Sports Illustrated AI scandal

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The Sports Illustrated AI scandal refers to a controversy that arose when the magazine was accused of publishing articles written by artificial intelligence (AI). The allegations were first brought to light by an investigative report from the science and technology news publication Futurism. The report claimed that Sports Illustrated had published articles written by fake authors, complete with AI-generated headshots and biographies. One such fake profile was that of "Sora Tanaka," purportedly a product reviewer16. The Arena Group, the publisher of Sports Illustrated, initially denied the allegations. They stated that the articles in question were not AI-generated but were licensed content from a third-party company, AdVon Commerce. AdVon assured the Arena Group that all the articles were written and edited by humans. However, the company admitted that AdVon had writers use pseudonyms in certain articles to protect author privacy, a practice the Arena Group condemned. In response to the scandal, the Arena Group ended its partnership with AdVon and removed its content from Arena websites13. In the aftermath of the scandal, the Arena Group fired its CEO, Ross Levinsohn, and several other senior executives. The company stated that the firings were part of an effort to "improve the operational efficiency and revenue of the company." Manoj Bhargava, the founder of the 5-Hour Energy drink, was named as the interim chief executive123. The scandal has raised concerns about the use of AI in journalism, with fears that it could cheaply replace journalists and potentially spread misinformation. It has also sparked a debate about the ethical implications of using AI to generate content and the need for transparency in the use of such technology2.
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