Pink Floyd’s AI Animation Contest Sparks Controversy

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Key Takeaways

  • Rock icons Pink Floyd invited entries for an animation contest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their famous Dark Side of the Moon album.
  • The AI-powered winner, Damián Gaume's entry for "Any Colour You Like" also collected a £10,000 prize.
  • The decision created a controversy after many fans and entrants showed disdain with the call to reward generative AI over hand animated original work.

British rock band Pink Floyd has split opinion by choosing an AI-generated fan-made video as the centerpiece for the 50th-anniversary celebrations for their seminal album, “Dark Side of The Moon.”

The group invited entries asking creators to produce a music video for any of the 10 songs on the compilation. An opportunity for a “fresh take on these timeless aural works” was extended, opening the door to using advanced technology.

However, entrants and band enthusiasts were scathing in their response after Damian Gaume’s AI-powered video for “Any Colour You Like” scooped the £10,000 ($12,650 USD) prize. The ire was not fuelled by losing the contest. It was the fact that the panel awarded the accolade to a product of the text-to-image model Stable Diffusion, with original hand-animated submissions overlooked.

Pink Floyd is a psychedelic rock group considered one of the most influential and commercially successful bands ever, with over 250 million records sold worldwide.

Gaume’s AI construct depicted a merger of instruments and spacecraft in a theme reminiscent of the iconic rockers’ stage image.

Replies to the above post on X, formerly Twitter, were full of sentiment. Many derided the AI choice, while some congratulated the winner.

One user stated, “I have no words…except shame on you.”

Others opined, “So a crappy AI-generated video won? Kinda craps all over the fantastic art that is usually associated with Pink Floyd.”

It wasn’t all one-way traffic. One X user congratulated Gaume, countering the complaints from elsewhere, “The guy who made it explains his process. He trained a model himself. Stop being a sore loser. This animation ain’t even so good; you can obviously see in places how it’s 3D baldy pretending to be 2D.”

As for the man himself, he confirmed he used prompts within the Stable Diffusion AI but all within the rules. It stated the entrant must detail their creative process and use of software that “assumes or obtains (or tries to assume or obtain) any copyright or other rights’ ownership in your video entry.”