G/O Media, a major online media company that runs publications including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Quartz, Jezebel, [the Onion], and Deadspin, has announced that it will begin a “modest test” of AI content on its sites… In an email to staff, G/O Media editorial director Merrill Brown argued that the news shouldn’t come as a surprise since “everyone in the media business” has been considering AI.
The trial will include “producing just a handful of stories for most of our sites that are basically built around lists and data,” Brown wrote. “These features aren’t replacing work currently being done by writers and editors, and we hope that over time if we get these forms of content right and produced at scale, AI will, via search and promotion, help us grow our audience…”
Unions representing G/O Media and The Onion staff issued a statement, writing that “we are appalled by this news. The hard work of journalists cannot be replaced by unreliable AI programs notorious for creating falsehoods and plagiarizing the work of real writers.” Gizmodo and Kotaku staff, in particular, were outraged at the news. “AI content will not replace my work — but it will devalue it, place undue burden on editors, destroy the credibility of my outlet, and further frustrate our audience,” Gizmodo journalist Lin Codega tweeted in response to the news. “AI in any form, only undermines our mission, demoralizes our reporters, and degrades our audience’s trust.”