No Bylines for Bots: BuzzFeed CEO Says AI Won’t Replace Human Journalists

Available to WrapPRO members

“The place where I’m most excited about AI is not in news, but in entertainment,” Jonah Peretti says

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti
Courtesy BuzzFeed

On a recent drive to BuzzFeed’s Los Angeles headquarters, I spied through the car window a delivery robot labeled “Ellen” toddling down Cahuenga Blvd. with the apparent goal of delivering lunch.

There was something oddly appropriate about encountering the labor-saving Ellen just before speaking to BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, who has spent the last few weeks trying to explain to the public that BuzzFeed’s recently-announced foray into artificial intelligence doesn’t mean that his digital media company plans to replace its news reporters with robots.

In December, BuzzFeed laid off 12% of its workforce, roughly 180 staffers out of an estimated 1,500.