When BuzzFeed announced plans to begin publishing AI-assisted content earlier this year, CEO Jonah Peretti promised the technology would be held to a high standard.
“I believe AI has two paths in digital media,” Peretti told CNN. “One obvious path that many people will take, but it’s a depressing path is to use technology to save money and spam out a bunch of SEO articles that are lower quality than what a journalist could do, but a tenth of the cost.”
“Even if many bad actors try to use AI to create content farms, it will not win in the long run,” he added. “I believe the AI content farm model will be depressing and dystopian.”
Indeed, BuzzFeed’s first AI content a series of quizzes that turned user input into customised responses was an intriguing experiment, avoiding many of the pitfalls that other publishers have encountered with the technology.
However, that commitment to quality does not appear to have endured. This month BuzzFeed quietly began publishing fully AI-generated articles produced by non-editorial staff and they sound eerily similar to the content mill model that Peretti had promised to avoid.