Tech publisher Futurism drew attention to the matter by discovering author headshots on an AI-generated image website.
Expressing concern, the Sports Illustrated Union emphasized the importance of maintaining \”basic journalistic standards\” in response to what they considered a troubling revelation.
Despite the publisher\’s owner disputing the accuracy of the report, an internal investigation has been initiated.
Arena Group, overseeing Sports Illustrated, acknowledged licensing the content from third-party company Advon Commerce, as stated by a company spokesperson.
In response to the allegations, Sports Illustrated removed the content, and Arena Group subsequently severed ties with Advon Commerce while launching an internal inquiry.
Advon Commerce, an e-commerce company collaborating with retailers and publishers, did not promptly respond to requests for comment.
The Sports Illustrated Union condemned the practices as a violation of journalistic principles and called for a commitment to uphold such standards.
Arena Group asserted that Advon Commerce had assured them that the implicated articles were written and edited by humans, citing the e-commerce firm\’s regular use of counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software.
The company explained that Advon Commerce allowed its writers to use pseudonyms in certain articles to protect privacy, clarifying the use of AI-generated images and the untraceable nature of author names on the internet.
The incident at Sports Illustrated highlights growing concerns in the media industry about the potential for generative artificial intelligence to replace journalists inexpensively, raising the risk of misinformation. Some newsrooms have embraced AI experimentation, often establishing guidelines for its use.
However, specific cases have garnered attention for AI-generated articles containing errors or falsehoods, with some news outlets neglecting to clearly label stories as AI-generated.
Responding on social media, numerous Sports Illustrated staff expressed dismay at Futurism\’s findings, particularly in light of recent substantial staff cuts by Arena Group.
Mitch Goldich, an editor at Sports Illustrated and union leader, lamented the damage done to the credibility of hardworking humans and changed his social media name to \”Mitch Goldich (human)\” to emphasize the distinction.