Bloomsbury uses AI-generated artwork for Sarah J. Maas book

Occurred: May 2023

Publisher Bloomsbury used AI to generate the UK cover of Sarah J. Maas' book House of Earth and Blood sparking criticism of her and the publisher.

The illustration of a wolf on the book's cover matched an image created by user 'Aperture Vintage' and marked as AI-generated on Adobe Stock. AI is permitted by Adobe on its Stock platform as long as it is clearly labelled as such, and contributors must review the terms of any generative AI tools they use to create the images to ensure they have 'all the necessary rights' to license them for commercial use.

Bloomsbury said its 'in-house design team created the UK paperback cover of House of Earth and Blood, and as part of this process we incorporated an image from a photo library that we were unaware was AI when we licensed it. The final cover was fully designed by our in-house team.

The incident raised complaints from readers and artists concerned about the impact of text-to-image generators on the livelihoods of artists and graphic designers. 

System 🤖

Operator: Bloomsbury Books
Developer: Aperture Vintage

Country: UK

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate image

Technology: Text-to-image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Employment

Transparency: Governance; Marketing