Germany’s first study on the impact of AI on the visual arts


Berlin, 24.06.2024. The study “AI and Arts” (KI UND BILDENDE KUNST) presented today is the first to examine the opportunities and risks of generative artificial intelligence (AI) for the visual arts. It makes clear demands for remuneration, transparency and media expertise.

The study, commissioned by the Art Fund Foundation (Stiftung Kunstfonds) and the Authors’ Rights Initiative  (Initiative Urheberrecht) and compiled by Goldmedia GmbH, shows that many visual artists are already using AI-based tools and that recipients are also open to AI art. However, the majority of the more than 3,000 artists surveyed are concerned about disadvantages and loss of income, and many express concrete demands to AI companies and politicians. The study also sheds light on the economic dimension of generative AI.

AI: creative booster or threat?

42% of the artists surveyed have already had their own artistic experience with AI in the creation of works, of which 50% use AI tools to generate ideas and 39% to develop new works. 43% of visual artists see the emergence of new types of art, styles and techniques as the greatest opportunity for AI. At the same time, there are reservations: 56% of the artists surveyed fear that AI could cause them to lose sources of income, while 53% even see the livelihood of visual artists at risk. Of the more than 1,000 art recipients surveyed, 64% showed interest in works that were created entirely or partially with the help of AI applications.

Clear demands for remuneration, mandatory labelling and better information

Generative AI applications require very large amounts of data in order to function. However, like many other creatives, visual artists face the problem of not knowing whether and in what form their artworks have already been used to train complex AI models. 87% of visual artists therefore demand that their works can only be used for training purposes by AI companies with their explicit consent. 91% demand financial compensation for use. 85% of artists and 83% of art recipients also call for mandatory labelling of products created with or by AI.

One result of the interviews with experts is also the call for better education on the opportunities and risks of AI, which should already start at art colleges and academies and be supplemented by accompanying educational campaigns.

Klaus Goldhammer, Goldmedia GmbH: “This is the first study in Germany to analyse the impact of artificial intelligence on the visual arts. It is clear that generative AI with its various tools has already arrived in many studios. However, alongside the openness of many artists to AI as an instrument, there are also concerns and reservations: Many of the artists surveyed fear, among other things, a devaluation of art (45%) and increasing competitive pressure (55%). Interestingly, almost half (47%) of art recipients are in favour of the use of AI in the visual arts. However, a large majority (83%) of them are in favour of mandatory labelling of products created with AI. In the study, we can also show that around EUR 2 billion will be generated in Germany in 2030 with AI image generators alone. Sales that would not be possible without the works of visual artists as the basis for training AI systems.”

Karin Lingl, Stiftung Kunstfonds: “The study reveals the ambivalence with which AI works in the visual arts. On the one hand, as an innovative tool that opens up creative scope. On the other hand, as a machine whose products reduce the income of artists by flooding the art market and thus devaluing art. On an even larger scale, AI is conquering the art mediation sectors, jeopardising jobs and commissions throughout the art industry, in museums, publishing houses, galleries and the press. We urgently need further data collection on the economic impact of AI on the entire visual arts network in order to assess the consequences for all players in the art scene. The study also shows how important media literacy is. We need to develop an awareness of authenticity in order to be able to check and assess the credibility of images. Who, if not the visual artists, should do this as experts?”

Katharina Uppenbrink, Initiative Urheberrecht: “In line with the demand for financial participation by artists (86%), all uses of protected works and performances by AI applications must lead to appropriate remuneration for creatives, either within the framework of licensing models or statutory remuneration. The approaches now contained in the AI Act are a step in the right direction, but are still far from sufficient. This study is a very good basis for further political work.”

You can download the study (Summary: p. 11-18) and watch the livestream of the press conference here:

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us:

Press contact Stiftung Kunstfonds: Jenny Fleischer, Press and Public Relations, T: +49 228 33 65 69-18, E:

Press contact Copyright Initiative: Katharina Uppenbrink, Managing Director, T: +49 16090954016, E:

The Art Fund Foundation

Since it was founded in 1980, the Kunstfonds Foundation has had the task of promoting contemporary visual art and communicating its contribution to society. It supports artistic processes from idea to production and promotes innovative mediation concepts. In addition, the Kunstfonds Foundation initiates visionary projects on relevant future topics in the visual arts and their social role. These include the K√ľnstler:innenarchiv in Brauweiler near Cologne, which looks after artistic bequests and estates and tests and negotiates concepts for the art heritage of the future. The Art Fund Foundation is one of the six federal cultural funds and is supported by the major visual arts organisations. Visual artists always have the majority in its committees and award juries.

The Authors’ Rights Initiative

The Copyright Initiative represents the interests of around 140,000 authors and performing artists in the fields of fiction and non-fiction, visual arts, design, documentary film, film and television, photography, illustration, journalism, composition, orchestra, drama, game development, dance and many more. She has been involved in the field of artificial intelligence for several years, has published key statements on the subject and has been a major advocate of European digital legislation (AI Act).