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Scandal at Sports Illustrated magazine over AI content and fake reporters

Futurism has this most incredible story. Here’s part of it:

Sports Illustrated Published Articles by Fake, AI-Generated Writers

We asked them about it — and they deleted everything.

There was nothing in Drew Ortiz’s author biography at Sports Illustrated to suggest that he was anything other than human.

“Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature,” it read. “Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend that goes by where Drew isn’t out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents’ farm.”

The only problem? Outside of Sports Illustrated, Drew Ortiz doesn’t seem to exist. He has no social media presence and no publishing history. And even more strangely, his profile photo on Sports Illustrated is for sale on a website that sells AI-generated headshots, where he’s described as “neutral white young-adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes.”

Ortiz isn’t the only AI-generated author published by Sports Illustrated, according to a person involved with the creation of the content who asked to be kept anonymous to protect them from professional repercussions.

Read the rest of the article if you’re interested in magazines, AI, journalism and business ethics.

This is brazen stuff being reported from making up fake AI journalists / writers, claiming they are real and then deleting them when asked and offering no comment, editorial note, or other response.

All publishers should follow this story.


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