Niantic uses AI artwork to promote Pokemon Go

Occurred: August 2023

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Pokemon Go owner Niantic appeared to have used AI-generated artwork to promote Adventures Abound, the twelfth season of the mobile game, prompting gamers to accuse the company of unnecessary and unethical profiteering.

Pokemon fans pointed to unnatural, blurred lineart and a lack of design cohesiveness as evidence that Niantic had used artificial intelligence to illustrate its website. Niantic is known to have a large roster of talent to draw on, and Pokemon Go has a reputation for high quality graphics.

In response, Niantic said it uses 'a variety of tools and software to create visual assets. We don’t disclose specifics around our processes.' The company laid off 230 employees in June 2023 on the basis that 'expenses [grew] faster than revenue.'


Operator: Niantic

Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate image

Technology: Text-to-image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Employment

Transparency: Governance; Marketing