CNET Has Been Publishing AI-Written Articles for Months

CNET reporter Jackson Ryan published an article last month describing how ChatGPT, an AI that can generate human-sounding text, would affect journalists and the news industry…

“It definitely can’t do the job of a journalist,” Ryan wrote of ChatGPT. “To say so diminishes the act of journalism itself.”…

The article said ChatGPT isn’t coming for journalists’ jobs just yet, but the very publication that ran Ryan’s article has been quietly publishing articles written by AI since November, according to Futurism and online marketer Gael Breton. The AI-written CNET articles bear the byline CNET Money Staff which is identified on the outlet’s website as “AI Content published under this author byline is generated using automation technology.”

CNET responded in a linked statement via email, saying the Money editorial team was trying out the technology “to see if there’s a pragmatic use case for an AI assist on basic explainers around financial services topics.”

I always love the corporate use of “pragmatic”. Usually means “have we been caught at it – or not?”

Personally, I have no beef with use of technology advancing journalism or anything else. Just don’t try to smuggle it past consumers

2 thoughts on “CNET Has Been Publishing AI-Written Articles for Months

  1. SEO says:

    The prominent tech news site CNET’s attempt to pass off AI-written work keeps getting worse. First, the site was caught quietly publishing the machine learning-generated stories in the first place. Then the AI-generated content was found to be riddled with factual errors. Now, CNET’s AI also appears to have been a serial plagiarist — of actual humans’ work.
    …The bot’s misbehavior ranges from verbatim copying to moderate edits to significant rephrasings, all without properly crediting the original. In at least some of its articles, it appears that virtually every sentence maps directly onto something previously published elsewhere. https://futurism.com/cnet-ai-plagiarism
    …All told, a pattern quickly emerges. Essentially, CNET’s AI seems to approach a topic by examining similar articles that have already been published and ripping sentences out of them. As it goes, it makes adjustments — sometimes minor, sometimes major — to the original sentence’s syntax, word choice, and structure. Sometimes it mashes two sentences together, or breaks one apart, or assembles chunks into new Frankensentences. Then it seems to repeat the process until it’s cooked up an entire article.
    In short, a close examination of the work produced by CNET’s AI makes it seem less like a sophisticated text generator and more like an automated plagiarism machine, casually pumping out pilfered work that would get a human journalist fired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.