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Valve says Steam games can’t use AI models trained on copyrighted works

Are we certain this famous Valve promo image wasn't generated by an AI?

Enlarge / Are we certain this famous Valve promo image wasn’t generated by an AI? (credit: Valve)

Last week, we shared an anonymous report that Valve was blocking from Steam at least some games that make use of AI-generated artwork. Over the weekend, Valve confirmed that report, telling Ars in an e-mailed statement that the company is blocking games that use AI-generated content unless developers can prove those AI models were trained with data that does not “infringe on existing copyrights.”

“The introduction of AI can sometimes make it harder to show that a developer has sufficient rights in using AI to create assets, including images, text, and music,” Valve spokesperson Kaci Boyle told Ars. “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 stressed in the statement that Valve’s “goal is not to discourage the use of [AI-generated content] on Steam” and that the company’s “priority, as always, is to try to ship as many of the titles we receive as we can.” Generative AI is “bound to create new and exciting experiences in gaming,” Valve continued.

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