July 14, 2024
Sports Illustrated Cans CEO for Use of AI-Generated Articles

Sports Illustrated Cans CEO for Use of AI-Generated Articles

(Eli Pacheco, Headline USA) The digital publisher that operates Sports Illustrated fired its CEO after the iconic magazine was caught publishing AI-produced articles—complete with fake author names and profiles, according to Futurism.com.

The Arena Group, which runs Sports Illustrated, fired four top executives in less than a week, Business Wire reported:

  • Ross Levinsohn, chief executive officer
  • Andrew Kraft, operations president and chief operating officer
  • Rob Barrett, media president
  • Julie Fenster, corporate counselor

A company spokesman declined to confirm whether the clearinghouse actions happened because of the AI revelation which first came to light in late November, according to CNN

An investigation revealed several articles published under author names that didn’t exist outside of the magazine. Futurism also found headshots of the suspect writers for sale online as AI-produced images.

Levinsohn was Sports Illustrated’s CEO for three years. As Futurism broke the story, the magazine removed writers from its website and moved stories attributed to them to other authors. But those writers also had similar issues: no online presence and AI-generated headshots from online marketplaces.

The Futurism investigation led Sports Illustrated to state the articles and authors came from a third party, AdVon. The magazine said AdVon assured them they were human-produced articles.

In October, Reviewed, which media conglomerate Gannett owns, was similarly investigated for stories it acquired from AdVon, according to The Verge.

Futurism also revealed sites such as Bankrate and CNET, both Red Ventures companies, published AI-produced content on their sites last year.

Interim Arena Group CEO Manoj Bhargava, who founded the energy shot 5-Hour Energy in 2004, replaced Levinsohn. Bhargava owns a majority stake in the company, according to a spokesman.

Some may welcome Levinsohn’s departure. During his four-year tenure as the head of the magazine, Sports Illustrated joined the ranks of other notorious woke corporations in shamelessly virtue-signaling its progressive politics.

The magazine controversially celebrated diversity on with its 2022 swimsuit edition by featuring, among its four cover subjects, an obese model, a transgender person and a 74-year-old. It featured another transgender person as the cover model in 2023.

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