CNET’s AI-written articles aren’t just riddled with errors. They also appear to be substantially plagiarized.
This piece and the alleged misuse of ChatGPT is a ‘good’ demonstration that this natural language processing (NLP) service should not be used unedited for outputs of any kind. It really should only be used as a tool to create an early draft of any item, to be carefully reviewed and edited by a human. The reputation of institutions and publications can be seriously tarnished by the careless use of this technology.
Afterward, though, Futurism found that a substantial number of errors had been slipping into the AI’s published work. CNET, a titan of tech journalism that sold for $1.8 billion back in 2008, responded by issuing a formidable correction and slapping a warning on all the bot’s prior work, alerting readers that the posts’ content was under factual review. Days later, its parent company Red Ventures announced in a series of internal meetings that it was temporarily pausing the AI-generated articles at CNET and various other properties including Bankrate, at least until the storm of negative press died down.
Now, a fresh development may make efforts to spin the program back up even more controversial for the embattled newsroom. In addition to those factual errors, a new Futurism investigation found extensive evidence that the CNET AI’s work has demonstrated deep structural and phrasing similarities to articles previously published elsewhere, without giving credit. In other words, it looks like the bot directly plagiarized the work of Red Ventures competitors, as well as human writers at Bankrate and even CNET itself.