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A pink slime site used AI to rewrite our AI ethics article

Hours after Poynter released its AI ethics guide, a near-identical article appeared on a sketchy website. It was likely written by artificial intelligence.

The piece, filed in Tech Gate by an alleged human named Bourbiza Mohamed — who racks up bylines on stories about video games, Bitcoin and NASA every five minutes or so — was published four hours after Poynter’s story. It had Poynter’s art and logo, and followed the same structure as Kelly McBride’s article, but nearly every sentence was rewritten with peculiar word choices.

For example, the Tech Gate article says:

“Consider of it (sic) like a meals prep package. A lot of the function is completed, however you even now must roll up your sleeves and perform a little little (sic) bit of labor.”

Compare that to McBride’s piece:

“Think of it like a meal prep kit. Most of the work is done, but you still have to roll up your sleeves and do a bit of labor.”

Tech Gate’s about me page is vague and lacks any contact information. It says the site launched in 2007, but the site’s earliest archive in the Wayback Machine is from 2015 — and is written in Arabic.

Even an article about the ethical use of AI isn’t immune from bad actors who will use the technology unethically. In this case, the site likely steals content for easy advertising revenue.

Tech Gate is a pink slime news site, a website masquerading as a news source that is filled with poor-quality reporting (usually no reporting) or AI-generated articles and that may be used by political operatives to launder opinion pieces.

Last year, I spoke with Charlie Melvin, publisher of the Richmond Observer, who showed me a pink slime site doing the same thing with his organization’s local stories. He worried that at scale, AI would cheapen the value of original content — since it could be easily plagiarized on networks of sketchy websites.

This episode highlights a few challenges for news outlets. One: How can you compete with unethical outlets in the age of generative AI? And two: How do I protect my intellectual property?

While I can’t fully answer either, I can say that this curious case shows that AI will be used increasingly to feed the online content beast — ethically or not. The only way you can compete is by experimenting with and implementing generative AI in your newsroom. AI is coming for your content, and this industry.

I hope Poynter’s AI ethics guide — and not Tech Gate’s Dollar Store knockoff — can expand your shop’s resources to fight back against the rise of AI slime.

Originally Appeared Here

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