A news outlet embarked on the experiment of publishing articles written by artificial intelligence (AI) in November, but has kept it low key, without any formal announcement, and with content seemingly optimized for search traffic – but this has not gone unnoticed.
News that a tech media site has been publishing articles generated “using automation technology” since November 2022, keeping the experiment “under the radar,” has set off a storm of indignation among Internet users. Many went on social media to remark that while they were having difficulty finding employment, writing jobs appeared to have been taken over by artificial intelligence (AI).
An online marketer, Gael Breton, went on Twitter on January 11 to alert users to the fact that the popular tech portal in question appeared to have published 73 AI-generated financial explainer articles, with their content apparently optimized for search traffic.
Only clicking on the byline triggered a dropdown description saying:
“This article was generated using automation technology,” and that it was “thoroughly edited and fact-checked by an editor on our editorial staff.”
Gael Breton also wondered what Google thought of the matter.
In 2022, John Mueller, search advocate, insisted that AI-generated content, such as using GPT-3 tools tailored to manipulate search rankings, was against the company’s guidelines.
Asked whether Google could differentiate between content written by humans and content written by machines, Mueller said, “I can’t claim that. But for us, if we see that something is automatically generated, then the webspam team can definitely take action on that.”
While a reporter for this specific tech news site insisted last December that journalism jobs were “safe” from being taken over by technology, as it would “diminish” the very “act of journalism itself,” netizens disagreed.
One user wrote that they were “quite taken aback” to see entire articles generated by AI being published, adding that it boded ill for “an already-bleak job market for journalists.”
Given the rate at which use of AI has been advancing in diverse aspects of human life, it is no wonder that the use of machines has triggered a host of ethical and societal issues.
Thus, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk previously expressed a number of concerns about the dangers of the unregulated development of artificial intelligence and evolving capabilities of Al-powered robots in the future.