Perth Comic Arts Festival denounces generative AI

8 May 2024

Perth Comic Arts Festival is a volunteer-run not-for-profit founded to celebrate and support the craft of comic arts. We’ve grown over the past eight years into a larger professional organisation with year-round programming and partnerships to better support our tremendous community of creators and readers.

As technology evolves, so do the options available to produce comics. PCAF embraces new tools, especially if they can save creators from some of the physical toil that is required of such a laborious art form. But in the case of generative artificial intelligence,* as part of our responsibility to our community, we must take a formal stance.

PCAF will not knowingly promote AI-generated materials, nor will we allow any such work to be a part of our festival, for these reasons:

  • We, as an organisation, came together to support people –– artists, writers, readers –– and as such, human creation and rights must come first. The human process of creation is where discoveries are made and meaning emerges; to remove this stage dehumanises the arts and diminishes the worth of all artists.

  • All current widely-available generative AI programs have been trained on stolen data, including the art and writing of our colleagues. We stand by them in protecting their legal and moral rights as creators. Businesses are already using these programs in place of professional artists and writers who would have previously been paid for that work (Jiang et al, 2023; Park & Tegmark, 2023).

  • The legal standing of generative AI programs and the materials produced with them are currently being tested in courts around the world (Samuelson, 2023). At this time, PCAF does not recognise claims to fair use. To steal artists’ work in order to create something that is used to replace them is indefensible.

  • The staggering environmental impact (Berthelot et al, 2023) of the processing power required by these programs is in clear violation of our organisation’s sustainability practices.

PCAF is open to reassessing our policy if and when ethical options that negate these concerns become the standard. But until then, our stance is firm. Perth Comic Arts Festival denounces all uses of generative artificial intelligence.

We call upon all creative organisations, including publishers and other arts events, to stand with us in excluding AI-generated materials from their own activities, catalogues, and programming.

This isn’t just a comics issue. Collectively, we must refrain from entertaining and thereby normalising the use of generative AI; solidarity will protect all of our industries. Instead of unquestioningly experimenting with these tools, PCAF urges allied organisations to consider who stands to benefit from widespread adoption, and who will be hurt.


The Perth Comic Arts Festival Organising Committee


*Note: When we say “generative AI” we mean MidJourney, ChatGPT, DALL-E, and similar. These are programs that generate new text and images from user input, based on examples that have been fed into them (Jiang et al, 2023). We acknowledge that there are options in development that attempt to address these issues, but at this point, they are the exception.



Berthelot, A., Caron, E., Jay, M., & Lefèvre, L. (2023). Estimating the environmental impact of Generative-AI services using an LCA-based methodology.

Jiang, H. H., Brown, L., Cheng, J., Khan, M., Gupta, A., Workman, D., … & Gebru, T. (2023, August). AI Art and its Impact on Artists. In Proceedings of the 2023 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society (pp. 363-374).

Park, P. S., & Tegmark, M. (2023). Divide-and-conquer dynamics in AI-driven disempowerment. arXiv preprint arXiv:2310.06009.

Samuelson, P. (2023) Ongoing lawsuits could affect everyone who uses generative AI.