World of Warcraft fans are claiming victory over AI after a gaming site published a false article based on their Reddit posts.
Members of the WoW subreddit suspected their words were being extracted and used to create news stories by a bot.
So they laid a trap, uploading excitable posts about a new feature called Glorbo. The only problem? It doesn’t exist.
But that didn’t stop an article appearing on gaming site Zleague.
The story, which presented Glorbo as genuine, listed a range of other increasingly bizarre – and definitely fake – features mentioned in various subreddit threads.
These included the “mandatory item Klikclac”, an “epic quest to depose Quackion, the Aspect of Ducks,” and the “small, cosy island” of Zoop.
As fans celebrated its publication, one of Warcraft’s senior developers joined in, tweeting his relief about “finally” being able to discuss Glorbo.
Zleague hasn’t confirmed the article was created using AI, but it’s since been deleted, along with others people had flagged as being the product of recycled Reddit posts.
It’s been noted that the author credited with writing the piece has posted dozens of articles on the site each day – raising doubts that a human was behind all of them.
The prank also raises some more serious questions about using AI to create articles.
Gaming sites traditionally employ human writers with a deep knowledge of the subject who should be able to spot and fact-check fake news.
And while there are genuine concerns about AI taking over certain jobs, some authority figures have stressed it’s not currently as intelligent as we might always think.
And on this occasion, it seems to be humans one, robots nil.