Tuesday, September 5, 2023

AI Mushroom Foraging (Admit it: You Were Not Expecting That Combination)

 9/4/23 Breitbart:

A surge in AI-generated mushroom foraging books on Amazon has raised alarms among experts, who warn that such guides, filled with misinformation about poisonous mushrooms, could pose life-threatening risks to consumers.

404 Media reports that The New York Mycological Society has raised an alarm over the increasing number of AI-generated mushroom foraging books appearing on Amazon. According to the society, these books could pose serious risks to public health. “These AI-generated foraging books could actually kill people if they eat the wrong mushroom because a guidebook written by an AI prompt said it was safe,” the NYMS stated on social media.

Sigrid Jakob, president of the New York Mycological Society, elaborated on the risks involved in using AI-generated foraging guides. “There are hundreds of poisonous fungi in North America and several that are deadly,” Jakob said. “They can look similar to popular edible species. A poor description in a book can mislead someone to eat a poisonous mushroom.”

Text detection tools have indicated that many of these books are predominantly written by AI, with some showing more than 85 percent AI-generated content. Despite this, these books are often marketed as if they were written by humans, making it challenging for consumers to identify their true origin.

My wife and I were discussing how many species of toxic mushrooms there when we were on the Star River Walk yesterday.  Considering the risks, I am no sure that I be very trusting of a human-written book on the subject.


  1. My mother grew up in St. Louis Missouri. She told of how one house they lived in was very close to a forest. Her parents used to go mushroom foraging there. She said that because they knew mushrooms from the Salzburg area of Austria, they were uncertain about some of the mushrooms they saw in the forest. This was in the 1930's when I doubt there were mushroom guides published like today.

  2. A boy's own adventure, written by AI is one thing. Anything dealing with life and health should at a minimum be reviewed by a human expert in the subject. But, I suppose, a few million dead people relying on such garbage is a small price to pay for the development of AI.
    Once all the easy jobs are replaced by robotics and AI, who will need rank and file anymore? Who will want to pay for their existence? Even Poetry can be (sort of) written by AI.

    To reference Lady Caroline Lamb's comment about Lord Byron after the first time they met, AI will become mad, bad, and Dangerous to know.