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Valve allows AI content on Steam

Game developers can use AI-generated content in games listed on Steam, but only if it isn’t generated using copyright-infringing content.

That’s the official line from Valve, the creator of game publishing platform Steam, which it made in response to a June Reddit post that’s been making the rounds about a developer who had his game rejected by Steam for using AI.

Developer Artoonu, who specializes in creating NSFW games (think furries and hentai), said the company asked him to “affirmatively confirm that you own the rights to all of the IP used in the data set that trained the AI to create the assets in your game” for it to be accepted, which is an impossible ask.

Valve, it seems, is worried about the legal implications of hosting AI-generated content. And perhaps it should be. Artists are furious about the fact that AI image generators are trained using their work. ChatGPT pulls massive amounts of data from the web, much of which is copyrighted. Recordings of voice artists from years ago have been dug up and are being used by companies to train AI voice models without their explicit consent.

Valve spokesperson Kaci Boyle told Gizmodo this week that the introduction of AI was making it harder to show that a developer has sufficient IP rights when they use AI to create assets, including images, text and music.

“In particular, there is some legal uncertainty relating to data used to train AI models. It is the developer’s responsibility to make sure they have the appropriate rights to ship their game,” Boyle said.

AI is a double-edged sword. For its detractors, it is robbing artists of rights and work. For its proponents, it is bringing them a whole new suite of creative tools. Artoonu said AI brought their creativity to “an all-time high.”

“There were almost no limits to what kind of story I can write. I could generate almost every background I imagined and its wobbliness added a charm to it which I loved….


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