Another AI-driven news site tricked into writing about Glorbo

Glorbo is back! This time in Destiny 2, as a group of Reddit users trick an AI-driven news site into thinking Glorbo’s a secret boss.


Less than a week after a bunch of Reddit users managed to trick an AI-driven games website into writing that the non-existent character Glorbo was a new addition to World of Warcraft, another, similarly chatbot-powered site has fallen for a similar trick.

A recent post on Tech Briefly carries the headline, “How to find the Destiny 2 secret boss Glorbo?”, and then goes on to describe, at great and confusing length, the “secret boss” tucked away in Bungie’s MMO shooter.

There are even instructions – if you can call them that – which claim to help you find Glorbo: “With this power-up, you’ll gain the ability to platform DOWN from the Simmumah arena to Glorbo’s battlefield situated below,” one line reads.


A grab of Tech Briefly’s Glorbo post, which is still online at the time of writing. Credit: Tech Briefly/Skynet.

The problem is, Glorbo doesn’t exist.

As reported by IGN's Rebekah Valentine, the whole thing began on Reddit, where users have made a concerted effort to write multiple posts about Glorbo and his supposed appearance in Destiny 2. “I seriously can’t wait for the Glorbo fight in season 23,” reads one post. “I am seriously astonished by how well Bungie has slipped Glorbo into the most recent lore book on Bungie Store.”

Just like the recent World of Warcraft hoax, it’s all designed to trick websites that use AI to scrape places like Reddit for their news posts.

The prank lays bare just how unintelligent these systems actually are; chatbots are incapable of distinguishing between fact and fiction, while their output is simply being uploaded without any fact-checking or obvious human intervention. The Tech Briefly post linked above has the look and feel of a regular piece you’d find on the internet if you don’t look too closely, but like so much AI-derived writing, it quickly falls apart under scrutiny.

One line reads, “Before you initiate the Simmumah encounter, make sure you’ve uncovered the additional body parts (specifically both elbows and left thigh).” Sorry, what?

Companies and corporations of various sizes are rushing to embrace the AI zeitgeist. While actors and writers in Hollywood strike over pay and the threat of AI to their jobs, Netflix put up a job ad for a machine learning manager. In June, media company Gamurs Group, the firm behind the likes of Destructoid and Siliconera, put up an ad for an AI editor, which was swiftly taken back down.

The companies that stand to boost their profits by replacing human workers with chatbots are clearly attracted to the possibilities of AI. Glorbo, meanwhile, stands as a grimly amusing reminder of just how dreadful the consequences of an AI-written future could be.

Read more: Should we care whether AI is writing for games websites?

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