Assessing Media Ethics: The AI Debate in Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated’s corporate owners are disputing claims that the well-known magazine employed artificial intelligence to generate articles under false author identities. They stress that the stories that are being investigated have been temporarily withdrawn.


According to a claim published on Futurism on Monday, Sports Illustrated has allegedly employed AI to create articles as well as headshots and biographical information for writers that do not actually exist. The tech newspaper went on to say that after Futurism contacted The Arena Group, a media organization based in New York that owns magazines like Parade, Men’s Journal, and, details about these purported writers were taken from Sports Illustrated’s website. is the proprietor. presides over the publishing labels. vanished inexplicably.

Tuesday saw a social media statement to The Arena Group in response, stating that their “initial investigation” showed Futurism’s report to be untrue. He clarified that Advon Commerce, a company that had previously approved Sports Illustrated’s content for product reviews and e-commerce, employed human writers to produce the highlighted articles.

“Advon has assured us that all articles in question were written and edited by humans,” an Arena Group spokesperson stated. On the other hand, we currently know that Advon obscures the author’s identity on some articles in order preserve their privacy. The identity has been dropped. The name or pen has been taken away.” “Use a pseudonym; we will take action to condemn strongly.”

AdVon articles are being actively removed from Sports Illustrated while The Arena Group conducts an additional investigation. In addition, Arena Group announced the dissolution of its affiliation with Advon, failing to address a request for comment from CBS MoneyWatch. Stephen Cannella, co-editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated, hasn’t replied to messages.

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Even though Arena Group declined to use artificially intelligent technology (AI) for Sports Illustrated stories, this incident raises questions about moral standards for using AI in the media. Head of the research group at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and AI ethicist Benjamin Lang emphasized the need for ethical boundaries and stated that journalistic guidelines require objectivity, accuracy, trust, and honesty.

It is part of a trend in which several publishers have pulled articles produced by AI because of mistakes. Notably, after readers pointed out errors, CNET corrected a number of AI-generated stories in January, and Microsoft withdrew a computer-generated travel guide in August.

The Arena Group’s Nasdaq shares dropped more than 22% to $2.09 on Tuesday after Futurism’s report. after altering its name from TheMaven to its current name in 2021, the company is run by Ross Levinsohn, a former Sports Illustrated CEO. The Arena Group and Bridge Media Networks, a provider of news, sports, and other content, announced their merger earlier this month.

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