Is this the best BuzzFeed’s robot journalism (and human PR) can do?!
When BuzzFeed began 2023 by replacing humans with robots to write quizzes, I made a case (link below) for favoring the robots. For BuzzFeed AI quizzes. Not for replacing journalists.
But now I’m changing my case.
Partly based on the laughable BuzzFeed AI story headlines in the image above, and partly because of BuzzFeed’s disingenuous — and totally uncreative — insistence on “human creativity” in their AI process.
To recap, in addition to using AI for quizzes, BuzzFeed is also now quietly (no public announcements this time) using AI to generate complete articles.
Fellow human writers Noor Al-Sibai and Jon Christian at Futurism remind us that BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti was against this as 2023 began, saying:
“One path is the obvious path that a lot of people will do — but it’s a depressing path — using the technology for cost savings and spamming out a bunch of SEO articles that are lower quality than what a journalist could do, but a tenth of the cost. Even if there are a lot of bad actors who try to use AI to make content farms, it won’t win in the long run. I think the content farm model of AI will feel very depressing and dystopian.”
But you gotta feed the buzz (and SEO), so it appears BuzzFeed Spam Farms is growing.
A BuzzFeed spokesperson offered this ridiculous statement to defend AI goals:
“We’re continuing to experiment with AI to ‘enhance human creativity’ and are trying new formats that allow anyone (with or without a formal background in writing or content creation) to contribute their ideas and unique perspectives on our site. This new creative tool enables a collaborative writing process in partnership with AI, and a human editor, to unlock the creative potential of UGC [user-generated content] so we can broaden the range of ideas and perspectives that we publish.”
Enhance human creativity?
With that robotic corporate statement?
And the LOL/facepalm BuzzFeed AI content in the image above?
Instead, I humbly suggest BuzzFeed replace human spokespeople with AI.
Here’s how that BuzzFeed spokesperson statement looks when AI rewrites it with human creativity.
I asked ChatGPT to rewrite this BS BuzzFeed statement and include other of their phrases du jour like “hidden gem” and “depressing corporate dystopia.”
Here’s the result:
According to a spokesperson from BuzzFeed, the media company is determined to push the boundaries of creativity through the use of AI technology. “We’re constantly looking for ways to uncover hidden gems within user-generated content and amplify diverse voices that may not have had a platform before,” said the spokesperson. “We recognize that the current media landscape can often feel like a depressing corporate dystopia, but with our new AI-powered creative tool, we hope to provide a collaborative platform that empowers anyone to contribute their ideas and perspectives.” The spokesperson added that the new tool will allow for a seamless writing process that combines the unique perspectives of both humans and AI technology.
We knew BuzzFeed AI quizzes worked better. Now we know AI public relations works better too.
So Jonah: replace the PR humans, not the journalists.
I rest my case.
– As BuzzFeed pits AI robots against humans, I might favor the robots (TBP)
– BuzzFeed quietly publishing whole AI-generated articles (Futurism)