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Tags: sports illustrated | ai | writers | fake profiles

Sports Illustrated Ripped for Alleged AI 'Writers'

By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2023 04:28 PM EST

Sports Illustrated faces backlash amidst allegations of publishing articles authored by non-existent, AI-generated "writers."

The controversy also centers around Sports Illustrated (SI) creating fake author profiles, complete with AI-generated headshots and biographies, lacking any real-life existence or prior publishing history beyond their SI contributions, Breitbart reported.

Upon investigation, SI promptly removed the suspected AI-authored articles from their website after being contacted about the unusual content by Futurism.

The articles, distinguished by their peculiar language and poor quality, lacked the nuanced finesse inherent in adept sports journalism. Observers remarked on a disconnect in the writing, indicating a constrained grasp of human nuances and the intricate details of sports — essential in professional sports writing.

Futurism reports that Arena Group, the operator of SI, cited a third-party vendor, AdVon Commerce, as responsible for the content distribution on its websites. Arena claims that AdVon assured them the articles were written and edited by humans, not AI, and using pen names was to protect author privacy — an action strongly condemned by Arena, reported WGN9.

Despite removing articles from the SI website, similar websites operated by Arena, including TheStreet, still host these allegedly fake author pages.

Arena's statement asserted that their review determined the articles were not AI-generated. The statement also revealed AdVon's claim to utilize counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software on all content. AdVon defended the use of pen names as a measure to safeguard author privacy.

"AdVon has assured us that all of the articles in question were written and edited by humans," the statement reads. "According to AdVon, their writers, editors, and researchers create and curate content and follow a policy that involves using both counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software on all content."

This lack of transparency regarding AI use and the non-existence of actual writers has sparked concerns over SI's journalistic practices. This incident also echoes a broader trend in the media, where organizations experiment with AI in content creation, leading to factual errors, poor-quality writing, and ethical challenges.

AI-generated content has previously drawn attention for its peculiarities. Breitbart News highlighted AI-generated travel articles by Microsoft containing bizarre recommendations, such as suggesting visitors to Ottawa should consider going to the Ottawa Food Bank on an empty stomach.

Microsoft attributed the error to human oversight and emphasized combining algorithmic techniques with human review in content creation, distancing itself from using unsupervised AI models.

"We are working to ensure this type of content isn't posted in future," the company said.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Sports Illustrated faces backlash amidst allegations of publishing articles authored by non-existent, AI-generated writers.
sports illustrated, ai, writers, fake profiles
405
2023-28-28
Tuesday, 28 November 2023 04:28 PM
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