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Sports Illustrated to Publish AI-Generated Articles While Laying Off Dozens of Journalists

Recent layoffs at Sports Illustrated have left many questioning the use of AI in the future of the magazine.

Arena Group, which owns magazines like Men’s Journal and Sports Illustrated, announced it would start publishing AI-generated articles. While the company assured that “AI will never replace journalism,” recent layoffs at Sports Illustrated have left many questioning the use of generative AI in the future of the publication.

Over a dozen workers, including former editor Chris Almeida and senior writer Alex Prewitt, were hit with layoffs, causing concern for the future of the company. An internal memo, obtained by Awful Announcing, revealed that Arena Group has laid off 17 employees and created 12 new openings “to reflect the new needs of the SI business.”

Arena Group assures AI will not replace journalism

Despite concerns over the accuracy of AI-generated content, the publication industry at large is teed up to use more bots in the future. However, Arena Group stated that it would not replace journalists with AI, and that the AI-generated content would be based on archive articles written by journalists before the company’s acquisition of Men’s Journal and Men’s Fitness.

The company has partnered with two AI firms to explore how AI can contribute to workflow efficiencies at some of its publishing brands, but it claims that AI tools will only be used to mine archives and create more productive editing workflows, rather than generating entirely new content.

How AI-guided content can contribute to journalism industry

The industry is experimenting with the intersection of AI and journalism, and AI-guided content, while not perfect, can contribute to workflow efficiencies. While the use of AI-generated articles may increase in the future, it is important to remember that they will supplement, not replace, the human creativity that underpins the heart of journalism.

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