BuzzFeed Embraces AI for Content Creation Amid Backlash Against Its Use
CNET isn't alone in wanting to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for editorial and operational applications.
Digital media giant Buzzfeed similarly wants to use the AI for content creation, with it planning to work with ChatGPT creator OpenAI, according to the Wall Street Journal. ChatGPT is the much-discussed chatbot that generates human-like text and responses.
In an internal memo, Buzzfeed CEO and Co-Founder Jonah Peretti said he expects the technology to be used for personalising content for audiences as well as producing shareworthy online quizzes. For now, it won't be used for news stories, the company noted.
“In publishing, AI can benefit both content creators and audiences, inspiring new ideas and inviting audience members to co-create personalised content," said Peretti.
He also said he sees the technology being able to "create, personalise, and animate the content itself" rather than copying from other sources within the next two decades.
His announcement comes on the heels of CNET issuing corrections on more than half of the articles it claims were written by an internal AI tool. The tech news outlet was scrutinised by social media users and the media industry alike, with the AI-generated articles having errors and being guilty of plagiarism. The company also drew flak for not properly disclosing that it was employing an AI to write articles.
CNET Editor-In-Chief Connie Guglielmo has since apologised for the errors and said the use of the AI tool has been temporarily paused. She did, however, say that the company might use the tool again one day when it can adhere to the editorial process.
Apart from the controversy surrounding CNET, there’s also been some backlash against the use of AI in media due to a recent study saying that the technology still isn’t as reliable as some make it out to be – at least in the academic setting.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that ChatGPT, for instance, can handle simple operations management and process analysis questions fine, but struggles with advanced process questions. What’s more, it made mistakes with 6th grade math computations, as Engadget reports. That suggests there are still limits to what AI tools are capable of, and perhaps aren't capable of entirely replacing human writers yet.
Buzzfeed at least appears to be taking a more measured approach with its AI tool compared to CNET by having it start on quizzes rather than, say, news content or explainer articles, which could become vehicles for misinformation.
Still, Buzzfeed’s recent announcement might not sit well with the general public as it also comes a month after it laid off about 180 staff members, which is around 12% of its workforce, in a bid to cut costs. While the cuts and the AI announcement might not be related in any way, there will be those that’ll speculate that the company is now leaning more towards AI over human writers.
The non-profit news agency Associated Press also uses AI to automate the process of writing some news stories. It started doing so nearly a decade ago.
Buzzfeed is working with ChatGPT creator OpenAI on an AI tool that can personalise content for audiences as well as produce shareworthy online quizzes.
For now, the technology won't be used for news stories, the company noted.
The announcement comes on the heels of CNET issuing corrections on more than half of the articles it claims were written by an internal AI tool.
But Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti believes in the technology's potential, saying it could "create, personalise, and animate the content itself" rather than copy from other sources within the next two decades.