Sports Illustrated boss fired, but it's nothing to do with AI fake news - quite the opposite

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The Arena Group, patient of Sports Illustrated, fired CEO Ross Levinsohn connected Monday, characterizing nan determination arsenic a strategical business move that has thing to do pinch nan AI ungraded that rocked nan sports title a twelvemonth ago.

The Arena Group described nan executive firings arsenic an effort "to amended nan operational ratio and gross of nan company."

Manoj Bhargava was named interim CEO, pursuing past week's termination of operations president and COO Andrew Kraft, media president Rob Barrett, and firm counsel Julie Fenster.

Sports Illustrated successful November 2022 was accused of publishing AI-generated stories nether clone bylines, which nan publication subsequently explained by claiming it hired a third-party contented institution that utilized quality authors penning nether pseudonyms.

Asked whether nan executive suite purge had thing to do pinch nan AI scandal, a institution spokesperson told The Register that nan rumor was "water nether nan bridge," and nan activity alteration was "a strategical business move and not a consequence to thing else."

Indeed, nan Arena Group appears to beryllium committed to AI-generated contented for its much than 320 brands, which successful summation to Sports Illustrated see TheStreet, Parade, Men’s Journal, and HubPages. The company's preliminary 2022 financial results, released February 3rd, 2023, see a connection by Levinsohn celebrating nan imaginable of AI-assisted contented generation.

“While AI will ne'er switch journalism, reporting, aliases crafting and editing a story, quickly improving AI technologies tin create endeavor worth for our brands and partners," said Ross Levinsohn, who was CEO and president of The Arena Group astatine nan time. "By leveraging these proprietary tools, we judge each those who create contented connected our level will find opportunities to scope consumers successful caller ways."

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More recently, a September 14, 2023 financial presentation from The Arena Group describes its strategy arsenic "the Uberization of Content."

Borrowing Uber's wide protested exemplary of relying connected independent contractors to trim labour costs, nan patient sees itself providing "tools for Content Creators to tally their sites efficiently, specified arsenic nan Tempest CMS, video, editorial support, and monetization."

This Uber-style cost-shifting statement is spelled retired much explicitly successful nan company's annual report: "Our Publisher Partners usage nan Platform Services to produce, manage, big and monetize their contented successful accordance pinch nan position and conditions of partner agreements betwixt each of our Publisher Partners and america (the 'Partner Agreements'). Our Publisher Partners incur nan costs pinch respect to creating their content; thus, not requiring superior expenditures by us."

The cardinal to this imagination is nan firm's Tempest contented guidance system, which will beryllium infused pinch assistive AI capabilities to "make journalists much effective." The patient – aliases much aptly publishing level supplier – successful its position said that nan AI devices it has been testing for 7 months pinch brands for illustration Sports Illustrated and Men’s Journal "reduced clip to create articles by 80-90 percent."

And it cites its business pinch Nota that lets Tempest users "create AI-assisted original video to lucifer articles and societal content."

Incidentally, it took Uber, founded successful 2009, 14 years to report a profit. ®

During Arena Group's astir caller Q3 2023 financial quarter, it reported gross of $63.4 million, an 11 percent increase, and a nett nonaccomplishment of 11.2 million, down 32 percent from a $16.5 cardinal nett nonaccomplishment successful nan anterior twelvemonth period. ®