CNET issued corrections to 41 of the 77 stories the outlet published that were written using an AI tool. In a note published today, CNET editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo defended the use of the AI writing tool, but said an internal review of stories revealed numerous errors in the articles at the center of the controversy.
Earlier this month, futurism broke the news that CNET had been quietly publishing articles written by AI for months without attracting much public attention or making a formal announcement. In a follow-up story, the outlet noted numerous errors in a CNET article on compound interest, which ultimately resulted in a lengthy correction. After the errors, a disclaimer appeared at the top of all AI-written stories: “We are currently reviewing this story for accuracy. If we find errors, we will update and correct them.”
Last week, The edge reported that automated tools have been in use at CNET for much longer than the article-writing robot, and that staff sometimes didn’t know whether the content was written by a machine or a human collaborator. The AI-written articles are designed to play Google searches with SEO-friendly keywords so that lucrative affiliate ads can be plastered on the pages. CNET‘s parent company, Red Ventures, which also owns such publications as Bankrate, The points manand CreditCards.com, take advantage of one of the high-traffic articles every time a reader signs up for a credit card.
After weeks of debate over CNET’s disclosure policies around AI tools, Red Ventures and CNET Management told staff at a meeting on Friday that the company was temporarily stopping AI-generated content on all websites. However, the errors don’t seem to stop CNET‘s use of AI tools.
“Expect CNET to continue exploring and testing how AI can be used to help our teams test, research and create the unbiased advice and fact-based reporting we are known for,” Guglielmo wrote in her blog today. memo. “The process may not always be easy or pretty, but we will continue to embrace it – and any new technology we think will make life better.”