An AI-generated picture won an art prize. Artists aren’t happy.

Jason M. Allen of Pueblo West, Colorado, didn’t make his entry with a brush or a lump of clay. He created it with Midjourney, an artificial intelligence program that turns lines of text into hyper-realistic graphics. 

AI-generated art has been around for years. But tools released this year — with names like DALL-E 2, Midjourney 

Allen, 39, began experimenting with AI-generated art this year 

Allen became obsessed, creating hundreds of images and marveling at how realistic they were. No matter what he typed, Midjourney seemed capable of making it.

“It shouldn’t be an indictment of the technology itself,” he said. “The ethics isn’t in the technology. It’s in the people.”

Allen, the blue-ribbon winner, said he empathized with artists who were scared that AI tools would put them out of work.