Sports Illustrated Faces Accusations of AI-Generated Content, Parent Company Points to Third-Party Responsibility

Allegations of Fabricated Author Profiles and AI-Generated Articles Spark Controversy at Sports Illustrated

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Accusations have surfaced against Sports Illustrated, claiming the publication of articles attributed to fictitious author profiles with fabricated bios and AI-generated photos. A report from Futurism presented screenshots suggesting the use of AI-generated headshots, further asserting that some content itself was created using AI technology.

The Sports Illustrated Union expressed shock over the report, emphasizing the potential violation of journalistic ethics and calling for transparency from The Arena Group, the parent company of Sports Illustrated. In a statement, the union distanced itself from the alleged practices, stating that if true, they were “disrespectful to our readers.”

However, in response to the allegations, a spokesperson for The Arena Group denied the claim of AI-generated content and attributed the issue to a third party, AdVon Commerce. The spokesperson clarified that the articles in question, which were product reviews, were licensed content from AdVon Commerce. The company assured The Arena Group that the content was created and edited by humans, though it acknowledged the use of pseudonyms to protect author privacy, a practice not condoned by The Arena Group.

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The statement outlined ongoing reviews and investigations into the matter, emphasizing the termination of the partnership with AdVon Commerce. The Arena Group stated that it remains committed to maintaining high standards and is taking steps to address the situation.

Earlier this year, The Arena Group had announced the use of AI in some of its content, allowing for the creation of new material based on archived stories. According to a disclosure, the AI-generated content was reviewed by an editorial team, with the technology aimed at enhancing efficiency for content creators.

The controversy adds a layer of scrutiny to the evolving landscape of media and AI integration, highlighting the challenges and ethical considerations associated with the use of artificial intelligence in journalism. As investigations continue, the outcome will likely influence discussions around the responsible use of AI in content creation within the media industry.