Sports Illustrated is under fire for allegedly for publishing articles authored by fictitious, AI-generated writers. The articles were written by authors with AI-generated headshots and no real-life footprint beyond their articles in SI. When contacted about the suspicious articles, the publication removed them from their website.
Futurism reports that Sports Illustrated has been found using artificial intelligence to create content under fake author profiles. This approach involved inventing writer identities like Drew Ortiz and Sora Tanaka, complete with AI-generated headshots and generic biographies, but no real-life existence or prior publishing history.
Upon discovery, SI quickly removed the allegedly AI-authored articles from their website. These articles, detected based on their unusual language and subpar quality, lacked the human touch that often characterizes skilled sports journalism. Readers and experts noted that the writing seemed disconnected, as if the author had limited understanding of human nuances and sports intricacies — a key requirement .
The absence of any disclosure about the use of AI and the non-existence of the writers has raised serious concerns over SI‘s practices. This situation reflects a broader trend within media, where organizations have begun experimenting with AI in content creation. However, this emerging practice has led to numerous issues, including factual errors, poor quality writing, and ethical challenges.
AI-generated articles often feature bizarre content. Breitbart News reported on AI-generated travel articles published by Microsoft that featured helpful tips like the fact that seafood is “any form of sea life regarded as food by humans.”
Breitbart News explained:
One of the articles, titled “Headed to Ottawa? Here’s what you shouldn’t miss!” went viral after it bizarrely recommended visitors to the Canadian city to visit the Ottawa Food Bank and to “consider going into it on an empty stomach.” The article was widely shared on social media as an example of AI bungling content for humans. In response to the criticism, Microsoft issued a statement blaming human error for the content.
“This article has been removed and we have identified that the issue was due to human error,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “The article was not published by an unsupervised AI. We combine the power of technology with the experience of content editors to surface stories. In this case, the content was generated through a combination of algorithmic techniques with human review, not a large language model or AI system. We are working to ensure this type of content isn’t posted in future.”
Read more at Futurism here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.