AI Policy

The discussion on AI and its impact on the creative community is a long way from over. Until the legal boundaries catch up with the technology, and are drawn up, and AI platforms brought into line with those boundaries, our position is what we believe is a moral one in support of the creative community that we’ve been a part of since 2014, and is as follows:

Procurement

Grimdark Magazine will not knowingly procure fiction, art, or design services (eg. typography) where the creators have used AI tools in any form to create, or help create, those works. 

Our agreements have terms in them to reflect this stance. 

Non-fiction and third party contributor articles

Grimdark Magazine will not procure non-fiction from third parties where the creators have used AI tools in any form to create, or help create, those works. Nor will we enable our team members to publish non-fiction works (articles, listicles, interviews) through our platform where those works have used AI tools in any form to create, or help create, those works.

Reviews of other publisher’s works 

As a site that publishes over 300 pieces of review content per year, including reviews of books, comics, graphic novels, plus artist focus pieces, cover reveals, etc, there is no current way for an organisation of volunteers to check the providence (human or AI) on everything we review. There is no efficient manner that exists within our skillset or budget in which we can check every sentence of every novel, every piece of stock art that went into a digital artist’s work for a book cover or the panels of a comic book, or the typography on a dust jacket. 

That, in our eyes, is the moral responsibility of the publisher of that work to manage. 

We can, however, take the following steps. GdM will not knowingly:

  • Publish reviews (by our team) that have been generated in full or in part by AI
  • Support art that is AI generated or assisted
  • Support fiction that is AI generated or assisted
  • Support design work that is AI generated or assisted

For fiction, this is a hard line. These books will be refused at the publicist request stage where AI is noted as a contributor. Where our team is not notified and it is discovered and confirmed after the fact, a notice will replace the review copy to ensure GdM fans are aware it is a computer written, or assisted story. 

For art, this is a harder to police line. Many of the books we review are situations where an author has no say in the creation of their cover, and even if they did, then like us likely lack the ability to accurately check the artwork and typography for AI. In these instances, or where we are unsure of the providence, a notice will be inserted at the end of the review and linked to this policy page.

Our commitment for when we get it wrong

We are going to make mistakes from time-to-time in this rapidly changing environment. We will do our best to get it right, and apologise when we get it wrong. We’re all human; it’s all we can do.

Recognition of the other side of the argument

I recognise that the cost of art is a barrier to entry for some authors and small publishers. I recognise that the cost of stock imagery and design tools might be a barrier to entry to some digital artists. I recognise that for the underprivileged, AI might be the reason that you’re able to produce something you can be proud of. 

I also can appreciate that over the centuries of human art in all its forms, it has gone through evolutions, and that AI art is likely just the latest one that we’re going to need to adapt to in time. 

And I say this next statement in full recognition of those facts, and in the full knowledge that I can’t make everyone happy: Grimdark Magazine chooses to stand with the human-created artistic community. We choose to support, and procure from, those who have grafted for years, deleted, started again, spilled ink and paint everywhere, torn their hair out as they can’t get a sentence right, lost control and wanted to quit a hundred times over, and poured their heart and their hurt and their hard-won abilities onto a page one keystroke, or brush stroke, or digital pen stroke at a time.

I am sure AI will find its place in the creative landscape over the next few years, but for now, that place is not at Grimdark Magazine

– Adrian