Artificial Intelligence in Art: Controversy Ignited by Hasbro’s Acquisition of D&D Beyond, Challenging the Core of Creativity

by | Aug 7, 2023

In a surprising development, Hasbro, a well-known toy company, has acquired D&D Beyond, an online platform for the popular fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons. However, this unexpected purchase has sparked a heated debate about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in art creation. It has raised concerns about creativity, authenticity, and the future of artistic expression.

At the center of this debate is the issue of copyright infringement. Artists have taken legal action against AI companies for using their work without permission. This ethical and legal dilemma has sparked a wider discussion about the role of AI in the creative process.

D&D Beyond, now owned by Hasbro, became involved in this controversy when it was revealed that an illustrator had used AI for commissioned artwork. Fans of the fantasy franchise questioned the authenticity of an illustration depicting a giant with an axe. Dungeons & Dragons explicitly forbids the use of AI technology, valuing human craftsmanship and artistic expression.

But the concerns about AI-generated art go beyond copyright. Will AI replace human artists, or can humans and AI collaborate to enhance creativity? These questions are significant as the use of AI tools in creative endeavors raises concerns about the livelihoods of artists.

One of the main criticisms of AI-generated art is its tendency to have glitches and imperfections. These flaws can undermine the integrity and quality of the artwork, leading to passionate discussions among enthusiasts and critics. The controversial AI-generated artwork in the book “Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants” has sparked a deep exploration of artistry and the influence of AI on artistic expression.

Even the Recording Academy, which organizes the Grammy Awards, has had to revise its protocols due to issues related to AI. The use of AI-generated music and performances challenges traditional notions of artistic merit and evaluation. This ongoing debate highlights the need for clear guidelines and regulations in the ever-evolving landscape of AI and art.

AI’s influence extends not only to visual arts and music but also to the toy industry. Mattel, a rival company, has recently used AI-generated images to brainstorm new designs for their famous Hot Wheels toy cars. Although the extent of Mattel’s use of AI is uncertain, it exemplifies the widespread adoption of AI across different creative industries.

In response to the concerns raised by the increasing use of AI in art, D&D Beyond is revising its procedures and artist guidelines to explicitly ban AI-generated artwork. The franchise aims to preserve the essence of D&D art, which is meant to be imaginative and created by human hands. This decision reinforces the importance of maintaining artistic integrity and assures fans that the franchise remains committed to authentic and captivating artwork.

The impact of AI goes beyond art and also affects labor movements, as there are concerns about AI replacing human workers. The Hollywood strike, partly driven by anxieties about AI’s impact on jobs, highlights the broader implications of AI technology in various creative industries. Continued discussions and negotiations are crucial to protect the rights and livelihoods of artists and creators.

In conclusion, Hasbro’s acquisition of D&D Beyond has unintentionally sparked a heated debate about AI-generated art. The discussions about copyright, authenticity, labor concerns, and the role of AI in artistic expression have significant implications for the creative industry. Striking the right balance between innovation and preserving human creativity is crucial as AI technology continues to advance. Only then can we navigate the changing landscape of art and ensure a vibrant and diverse artistic community for future generations.