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Librarians, Artists, & Authors Lambast Children’s Book Made Entirely of AI Theft in 48 Hours

"You were so preoccupied with thinking if you could you never stopped to think if you should,"

AI art has been stirring up controversy online recently, especially with the recent accusations of theft due to many AI programmers using other artists’ work to feed their algorithms and generators.

But that hasn’t stopped some from using the AI art for their own ends.

Ammaar Reshi, a “Design Manager @brexhq // previously Product Manager @PalantirTech // co-founded @HackCampus w/ @IndexVentures” and Twitter Blue subscriber, claims to have written a children’s book in fewer than 48 hours with help from “ChatGPT, MidJourney, and other AI tools.”

Thankfully, actual artists and writers are calling him out on his claim.

Children’s book illustrator Anoosha Syed tweeted “it is saddening to see these books bc, apart from the ethics of AI and stolen artwork, kids deserve better!!! I’m tired of people who see kidlit as an easy get-rich-quick scheme and putting in the absolute minimal effort into their books.”

Some have criticized this practice as “consumption for consumption’s sake” and likened it to the fake Krabby Patties that were sold after Mr. Krabs sold the restaurant to a franchise on SpongeBob SquarePants.

Others have taken the chance to brutally rip apart the half-baked “art” of the book that includes anti-gravity leaves, pens that become dresses, severely water-damaged books, and a million other details that anyone who spends more than 20 seconds looking will see.

The original ‘author’ has admitted to understanding concerns about “all of the implications with tech so powerful like this I don’t think we’re prepared for as a society.”

And yet he also brushes past that immediately after with a tweet calling out ‘keyboard warriors’ who “aren’t more open-minded about the topic.”

Reducing critics to ‘keyboard warriors’ isn’t very open-minded either, sir. But perhaps the worst part about all of this is that it’s certainly only the start. The market is likely to get flooded with books just like these by people who think the ability to steal from others makes them artists, and by people who underestimate kids and assume they won’t care or notice the flaws and failures in AI art.

So what can we do?

Support real authors and real artists, especially those who make content that shapes children’s minds and imaginations. Children’s literature is often discounted, but it is vital to helping children understand the world and when you invest in kids, you invest in the future. Don’t be distracted by fads and shiny new technology. Focus on what really matters and what values you really want to instill in the next generation.

They take those lessons to heart, I promise.

(image: Corey Brickley / Twitter)

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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.