AI Is Coming After Creators, and Sports Illustrated Isn’t Mucking Around

An iconic media brand published AI content from fake writers, but the more troubling issue is why they did it

Joe Procopio

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Hey, creators. It’s time to get really good at what you do. And by good, I mean original, thoughtful, experienced — and be willing to show you have a soul.

Because the soulless army of AI avatars is coming for your job. Hard.

About six months ago, I wrote a piece assuring most folks that AI wasn’t going to eliminate their job, but I made sure to extend a warning to one particular at-risk group.

Low-quality creators.

Yes. You product-pimping writers, you stock footage knitting YouTubers, and 99.5% of you influencers. Gen AI is already eating your lunch.

Here Come The AI Creators

The algorithms are now pumping out “people” who are better looking than us, with more relatable back stories than us, and a far better grasp of SEO-driven content than we could ever hope to have — because it’s already working on the inside, partnering with its search algorithm cousins to sell way more foot massagers and rug-pull crypto investments than we could ever dream of.

But I don’t blame you. I blame Sports Illustrated.

Oh, and I blame myself. Because I kind of helped start the whole thing.

Another Major Media Outlet Gets Outed For Using AI

An article (human-written, I hope) in Futurism last week dove deep into the alleged use of Generative AI by Sports Illustrated’s parent company, the Arena Group, who also bought The Street from Jim Cramer, by the way.

It seems that SI contracted with a third-party company to create promotional product review content for its website. That third party, it’s alleged, used AI-generated authors, with AI-generated bios and headshots, to write AI-generated content for said promotional product reviews.

They got caught. Like Gannett.

I’m not even going to debate the Gen AI angle here. Because, as I said six months ago, Generative AI is…

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com