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**Sports Illustrated Accused of Releasing AI-Generated Articles**

The Sports Illustrated union said staff were “horrified” and demanded “basic jour…

A controversy arose when it was revealed that Sports Illustrated had published articles under fabricated author biographies, with AI-generated headshots available for purchase on a related website.

The issue was initially brought to light by tech publication Futurism, which uncovered the connection between the articles and the AI-generated images being sold online.

Expressing shock and dismay, the Sports Illustrated union emphasized the importance of upholding fundamental journalistic principles amidst this revelation.

While Sports Illustrated refuted the allegations, stating that the information was inaccurate, its parent company, Arena Group, clarified that the contentious articles were outsourced from AdVon Commerce, a third-party entity.

Arena Group disclosed that they were already investigating the matter internally and had terminated their collaboration with AdVon. AdVon Commerce, a company specializing in e-commerce solutions, has yet to respond to the allegations.

The Sports Illustrated union condemned the potential use of computer-generated content under false identities, emphasizing the necessity of ethical journalism practices.

In response, Arena Group asserted that AdVon Commerce had affirmed the human authorship of the disputed articles and employed measures to prevent plagiarism and AI-generated content.

However, Arena Group acknowledged that AdVon permitted writers to adopt aliases in certain instances for privacy reasons, a practice that came to light only recently.

This incident underscores the growing apprehension within the media industry regarding the proliferation of AI technologies, raising concerns about the potential for misinformation dissemination and the displacement of human journalists.

Several news organizations have faced scrutiny for publishing AI-generated content with inaccuracies or failing to disclose its AI origin.

Reviewed, a Gannett-owned publication, faced criticism for allegedly releasing AI-generated articles, although the company refuted these claims.

The situation at Sports Illustrated has deeply unsettled many staff members, particularly in light of prior staff reductions within Arena Group.

Staff writer Emma Baccellieri expressed her profound attachment to the Sports Illustrated legacy and the significance of a byline, underscoring the distress caused by the recent revelations.

Editor Mitch Goldich, a prominent figure at Sports Illustrated, lamented the credibility damage inflicted by the incident, emphasizing the dedication of the hardworking human staff members.

In a symbolic gesture, Goldich temporarily altered his name on social media to “Mitch Goldich (human)” to underscore the irreplaceable value of human journalistic contributions.

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Last modified: February 4, 2024
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