Sports activities Illustrated accused of publishing articles written by AI

Sports activities Illustrated accused of publishing articles written by AI

The US sports activities publication Sports activities Illustrated is embroiled in scandal after it has been accused of operating articles written by synthetic intelligence.

An investigative report printed by the science and expertise information publication Futurism discovered Sports activities Illustrated printed articles written by pretend authors. These pretend authors additionally had headshots and biographies generated by synthetic intelligence, Futurism’s investigation discovered.

As an example, one profile web page of purported creator “Sora Tanaka” claims she is a product reviewer. The web page stated: “Sora has all the time been a health guru, and likes to strive completely different meals and drinks. Ms Tanaka is thrilled to deliver her health and dietary experience to the Product Evaluations Crew, and guarantees to deliver you nothing however one of the best of one of the best.”

But it surely seems, Sora Tanaka just isn’t an actual particular person.

The Enviornment Group, the holding firm which acquired Sports activities Illustrated in 2019, denies the allegations. The articles in query had been business content material sourced from third-party promoting firm AdVon Commerce, the group stated.

However the journal can be dealing with criticism for its non-commercial articles allegedly written by AI.

One article about volleyball carried the byline of “Drew Ortiz”. However, like in Sora Tanaka’s case, no Drew Ortiz exists – his biography and headshot had been apparently made up by AI, Futurism discovered.

The Ortiz article in query contained copy that stated: “Volleyball is among the hottest sports activities on the planet, and for good purpose. It’s fast-paced, has a excessive talent ceiling, and is mostly an thrilling sport to each play and watch. Even individuals who don’t watch sports activities can simply perceive the depth and talent required to play volleyball at any time when they watch clips. There’s a purpose why it’s been such a mainstay in fashionable sports activities to at the present time.”

A spokesperson for the Enviornment Group wrote in a assertion: “Immediately, an article was printed alleging that Sports activities Illustrated printed AI-generated articles. In response to our preliminary investigation, this isn’t correct.

“Quite a few AdVon’s e-commerce articles ran on sure Enviornment web sites. We frequently monitor our companions and had been within the midst of a evaluate when these allegations had been raised. AdVon has assured us that all the articles in query had been written and edited by people.”

The Enviornment Group introduced that it lower ties with AdVon and eliminated its content material from their web sites. The Enviornment Group additionally stated it doesn’t condone the observe of writing underneath pseudonyms.

The controversy might spell bother for the journal’s credibility, which underneath previous homeowners had received prestigious journalism prizes, together with Nationwide Journal awards.

Sports activities Illustrated, first printed in 1954, is called properly for its swimsuit points, typically that includes covers of bikini-clad vogue fashions, athletes and different celebrities. However, as Futurism famous, it additionally as soon as printed contributions from famed writers reminiscent of William Faulkner and John Updike.

Sports activities Illustrated just isn’t the one publication dabbling with AI. In January 2023, BuzzFeed’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, introduced the web site would combine AI into its content material and make it part of its core enterprise.

BuzzFeed has since printed AI-written quizzes and journey guides – a observe with which the corporate continues to be experimenting.

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Such moves by Sports Illustrated and BuzzFeed stoke fears of a rise in dystopian content farms and more trouble in the already embattled, shrinking news media sector. The use of AI is cost-efficient compared to human writers and content creators, arguably offering a potential and tempting solution to the financial troubles in the industry.

Sports Illustrated has been in financial troubles for a few years now. In 2019, half of the newsroom was laid off. And earlier this year, another round of layoffs hit the magazine shortly after The Arena Group’s CEO and chairman, Ross Levinsohn, announced the company’s incorporation of AI.

In February, Levinson said: “While AI will never replace journalism, reporting, or crafting and editing a story, rapidly improving AI technologies can create enterprise value for our brands and partners,” Levinsohn said.

Despite being a Pulitzer prize-winning outlet, BuzzFeed News shut down in May, and 15% of its workforce was laid off.

Other news organizations such as the New York Times and NBC took a step in the opposite direction, announcing plans to create guardrails for non-human generated content and disinformation as well as protection on articles against being repurposed without credit or context.

The Guardian’s view on generative AI tools is that they are “exciting but are currently unreliable”.

In a statement, the Guardian’s editor in chief, Kath Viner, and chief executive officer, Anna Bateson, said: “There is no room for unreliability in our journalism, nor our marketing, creative and engineering work.”

The Guardian announced it would only use generative AI tools that serve the “creation and distribution of original journalism”.

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