Unauthorized AI plagiarism is becoming a rapidly increasing problem. The push to regulate the use of copyrighted works in AI programs is a hot button issue. Dungeons & Dragons is one business trying to keep artists honest.
It was revealed over the weekend a recent illustration for their current books was AI-generated. Hasbro-owned Wizards of the Coast immediately cracked down, and made a public statement about it. They also pledged to amend their guidelines for artists they commission.
Apparently this news came as a surprise to the publisher as well. D&D said they “had worked closely with this particular artist for roughly a decade,” and were unaware of the AI usage in the upcoming “Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants” book. While they did not name the artist, they did reveal it was a man.
“He will not use AI for Wizards’ work moving forward. We are revising our process and updating our artist guidelines to make clear that artists must refrain from using AI art generation as part of their art creation process for developing D&D,” D&D Beyond tweeted.
Wizards of the Coast have their community to thank for the catch. A giant with an axe looked a bit too bizarre to be illustrated intentionally.
The Uncanny Valley Lives Within These Images
The problem with AI programs is that they basically collage an image from pre-existing ones. This means that there are bizarre distortions that can be picked out with a discerning eye. At first glance, it might look beautiful, but pull back the curtain and things stop making as much sense. Horizons may be uneven, textures are warped, hands and fingers often get distorted and mangled.
There are any number of red flags one can look for, but a passing glance might simply tell your brain it’s a pretty picture. When the reality is that it’s cobbled together from the art of millions of people who have worked hard to hone their skills. The measures taken to keep AI out of artistic spaces need to be a lot stronger than what they currently are.
We’re grateful that Hasbro is taking the steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.