The worst AI-generated artwork we’ve seen’: Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook ad fail

  • Editor
  • March 6, 2024

In an unconventional foray into digital marketing, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) recently unveiled a Facebook advertisement that has since sparked a mixture of intrigue and criticism within the creative community and beyond.

Crafted using artificial intelligence, the ad portrays a couple in a concert hall setting, but a closer inspection reveals a series of bewildering anomalies – notably, an excessive and disproportioned number of fingers and a peculiar, wax-like skin texture. The attire further adds to the surrealism: both individuals don a tulle gown, jeweled no less, with one also sporting a tuxedo. A conspicuously large cube sits on the woman’s lap, adding to the tableau’s oddity.

This creative decision was met with swift backlash, notably from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), which denounced the artwork as “the worst AI-generated artwork we’ve seen,” critiquing it as inappropriate and disrespectful to both audiences and the musicians of the QSO.

The ad, intended to promote an orchestra performance, ironically featured violinists seated in the audience, some depicted as playing with multiple hands – or none at all. The criticism underscores a growing concern within the artistic community about AI’s role and its potential to undermine professional creative work.

The controversy extends beyond the artistic community. The ad also attracted negative attention on social media, with commentators urging the QSO to employ photographers and lamenting the perceived devaluation of artist contributions.

This incident feeds into a broader discourse on AI-generated content, which has been a contentious issue across various creative fields. From art competitions to editorial decisions, the use of AI has ignited debates on ethics, originality, and the future role of human artists.

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra defended its innovative approach, emphasizing a commitment to exploring and adopting new technologies across all facets of its operations.

Here is what the AD stated:

“Want to do something different this Saturday? Come see an orchestra play,” reads the ad.

The design, seemingly conceptualized by an individual unfamiliar with the nuances of orchestral performances, portrays an unconventional scene: violinists are depicted sitting among the audience, engaging in their art with an improbable number of hands—ranging from one to three, and in some cases, none at all.

This stance reflects a broader trend among organizations to integrate digital innovations in their marketing strategies. However, the mixed reactions to the QSO’s ad underscore the delicate balance between embracing technological advancements and respecting traditional creative processes.

As AI technology continues to evolve and permeate various sectors, the dialogue surrounding its application in the arts is likely to intensify. While some view these tools as a means to augment creative potential, others caution against the risks of devaluing human creativity and expertise.

The QSO’s ad debacle serves as a vivid reminder of these ongoing debates, highlighting the need for thoughtful consideration and dialogue as we navigate the intersection of technology and art.

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Dave Andre


Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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