Move to ChatGPT? BuzzFeed braces for AI-written content as CNET loses control

An AI-generated image of a robot typewriter-journalist hard at work.
Enlarge / An AI-generated image of a robot typewriter-journalist hard at work.

Ars Technica

On Thursday, an internal memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal revealed that BuzzFeed plans to use ChatGPTOpenAI-style text synthesis technology to create questionnaires and potentially other content in the future. After the news, BuzzFeed stock increased 200 percent. On Friday, BuzzFeed formally announced movement in a post on your site.

“In 2023, you’ll see AI-inspired content move from R&D to part of our core business, enhancing the quiz experience, informing our brainstorming, and personalizing our content for our audience,” the post wrote. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, in a memo to employees, according to to Reuters. A similar statement showed up on the BuzzFeed site.

The move comes as buzz around OpenAI’s ChatGPT language model reaches fever pitch in the tech industry, inspiring more Microsoft investment Y reactive movements of Google. ChatGPT underlying model, GPT-3, uses its statistical “knowledge” of millions of books and articles to generate coherent text in numerous styles, with results that read very close to human handwriting, depending on the subject matter. GPT-3 works by attempting to predict the next most likely words in a sequence (called a “hint”) provided by the user.

In particular, BuzzFeed saying Reuters that it will not use ChatGPT itself, but will instead create a custom implementation based on OpenAI GPT-3 technology: “We’re not using ChatGPT, we’re using OpenAI’s publicly available API (Application Programming Interface).”

A BuzzFeed brochure diagram showing how it will use AI on the site.
Enlarge / A BuzzFeed brochure diagram showing how it will use AI on the site.


In light of recent news that CNET has been publication Articles written by AI (causing a well-covered ongoing controversy) by futurism Y the edge), some to worry that BuzzFeed’s move may signal a new trend in media toward reliance on content produced by machines rather than human writers, especially in the wake of a 12 percent reduction on the BuzzFeed staff late last year. The Wall Street Journal reports that “BuzzFeed remains focused on human-generated journalism in its newsroom,” according to a BuzzFeed spokesperson.

How serious is BuzzFeed about AI? Peretti laid out his vision, which still leaves a role for humans in the future, albeit in an increased way:

The creative process will increasingly be AI-assisted and technology-enabled. If the last 15 years of the internet have been defined by algorithmic sources curating and recommending content, the next 15 years will be defined by AI and data that help create, personalize and animate the content itself. Our industry will expand beyond AI-powered curation (fonts), to AI-powered creation (content). AI ushers in a new era of creativity, where creative humans like us play a key role by bringing ideas, cultural currency, inspired cues, IP and formats to life using the newest technologies.

However, not everyone is convinced that AI writing is the future. Some already think that the shift towards AI-generated content could be a fashion in the vein of the “pivot to video“Movement that caused so much issue for media companies between 2015 and 2018. Others compare AI enthusiasm for the metaverse, blockchain, and NFTs follies in recent years.

Hype aside, the prospect of AI-powered automation reducing the cost of content creation may be too tempting to abandon entirely, especially if AI tools improve in quality over time. recent from CNET misadventure in AI Using an in-house developed AI engine, the highest profile AI-created experiment from a major publication that we are aware of, has so far been a failure, leading to articles full of mistakes Y plagiarism. But even after considerable pushback, CNET Announced would “continue to embrace” AI-created content. If the clicks keep coming and it fits their business model, CNET sees no reason to change.

Whether AI tools will ever fully replace human journalists or simply increase their productivity (in the style of an invention like the typewriter) is an open question that we cannot answer at this time. Only time will tell, as the generative AI story continues to unfold rapidly.

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