"It is absolutely a thing we want to do more of."
Fool Me Once
After a disastrous toe-dipping into AI-generated content, the owner of Gizmodo is doubling down and pledging to publish even more lazily bot-written articles.
As Vox reports, G/O Media — which owns such new media staples as Quartz, The AV Club and Jalopnik — affirmed that they plan to extend their "modest test" of AI-written articles even though the drivel they posted earlier in July was, well, terrible.
Employees at G/O were blindsided and furious when they learned that the company was publishing a bot-written listicle about "approximately ten minutes" before it went live, per deputy editor James Withlock.
What's worse is that the AI-penned listicle in question, titled "A Chronological List of Star Wars Movies & TV Shows," was, as Gizmodo's own union noted, chock-full of factual errors and omissions. The company corrected some of the errors but left others live — and the resulting sludge is now ranking on Google, sending exactly the wrong message to the site's executive leadership.
In spite of that disastrous foray, G/O Media leadership is forging ahead and plans to publish "2-3 quality stories" over at Jalopnik and The AV Club on July 21, per one of the internal memos given to Vox. That same memo, published after the Star Wars debacle, acknowledges that AI-written articles "alone (currently) are not factually reliable/consistent" without human editing.
Nonetheless, G/O Media brass appears to be all-in on AI, to the point that CEO Jim Spanfeller told Vox that it would be "irresponsible" for other outlets not to test it out.
"It is absolutely a thing we want to do more of," Merrill Brown, the company's editorial director, told Vox.
Management's rosy outlook unsurprisingly, isn't shared by G/O staffers, who told Vox on condition of anonymity that their employers' continued push toward shoddy AI is hurting their credibility and cohesion.
"It’s a disaster for employee morale," one of those journalists told the website.
Brown and Spanfeller insist that they don't plan to replace journalists with AI and, in fact, want to hire more reporters, but given the company's history of layoffs and other such promises that proved to be empty at places like BuzzFeed, those sorts of statements should be taken with a grain of salt.
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