In a blog post published earlier today, Discord – a communication platform, and nothing more– announced plans to introduce what they call “AI” (but which should more accurately be called “machine learning”) for the service’s moderation, support and chat.
Mail, called DISCORD IS YOUR PLACE FOR AI WITH FRIENDS is full of cheery visuals and promises of how “AI” will make everything easier for everyone who uses Discord, whether they’re chatting with friends or trying to moderate a group.
Why is Discord becoming the home of AI? Simple: On Discord you can enjoy AI with friends. Instead of just going solo with an app, you and your friends can see what kinds of exciting, wild, and sometimes silly results come from messages like “robo-hamster trapped in cardboard box, renaissance painting.”
No thanks! AI-generated images are, as we’ve often discussed, built on the bones of uncredited and uncompensated human artand plan to implement some sort of ChatGPT functionality—which is widespread with serious factual errors-two Discord conversations seem premature at best.
The contrast between Discord’s optimistic presentation and reaction to the news itself could not be greater. Responses to the announcement Tweet are almost universally negativewhere users quickly realized that handing over the keys to so many features to machine learning a threat to privacyaccuracy and legitimacy of communications on the Platform.
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“Will there be an opt-out button for server owners who don’t want their server to become training material for machine learning?” asks one user, while most others are simply as many variations of a “nah” image meme as you can be found on the internet in 2023.
“Oh yeah ‘sharing AI experiences’ exactly what I’m on Discord for, my mistake in thinking I was there to spend time with my friends, network and meet new people”, says another.
They even manage to squeeze the one good announcement out of it all with news of a “shared whiteboard” feature – something people have been wanting forever— spoiled by the fact that it will be saddled with “an AI-powered text-to-image generator you can iterate and experiment with together”.
Companies, I promise you, you don’t have to do this. I know you’re forced by the irresistible forces of capitalist inertia, the need to make everything grow all the time, but like, this is a chat show. It doesn’t need any of that crap in it. We literally only use Discord for one thing: to chat people.