G/O Media, which owns a popular technology site Gizmodo along with a number of other publications, began publishing AI-generated articles last week, despite strong objections from many of its staff members, according to The Washington Post. All articles are attributed to different bots – Gizmodo For example, a bot — with no other indication that the article was created using an AI chatbot. Not surprisingly, the stories needed a lot of work.
The internal reaction of Gizmodothe first story created by a chatbot — a chronological list of star Wars movies that weren’t chronological — weren’t exactly enthusiastic, with journalists reportedly writing in Slack that it was “actively damaging our reputation and credibility.”
Brown told staff at Email in late June that G/O Media’s collection of tech publications meant it was important to use AI in its coverage, saying there would be errors but they would be corrected immediately. In a company released from Thursday that The Washington Post watched, Brown told the team at Slack that he was “eager to collect thoughtfully and act on the feedback,” saying that better things “will come forward as we wrestle with the best ways to use the technology “.
Again, staff journalists expressed dismay, with one calling AI “a solution looking for a problem” and accusing Brown of “wasting everyone’s time.” Another pointed out that there was nothing in their job descriptions that involved “editing or reviewing AI-generated content.”
Gizmodo Deputy editor James Whitbrook told Publish in an interview that he’s never dealt with “this basic level of incompetence with any of the colleagues I’ve ever worked with,” adding that the chatbot’s seeming inability to even put star Wars movies in the right order meant he couldn’t be trusted to report anything accurately. Whitbrook said he did not request the article, nor did he see it before publication.
The Publish reports that the articles were written using both Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
G/O Media is just one of many media companies that have been experimenting with AI-generated content over the past few months. CNET recently began rethinking its approach to AI after suffering heavy media criticism over its use of the technology while Inside man started its own experiment with ChatGPT in April.
GMG Union which represents Gizmodo’is a writer and part of the Writers Guild of America, East, readers asked not to click on articles written by AIsaying the articles were “unethical and unacceptable”.
G/O Media has been contacted for comment.
Disclosure: Vox Media’s editorial team, which includes The Verge, is also affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, East.