BuzzFeed Gets AI Help:

BuzzFeed Using AI: Kyle Barr of Gizmodo warns us that “AI Will Start Writing BuzzFeed’s Notorious Personalized Quizzes.” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti stated that he wants an AI system to take a major role in both the company’s editorial and business departments. For now, however, BuzzFeed is planning to use AI to generate its quizzes, but not actual news content.

Key Points

  • Individualized content: Peretti said the AI could write questions based on a quiz topic and then create a unique write-up for every user.
  • The system is based on OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
  • The motivation for using this system is largely economic. Peretti said that the “lean, scrappy startup” has to scrounge and scrape for “every penny of revenue.”
  • AI Ecosystem: humans will create the framework for the quiz and edit some of the AI’s responses. The generative AI handles everything else.
  • Interestingly, this comes at the same time as reports that Meta is paying BuzzFeed close to $10 million for content creation.
  • Peretti provides an example of how prompts will work with the quiz generator:

    BuzzFeed's AI Quiz Generator
    BuzzFeed’s AI Quiz Generator

Relatedly, over at CNN, Oliver Darcy tells us that Peretti says AI could usher in a ‘new model for digital media,’ but warns against a ‘dystopian’ path.

As he and colleagues were prototyping the technology to find ways to use it on the BuzzFeed website, he found himself having fun. “It started to feel like we were all playing.”

Peretti sees at least two possible models emerging, one dystopian, one—well, not utopian, but still good:

  • 👎 The technology will be used as a cost-cutting measure to generate search engine optimized articles of lower quality that are cheaper but of lower quality than human output.
  • 👍 More personalized, creative and dynamic uses of the technology in which the AI system and writers and editors work together hand-in-glove to achieve. what could not be done without the AI. The quiz generator, he says, is an example of this second model.