IN DECEMBER 2019, Utah startup Latitude launched a pioneering online game called AI Dungeon that demonstrated a new form of human-machine collaboration. The company used text-generation technology from artificial intelligence company OpenAI to create a choose-your-own adventure game inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. When a player typed out the action or dialog they wanted their character to perform, algorithms would craft the next phase of their personalized, unpredictable adventure.
Last summer, OpenAI gave Latitude early access to a more powerful, commercial version of its technology. In marketing materials, OpenAI touted AI Dungeon as an example of the commercial and creative potential of writing algorithms.
Then, last month, OpenAI says, it discovered AI Dungeon also showed a dark side to human-AI collaboration. A new monitoring system revealed that some players were typing words that caused the game to generate stories depicting sexual encounters involving children. OpenAI asked Latitude to take immediate action. “Content moderation decisions are difficult in some cases, but not this one,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a statement. “This is not the future for AI that any of us want.”