Experts Worry That AI-Generated Books About Mushroom Foraging Will Get Someone Killed

Phantom Thread If you’re considering a foray into amateur mushroom foraging, maybe reconsider shopping for your beginner’s guide on Amazon. As the just-launched 404 Media reports, Amazon is riddled with mushroom-foraging guidebooks that strongly appear to be AI-generated. And though numerous reports in recent months have detailed various genres of AI-generated material populating Amazon’s digital shelves, experts are warning that this particular flavor of AI-produced garbage might warrant extra concern. “Amazon and other retail outlets have been inundated with AI foraging and identification books,” reads a Sunday X post from the New York Mycological Society, linking back to a PSA about the Amazon-hawked books on the subreddit r/mycology. “Please only buy books of known authors and foragers, it can literally mean life or death.” Fatal Foraging That’s not much of a stretch. Some types of mushrooms are extremely poisonous, and as far as hobbies go, fungi foraging can be a dangerous pastime. Generative AI is known to get its facts wrong. What happens when a non-expert looking for a quick cash grab publishes an AI-generated fungi guide, and a piece of bad information — be it outright wrong or even just a little too vague — finds its way onto the pages? “There are hundreds of poisonous fungi in North America and several that are deadly,” Sigrid Jakob, president of the New York Mycological Society, told 404’s Samantha Cole. “They can look similar to popular edible species.” “A poor description in a book,” Jakob added, “can mislead someone to eat…Experts Worry That AI-Generated Books About Mushroom Foraging Will Get Someone Killed

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