AI Generated-Content On The Rise

AI-generated content is becoming more common. What’s more, it is often passed off as having been written by a human. A prime example is the shocking case of Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated Scandal

In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. Sports Illustrated went on to twice win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. The magazine published articles by famed writers such as William Faulkner, Robert Frost, John Steinbeck, and John Updike. In addition, the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was famous for featuring beautiful women wearing swimwear in various locales around the world.

How Times Have Changed

For decades, Sports Illustrated was owned by Time Inc. but was sold in 2018. After a few sales, the publishing rights were acquired by Maven Inc. (later renamed The Arena Group). Sports Illustrated had mass layoffs. The business philosophy shifted away from journalists and more toward a strategy that new CEO Russ Levinsohn called “gravitas with scale” – a model based in part on a network of freelancers, independent contractors, bloggers, and contributors. Standards were lowered.

Fake Women

In 2021, Sports Illustrated put a fake woman (a biological man dressed as a woman) on the cover of its swimsuit issue. “I dedicate this cover to all ballroom femme queens past, present, and future,” trans person Leyna Bloom wrote on Instagram. This year (2023), Sports Illustrated put another transgender on the cover of its swimsuit issue.

Fake Writers

An article in the science and technology publication Futurism found that Sports Illustrated published articles written by fake authors. These authors were generated by artificial intelligence (AI). Here is an example of the bio of author Drew Ortiz.

“Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature,” it read. “Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend that goes by where Drew isn’t out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents’ farm.”

Futurism even found Drew’s profile photo for sale on a website that sells AI-generated headshots, where Drew is described as a “neutral white young-adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes.”

Drew wrote stimulating prose, for example, that volleyball “can be a little tricky to get into, especially without an actual ball to practice with.”

It was not only limited to Sports Illustrated; Futurism found fake AI writers at other The Arena Group publications. Here is The Street’s AI-generated Domino Abrahm’s biography which includes “a pro at home cleaning and maintenance.” I’m not sure what cleaning has to do with investing.

The Arena Group responded to the story by blaming a third-party contractor but claimed a human wrote the content under the AI-generated headshots.

But Is It Really Human Content?

A while back, I wrote about AI content detectors, technology that can help distinguish between human-written content and AI-generated content. One of the companies I mentioned,, used their tool to study Sports Illustrated. found that 70% of the introductions and 40% of the rest of the content in the review articles on the site were written by AI. In addition, 50% of the introductions and 25% of the body of the articles on the site were written by AI.

Leadership Fired

Following the scandal over the use of AI-generated stories from fake authors, The Arena Group terminated its CEO Ross Levinsohn on December 11. The previous week, The Arena Group fired its president of operations and COO, its president of media, and its corporate counsel.

Bottom Line

Artificial intelligence has changed and will continue to change the scope of many industries. Media companies have an incentive to use AI in their content creation to reduce costs. Even websites are constantly pressured to use AI to generate content more cheaply. However, I can assure you that all our writers are real human beings creating original content here at Daves Computer Tips.

Let me know in the comments how you feel about content being generated by AI. Also, let me know if you have noticed the use of AI on websites you visit. I suspect that some sites I visit are using some AI-generated content.

9 thoughts on “AI Generated-Content On The Rise”

  1. I’ve noticed a significant define in grammar and a rise in awkward phrasing on many websites lately. I attributed it to ESL authorship and lax editing, which could be the case, but AI? Quite possibly.

    1. Hey GrannyGeek,

      In my articles, I blame all poor grammar and awkward phrasing on our editor (Richard). Of course, I take full credit for all correct grammar and elegant phrasing :).

      Happy New Year

  2. Colette Martin

    I get the feeling that maybe I should get off the internet. I love my computer time & can travel the world with it. I am not smart enough to catch the bad stuff that might be going on & run right into it. I am afraid of Microsoft updates installing something I don’t want & could cause me a problem, but not being able to fix it. I’ve had 2 brain injuries can’t figure out some things, plus I’m 68.

  3. Peter Thompson

    Just curious about the fake women part

    I’m seeing a lot of stuff on this site that’s getting very political etc. and moving away from the tech side.

    I’m not one for saying people shouldn’t be able to share opinions but I don’t really see how this was relevant and also not the correct term either

    1. Hi Peter,
      Thanks for the comment. But I must disagree with you a bit.

      First, you mentioned that you see a lot of political items on this site. I don’t think I have ever read anything political on DCT. I cannot recall any references to politics, political races, politicians, or state affairs, etc. on DCT. I think what you are saying is that we at DCT are not politically correct enough. I cannot speak for the others here, but speaking for myself, I agree. I see political correctness as a way of distorting reality through vocabulary. It is a way of using language to manipulate concepts instead of being factually accurate. In the article, I used two politically correct terms. In retrospect, I should not have used the politically correct terms either.

      Second, this is an article about a media company misrepresenting content. Sports Illustrated portraying men as women is similar to Sports Illustrated portraying computers as human writers. Therefore, I think it is relevant to the article. It shows the changes in standards that the new publishers at Sports Illustrated have made in recent years.

      As for the term “Fake Women”, that is a heading. I could have used “Human’s With XY Chromosomes Dressed In The Clothing Of Humans With XX Chromosomes” but that is too wordy for a heading.

      Peter, have a Happy New Year!

      1. Peter Thompson

        But it isn’t a political correct term. If the person was in drag, would you not just say drag, if they identify as trans would you not just say trans. Using these words does not mean you agree with the concept etc. it is just the established word.

        By putting in fake women you have in my opinion made the article technically political in the sense that you have given your stance on trans/drag etc. when it isn’t really needed.

        I mean I’m not either of these but if someone was who was a fan of this site, it may put them off.

        The thing is I believe that there is problems on each side of the spectrum. I just would prefer if this site would stick to the tech and avoid seemingly to show a side.

        I remember someone wrote an article about tomb raider and would never play it because they where a man and as if it was wrong to play as a female character and I’m reading thinking it’s a game.

  4. Peter, please don’t be a bully. You have stated your preference. I like things the way they are. Let’s let the staff have the right of uncensored free expression. You have the right not to read it.

    1. Peter Thompson

      How am I bullying, I’m just stating an opinion and also pointing out that in my opinion this site should stick to technology and avoid devise culture stuff.

      The thing is I believe everyone should be able to voice their opinion and dislike when people try to ban/cancel people for having an opinion that isn’t the norm, but like I said I came here for tech stuff.

      1. Richard Pedersen

        Hi Peter,

        The only thing remotely political about this article are your comments.


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