Meta is the latest in a long string of companies trying to jump on the AI hype train leading to Lawsuit Station. Apple and Microsoft are also using the power of AI to amplify its devices and services, with Copilot being a huge new integration from the latter. Now Meta wants to shove Snoop Dogg as a Dungeon Master to people who want to solo Dungeons & Dragons. This is a problem.
AI has its uses, especially when it comes to streamlining services and information for you. So why has it become such a controversial topic? When it comes to a creative function that AI provides for you, it has to come from somewhere. Meta’s slew of AI personalities will rip content from across the internet and use it for its own purposes.
If you’re a creative, imagine your art or written work being used as the backbone for a multi-billion dollar company. You’re not seeing a cent of that in compensation. And Snoop Dogg being a Dungeon Master is just another example of that.
Who writes the adventures?
I guarantee you that Snoop Dogg himself is not writing out custom adventures for each and every person who wants to solo D&D. So where are these custom adventures coming from? The internet, of course.
(Image credit: Meta)
Virtual Snoop Dogg is filtering these adventures and spitting them back out to you. I get that there are plenty of free adventures out there, but ripping them without credit? That’s low. Ripping paid adventures? That’s illegal.
What happens when Snoop rips the wrong adventure, like, I don’t know, Curse of Strahd, an official Dungeons & Dragons book by Wizards of the Coast? I severely doubt that Wizards is okay with offering hundreds of dollars worth of content up to Meta to feed its creepy AI.
While it wasn’t presented on stage, it’s not a leap to assume that this AI might provide you images for the adventure as well. Every good D&D game has inspiration art or a battle map. That art is stolen from someone.
I actually emailed a Wizards representative asking about this very topic, and I was told that they’d get back to me with some responses, so I am excited to see what the company has to say about this.
Companies like Meta appear to be blindly pushing forward with AI efforts thinking it can steal people’s art without consequence. Multimillion dollar companies aren’t new to abusing power, but the potential volume of lawsuits may get their attention.
Are companies so oblivious to the fact that the common folk are striking about these very issues? The Writer’s Guild of America only recently started negotiating a fair deal with the powers that be in Hollywood (after 148 days of work stoppage). It wasn’t just about the pay, which was a big deal, but it was also about AI stealing their jobs.
(Image credit: Meta)
I’m guessing Meta also didn’t hear about George R.R. Martin being among the 17 authors suing OpenAI for ChatGPT stealing their works (statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work). Yeah, that’s gotta sting. And every company that decides to use the OpenAI model is going to fall into that same trap eventually.
It just baffles me that companies are proudly getting on stage and showcasing tech that could be leveraging stolen work, claiming: “Look at this new technology we made for you. Where did it come from? Well, don’t worry about that. Look, you can turn yourself into watercolors!”
This Dungeon Master AI personality is just one facet of its offerings. There’s even a Creative Writing Partner — yup, that can’t be problematic in any way whatsoever (this is sarcasm). Even if this AI doesn’t give you direct content, its tips and tricks are certainly pulled from somewhere. It could be a public website, or it could be a paid creative writing book that it scraped off the internet.
Meta claims that it wants to be transparent by “indicating the use of AI to reduce the chances of people mistaking them for human-generated content.” That’s not what people are worried about, Meta. We know AI when we see it. We care more about the theft, thanks.
AI isn’t going away without a fight, so we’re just going to have to keep fighting back. We can’t let companies like Meta rob us blind, and profit off our creative works. This entire article could be scrapped and regurgitated through any AI platform.
Also, don’t play D&D with fake Snoop Dogg. There are plenty of ways to play D&D and find friends to play with you. I’ve written over a dozen articles about it. Check them out.
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