Buzzfeed to use AI to write its articles after firing 180 employees
Humans would still have their role in providing “cultural currency” and “inspired prompts”, as the CEO set a timeline of 15 years for AI to “create, personalize, and animate the content itself”.
After dozens of employees were laid off, online publisher BuzzFeed, known for its pop culture articles, quizzes and "listicles", announced that it would start using artificial intelligence (AI) to write its content.
OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, will be employed for the initiative and will create custom-made quizzes. According to a memo to staff from CEO Jonah Peretti, he intends to increase AI across BuzzFeed’s editorial output and business operations as of this year.
Peretti relayed his expectations of AI to improve creativity and content, but humans would still have their role in providing “cultural currency” and “inspired prompts”. He set a timeline of 15 years for AI to “create, personalize, and animate the content itself”.
Interest in AI has been rapidly increasing since the launch of ChatGPT last year, with Microsoft already investing a reported $10 billion in OpenAI. US publisher CNET also experimented with the new technology to create 75 personal finance articles but stopped after running into multiple factual errors.
This follows a month after Buzzfeed furloughed nearly 180 employees, which Peretti blamed on the economic crisis and the changes in how people are using media.
Struggling financially, Buzzfeed was valued at a worth of $1.7 billion in 2021 and attracted investors like Vice and Vox when it launched in the 2010s. But BuzzFeed shares plunged, losing more than three-quarters of their value after merging with a special purpose acquisition company known as Spac. Its worth is now around $340 million.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the online publisher was being paid millions of dollars by tech mogul Meta to push more content creators to platforms like Facebook and Instagram.