Game-creation platform Unity have removed AI generation tool Atlas from their third-party asset store less than 24 hours after it was brought onboard.
The AI program was part of a suite of new tools that were added following Unity’s recent announcement of their Muse and Sentis AI generation programs. Atlas, Replica Studios and Zibra AI, amongst others, were the first to be brought onto the Unity asset store as the game creation platform doubled-down on their commitment to AI. The company said these verified third-party tools would “meet Unity’s highest quality and compatibility standards.”
However, less than 24 hours later, Unity have put out an announcement on their Twitter account linking to the original post, saying, “We’ve removed Atlas from our @AssetStore as they violated our terms and conditions. We are actively reviewing all verified solutions providers in the AI category as we remain committed to upholding the quality of our ecosystem.”
Is AI all that it’s cracked up to be?
The main question already being asked by many is what exactly Atlas had done to violate the terms and conditions of Unity’s platform. The secondary question is, why was this not caught before the tool was added? For many who are sceptical of AI the most reassuring caveat has been that companies will be discerning and careful of what tools they endorse. And while it’s better for Unity to preempt any issues by taking action themselves, the rapid turnaround may disconcert some.
It’s possible that the removal of Atlas is due to the ongoing concern over the copyright, ethicality and general feasibility of the data-sets many AI are “trained” on. Some AI utilises publicly available assets, and many artists have already sounded alarm-bells at the lack of creator consent being observed. It may be that the potential thorny issue of copyright is something Unity is cautious of.
It’s worth noting that many studios which do make use of AI do so on a bespoke basis. With companies such as Scriptic developing their own tools to work within their existing development pipeline. While Unity is a useful tool and platform for developers both small and large, this incident may create a sense of caution around the third-party assets being pushed on the platform.