AI should fit into the site? We can tackle digital art in general or limit the discussion to AI for now. Discussion of AI might be more fruitful, though, if digital art in general provides the context.

There have been some previous attempts to revisit site scope in general (I won't summarize that here), and digital art specifically, e.g.:

The general SE guidance, especially for a small site, is to not be concerned about a few questions that are edge cases for the site; wait until there is enough of it to become something that needs to be addressed at the site definition level.

This isn't at that level yet, maybe more of an opportunity at this point. Every questioner who gets turned away because a question is off-topic now, and it becomes on-topic later, is a missed opportunity to build the site.

Also, as questions come in that are currently edge cases, it will be simpler for the community to curate them if each one doesn't lead to questions on topicality.

So far, the questions have been identifying art styles. Style identification questions in general have recently accounted for a substantive portion of new questions. If this use of AI takes off, I could envision the site turning into a clearing house for identifying art styles, as word spreads that this is a place where that service is available.

Some of these questions are nothing more than essentially, "Here's a picture. What is its style?" We are looking at tightening the quality standards for the style identification questions here.

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Within the confines of our site's subject matter, AI is a tool. As long as a user points out how this tool helps them with their concrete project, it should be treated like any other tool.

Very much like what seems to be the current consensus in the linked thread about the use of computers and other digital tools, this means the use of AI can certainly be on-topic.

A problem that arises here, however, is that, per the general SE guidelines, we tend to assume good intentions (a clause that was removed, apparently, but its return is heavily supported and currently under review), and that those intentions need not be explicated—for all we know every user asking an AI-related question intends to use that information for a physical project of theirs.

So, as with the reconsideration, we should create a detailed wiki description for the tag, in which we point out that the user in their question makes clear how the AI software is used (as a tool) in their project, the adherence to which will be a requirement for the question to be accepted.

I do wonder what types of questions will show up under a possible tag, but we are now seeing the beginnings of the democratization of AI (at least as an image (and text and speech) generator).

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    I think this is generally a good way to look at it. I'm not sure if/how we could implement a requirement for the poster to show a connection to a physical project (but that would be a neat solution). e.g., we don't require someone asking about a computer-controlled cutter to explain how they plan to use it in a handmade project.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 16:24
  • @fixer1234 Good point, but it shouldn't be hard for a user to give an indication of the use of a tool, and a question about a cc cutter will naturally give the intend away, I think (if it's a question about the software-side it's off-topic, if it's about the physical side it's hard to interpret it as being off-topic). In any case, it might prove a crude but effective rule for now.
    – Joachim Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:15

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