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AI-Generated Articles And The Media. Thoughts From Cybercrime Magazine.

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Sausalito, Calif. – Mar. 12, 2024

Ars TECHNICA reports that AI-generated articles prompted Wikipedia to downgrade CNET’s reliability rating.

For more than 25 years, CNET, a popular media website, has been publishing reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts, and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally.

Wikipedia’s decision reflects concerns over the reliability of articles found on the tech news outlet after it began publishing AI-generated stories in 2022.

Around Nov. 2022, CNET began publishing articles written by an AI model under the byline “CNET Money Staff.” In Jan. 2023, Futurism brought widespread attention to the issue and discovered that the articles were full of plagiarism and mistakes.

“CNET is the world’s largest provider of unbiased tech-focused news and advice,” a CNET spokesperson said in a statement to Futurism in response to the downgrade and controversies. “We have been trusted for nearly 30 years because of our rigorous editorial and product review standards. It is important to clarify that CNET is not actively using AI to create new content.”

Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief at Cybercrime Magazine, was interviewed about this story on our podcast. “This is a widespread problem. We’re talking about fake reporting, fake stories,” said Morgan. But he clarified that has to do with other media outlets and not necessarily CNET.

When asked if Cybercrime Magazine uses AI for any of its editorial, Morgan replied with a resounding “No,” although he added that it is possible we may at some point in the future, but it would be heavily vetted by our (human) full-timers.

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