Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Alex Rajczi

Rights Information

© 2024 Ian M Baime


This thesis evaluates claims of theft and plagiarism in AI art. It draws primarily on Goetze’s 2024 article “AI Art is Theft”. Here, I aim to examine and evaluate topics of theft and consent violations in AI art with specific attention to modern practices of training data management. A common complaint from working artists is that the developers behind products like Midjourney or DALL-E steal their art in the process of training the art generation models. However, as artists are left with no less than before they commit the crime, it is difficult to pin down exactly where the theft occurs. Here, I explore several arguments for different ways AI commits some form of theft against artists, such as labor theft, plagiarism, and traditional heist. Ultimately, I conclude that modern practices in AI development do generally violate artists’ consent. However, I argue that distinctions are often more blurry than Goetze acknowledges. Additionally, I include other notions of theft that may help strengthen Goetze’s argument and help him reach his goal of defending artists.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.