Home » The accusation: Sports Illustrated generates some of its articles with artificial intelligence

The accusation: Sports Illustrated generates some of its articles with artificial intelligence

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The accusation: Sports Illustrated generates some of its articles with artificial intelligence

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Sooner or later it had to happen, and now it has happened: artificial intelligence has also arrived in the world of journalism by entering through the back door, the one that passes off artificially generated content as “real”, written by real journalists.

The first to cross the questionable frontier was Sports Illustrated, a popular US magazine that deals with sports topics. Some of his articles were written by artificial intelligence, complete with completely invented photos and bios of the author who signed them. The discovery was made by Futurism, an online magazine that deals with issues related to the development of new technologies and their impact on everyday life.

Drew Ortiz, «artificial» editor

Futurism has in fact discovered, through some anonymous sources, that an author who apparently wrote for Sports Illustrated does not actually exist: he is simply a figure created by artificial intelligence. His name, Drew Ortiz, appeared for a time among the biographies of SI editors, only to suddenly disappear when Futurism approached SI publisher, The Arena Group, for information on the case. However, the profile can still be found through The Wayback Machine, a website that keeps historical track of what is published on the Internet. They have the same fate

Drew Ortiz profile that ran in Sports Illustrated, tracked down via The Wayback Machine

the pieces by the same author published in Sports Illustated were also immediately deleted, all canceled after Futurism’s request for clarification.

The publisher’s defense

The publisher of the magazine, through a spokesperson, officially responded in a statement to this request for clarification, passing the responsibility to an external company that provides content for SI: «Today an article was published in which it is claimed that Sports Illustrated has published articles generated by artificial intelligence. According to our initial investigation, this is not accurate. The articles in question were product reviews and contained content licensed from an external third-party company, AdVon Commerce. Numerous AdVon e-commerce items were running on some Arena websites. We continually monitor our partners and were in the midst of a review when these allegations were raised. AdVon assured us that all of the articles in question were written and edited by humans. According to AdVon, their writers, editors and researchers create and curate content and follow a policy of using both anti-plagiarism procedures and anti-AI software on all content. However, we have learned that AdVon has asked authors to use a pseudonym in some articles to protect their privacy (which we believe is unfair). We are therefore removing their content and have ended the partnership with them.”

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