Fandom, a platform that hosts wikis for various fandoms, recently announced the rollout of generative AI features, including the prominent Quick Answers tool. This tool provides users with a Q&A-style feature that condenses information into succinct sentences. However, since the initial testing phase in August 2023, there have been widespread complaints from community members about the accuracy and appropriateness of the AI-generated responses. Many creators have demanded an edit feature or the ability to opt-out of the AI altogether.

Loss of Trust and Departure of Fan Projects

One notable fan project, the Hollow Knight Wiki, decided to leave Fandom partly due to the issues surrounding the Quick Answers feature. The creators cited a lack of consultation from Fandom regarding the implementation of AI features and the frequent inaccuracies in responses. This departure highlights the negative impact that poorly executed AI tools can have on user trust and community engagement.

In response to the criticism, Fandom temporarily paused the Quick Answers feature in September to implement an edit option. The company claims that wiki admins and editors will now have the ability to review and ensure the accuracy of AI-generated responses specific to each fandom. While Fandom asserts that the AI tool will be optional, it has already been integrated into character pages for popular sites such as Avatar, Harry Potter, The Last of Us, and The Witcher.

Brandon Rhea, Fandom’s vice president of community, stated that the new AI products were developed based on creators’ feedback. The company aims to address the concerns raised by the community and provide the necessary functionality to enhance user experience. Fandom emphasized its commitment to serving its communities better and mentioned that it currently hosts 45 million wiki pages with over 350 million unique visitors each month.

The controversy surrounding Fandom’s rollout of generative AI features highlights the importance of thorough testing and consultation with users before implementing new technologies. While AI tools can offer valuable assistance in organizing content and providing quick answers, it is crucial to ensure their accuracy and appropriateness. Fandom’s response to the feedback from creators demonstrates a willingness to improve and address the concerns raised by the community. Moving forward, transparent communication and collaboration with users will be key in successfully integrating AI into online platforms.


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