Xbox in hot water for Tweeting AI-generated art to 100,000 people

Microsoft's Xbox indie division sends out a Tweet of an AI-generated image to over 100,000 people, kickstarting a controversy among artists and game devs.

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Just a day after The New York Times filed a copyright lawsuit against Microsoft, the Xbox-maker now faces another AI controversy.

Xbox in hot water for Tweeting AI-generated art to 100,000 people 1

Yesterday, the ID@Xbox Twitter account posted a holiday-themed image of children at play in a winter wonderland. Like Amazon's AI-generated Fallout promo, Xbox's digital Christmas card asked users what their favorite indie game was this year, but it had some irregularities that pretty much denote the tell-tale signs of AI use.

Looking closely at the image makes it pretty clear that AI created it. The sleds have weird control levers attached to them, and the overall color scheme has that "off" quality that all AI art has--the visuals and shadows just seem skewed.

Predictably, indie game developers, artists, and gamers weren't happy about the post. Users criticized Microsoft, a company that makes hundreds of billions of dollars a year, for using AI for a post about indie games. The controversy is exacerbated by Microsoft's previous announcement earlier this year to use AI-based solutions for game development, including what sounds to be automation-based tools for localization, in-game quests, and dialog sequences.

The belief is that Microsoft will cut game dev jobs and use AI instead in an effort to save money--which is exactly what happened with today's controversy.

That being said, the post wasn't meant to jab anyone or send off alarm bells. Some community or social media manager probably just got a quick idea to engage with Xbox gamers, popped a prompt into the Bing image generator, and posted it without realizing how it makes Microsoft look.

The post has since been deleted from the ID@Xbox Twitter page.

Remember that Microsoft has invested $10 billion into OpenAI and has created its own Copilot solutions alongside web-based AI image generator. The company is doubling-down on AI and plans to integrate the new tech into all of its business segments, including video games.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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