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Sports Illustrated published articles by fake writers with AI-generated photos: Report

San Francisco, Nov 28, 2023
Sports Illustrated (SI), an American sports magazine, has published articles on its website under fake author names with AI-generated headshots, media report said.

The report published by Futurism on Monday provided evidence that the images of several authors listed on Sports Illustrated’s website were available for purchase on a website that sells AI-generated headshots.

For instance, the bio of a writer on Sports Illustrated’s website named ‘Drew Ortiz’ said, “Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend that goes by where Drew isn’t out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents’ farm”.

According to the report, the photo of ‘Drew Ortiz’ as it appeared on the Sports Illustrated’s website was available on an AI-generated image website with the description “neutral white young-adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes”.

After Futurism contacted Arena Group (which publishes Sports Illustrated) for comment, the bios of the fake writers disappeared.

Articles with supposedly AI-generated bylines now have a disclaimer stating, “This content is created by a third party” and “The Sports Illustrated editorial staff are not involved in the creation of this content”.

According to Variety, the Arena Group has ended its partnership with AdVon Commerce, the company that supplied the posts.

“The articles in question were product reviews and were licensed content from an external, third-party company, AdVon Commerce. A number of AdVon’s e-commerce articles ran on certain Arena websites,” a spokesperson for Arena Group was quoted as saying.

“We continually monitor our partners and were in the midst of a review when these allegations were raised. AdVon has assured us that all of the articles in question were written and edited by humans,” it added.

The representative further mentioned, “According to AdVon, their writers, editors, and researchers create and curate content and follow a policy that involves using both counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software on all content.

“Arena Group discovered that AdVon used pen names for some writers in certain articles to protect their privacy, which is not something we approve of. As a result, we are removing the content while our internal investigation continues and have since ended the partnership,” the company said.(Agency)

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