AI’s Impact on Art Perception: Debunking Misconceptions in WWE 2K24’s ‘Forty Yea
This week marked the unveiling of WWE 2K24, the latest installment in the annual wrestling game series, introducing three distinct covers for its various editions. Amid the customary offering of future downloadable content and unlockables tied to different editions, a particular focus emerged on the ‘Forty Years Of WrestleMania’ edition, as accusations surfaced regarding the potential use of generative AI in crafting its artwork.
The claim, suggesting AI involvement, was promptly refuted by cover artist Jonathan Bartlett, known for his work with outlets like The Ringer. Despite the swift clarification, the initial assumption, fueled by characteristics reminiscent of AI output such as refined skin tones, blurred text, and unconventional facial expressions and proportions, stirred speculation that 2K had opted for cost-effective automation. The fact that a respected artist like Bartlett had to swiftly debunk these allegations mere hours after the game’s revelation highlights the tendency to prematurely draw conclusions. It also underscores broader discussions about the widespread integration of generative AI in popular culture.
The current landscape, where distinguishing genuine art from AI-generated content becomes challenging, forces us to adopt a guarded perspective on everything we encounter. While many perceive AI as a playful tool on platforms like TikTok, for creators striving to make a livelihood, the ramifications are significant.
The use of digital de-aging in the reveal trailer, altering the appearances of wrestling icons like Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin, further fueled skepticism. Unlike the other editions featuring photography of Cody Rhodes, Bianca Belair, and Rhea Ripley, the ‘Forty Years Of WrestleMania’ edition lacked this authentic touch, prompting fans to question the artistic process and raising suspicions of AI involvement. In an era where trust in media is wavering, it’s understandable that people express suspicion and believe they are acting responsibly by scrutinizing potential AI-generated art, even in the absence of concrete evidence.
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