G/O Media’s Use of AI Undermines Journalism

In a controversial move, G/O Media, the parent company of media websites including Gizmodo, The Onion, and Deadspin, recently published four articles generated entirely by artificial intelligence (AI). However, these articles were riddled with inaccuracies, poor phrasing, and failed to deliver on their headlines. Gizmodo’s union immediately objected to the publication, citing ethical concerns, such as the AI-generated content producing false information and plagiarizing writers’ work.

Despite the backlash, G/O Media defended its decision, claiming the AI trial as a success. This reveals that the company sees AI as a way to reduce labor costs and maximize profits. However, this approach compromises the value proposition of the company, which is to provide truthful and insightful information to its readers. It not only undermines journalism but also erodes public knowledge.

One example of the AI-generated content is an article from Gizmodo titled “A Chronological List of Star Wars Movies & TV Shows.” The article’s subheadline, “From the prequels to the sequels, here’s the order to watch the Star Wars saga,” immediately exhibits awkward phrasing and contradicts the main headline’s promise of a chronological list. The article fails to deliver on both fronts. It contains errors in the chronology, oversimplifies the synopses, and lacks any personal touches or references to favorite scenes.

Moreover, the article’s intended purpose as a guide to watching the Star Wars movies in order is also poorly executed. It overlooks the widely recommended release order, which allows newcomers to better understand the series’ history and appreciate plot twists. This disregard for user expectations and preferences further diminishes the article’s value.

While G/O Media’s AI-generated articles may not be easily distinguishable from human-written ones, the lack of quality and understanding of the subject matter becomes apparent upon closer examination. The company’s motive for publishing AI content seems to be focused on search engine optimization and generating traffic, rather than delivering meaningful and accurate information.

Ultimately, G/O Media’s embrace of uncurated AI as an editorial strategy is a detrimental decision that disregards the importance of public enlightenment. The company’s pursuit of profit through the mass production of AI content undermines the integrity of journalism and threatens the credibility of online information.