BuzzFeed will begin creating articles and other content using the AI generator ChatGPT as soon as this year, editor Jonah Peretti said – news that helped send the digital media company’s badly flagging stock into a rebound Thursday.
The company also announced a content deal with Meta that sent the stock shooting up in early Thursday trading.
BuzzFeed, which furloughed 12% of its workforce at the end of last year, will rely on AI to produce content including quizzes and articles sometime in 2023, Peretti said in an email obtained by the Wall Street Journal for a Thursday report.
“You’ll see AI-inspired content move from an R&D stage to part of our core business, enhancing the quiz experience, informing our brainstorming, and personalizing our content for our audience,” Peretti wrote.
BuzzFeed stock was trading at around $1.30 on Thursday before the announcement, then more than doubled – bouncing up to $2.85 – before settling at the $2 range as trading closed. At one point late last year, the publicly traded company’s stock fell as low as 63 cents.
Peretti stressed that human editorial employees will still be largely useful at BuzzFeed: “We see the breakthroughs in AI opening up a new era of creativity that will allow humans to harness creativity in new ways with endless opportunities and applications for good,” he wrote. “In publishing, AI can benefit both content creators and audiences, inspiring new ideas and inviting audience members to co-create personalized content.”
CNET has experimented with AI-penned posts for months but had to reevaluate the practice when it was called out for using the word “staff” in bylines and rampant examples of possible plagiarism. Despite its obvious shortcomings, Peretti believes BuzzFeed is leading media into the future.
“The creative process will increasingly become AI-assisted and technology-enabled,” he wrote. “If the past 15 years of the internet have been defined by algorithmic feeds that curate and recommend content, the next 15 years will be defined by AI and data helping create, personalize and animate the content itself.”