Gizmodo Editor Slams ‘Shameful’ AI-Written Article: ‘It’s F–king Dogs–t’

“No one at io9 played a part in its editing or publication,” deputy editor James Whitbrook says


Gizmodo’s io9 section, which focuses on science fiction,  published an error-riddled article written by “Gizmodo Bot” which deputy editor James Whitbrook said on Wednesday was foisted on the site’s editorial team with little notice.

The AI-generated article, “A Chronological List of Star Wars Movies & TV Shows,” was riddled with factual errors. G/O Media, the owner of Gizmodo, said last week it was starting to use artificial intelligence on its sites, including Gizmodo, The Onion and Deadspin and the Root.

“Hello! As you may have seen today, an AI-generated article appeared on io9,” Whitbrook tweeted, addressing the situation. “I was informed approximately 10 minutes beforehand, and no one at io9 played a part in its editing or publication.”

He also shared the formal statement he sent to the site’s parent company, G/O Media. In the statement, he called the situation shameful and said that the AI-produced article rejected the standards io9 holds itself to.

Beyond the formal statement, Whitbrook also tweeted his personal comment on the matter, saying “lmao, it’s f–king dogs–t.”

Whitbrook declined TheWrap’s request for additional comment and pointed toward his Twitter statements on the situation. G/O Media representatives did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

After G/O Media announced the move into AI-created content, unionized editorial staffers blasted the company, saying, “The hard work of journalists cannot be replaced by unreliable AI programs.”

As for the article that’s caused the controversy, its errors are obvious. Claiming to be a chronological listing of the “Star Wars” films and TV shows, it features glaring issues such as claiming “The Clone Wars” cartoon comes after Disney’s “The Rise of Skywalker,” despite the events of the show taking place long before “TROS.”

While it’s not impossible that a writer or editor could produce these same errors, it’s highly unlikely to happen, as even the most basic, quick research would correct these sorts of mistakes and prevent an article from going live with blatantly inaccurate information. Given that Gizmodo and io9 otherwise produce properly vetted content, Gizmodo Bot’s sole author credit is a particularly unsavory stain on the face of the site.

As to why an AI writer would be utilized in the first place, G/O Media is experimenting with ways to cut costs on its editorial team by substituting human work with AI content. BuzzFeed has already been toying with such things, utilizing artificial intelligence for inexpensive content production.