Published in


A Field Guide to Making AI Art Responsibly

Field guide by Emily Saltz, Lia Coleman, and Claire Leibowicz

By Claire Leibowicz and Emily Saltz

Machine learning tools for generating synthetic media are becoming more and more accessible. We’ve written about how the availability of these tools can allow the creation of synthetically generated media to mislead and cause harm. Even lower-tech, cheapfake techniques — like those recently used on videos of Joe Biden — can be used to alter the perception of public figures.

Yet, the same tools can have powerful expressive capabilities. For artists, these tools have generated a new creative field for expressing themselves and commentating on life and technology. Derrick Schultz’s AI-generated works leverage artwork from vintage botanical illustrations; Esteban Salgado created his own dataset of abstract vector shapes to train AI in generating animated abstract collages; and Kishi Yuma has experimented with “next frame prediction” to animate images or “redefine humanity through the gaze of AI.”

As artists and other independent creators experiment with AI technologies, it is crucial to recognize that as they create AI art, they are also de facto AI researchers as part of the broader synthetic media research community. By releasing AI art into the world, artists are responsible for understanding the potentially harmful unintended consequences of their work. How can artists create AI art responsibly and with care?

We’ve created a Field Guide to Making AI Art Responsibly in collaboration with AI artist and educator Lia Coleman. The guide is structured around questions artists should ask while making AI art. It provides some emerging best practices and checkpoints for artists to try out in their work. In particular, artists can expect to learn responsible practices for using and creating datasets, machine learning codebases, training resources, and publishing their work.

We invite AI artists to try employing this guide on their own, or as part of a group or class. Let us know how we can help you document the experience by contacting

Download the Field Guide:

View the plain text version of the Field Guide:




A publication to highlight the practice of developing and ensuring AI technologies are ethical, transparent, and inclusive for the benefit of people and society

Recommended from Medium

How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing the Manufacturing World

Imagineering & Resurrections


The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning

Industry UseCases of Neural Networks

What Are the Popular AI Products? — Part1

What can AI do to bring about a better society?

Tackling Artificial Intelligence in Music: Interview w/ Musiio CEO and Co-Founder Hazel Savage.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Partnership on AI

Partnership on AI

The Partnership on AI is a global nonprofit organization committed to the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence.

More from Medium

Newsletter #57 — IBM, Oracle and Microsoft grapple with AI in healthcare

The Draft of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act   — a perspective of AI and Legal Tech…

AI, Trust, & Organizational Culture with Phaedra Boinodiris

Supply Chain AI: Squashing the Nightmare that is Coronavirus