Gannett Promised to Be Super Responsible With AI Before Completely Bungling It

Just a few short months ago, in June, executives at the publishing giant Gannett — which owns USA Today, in addition to hundreds of local newspapers — swore that they would use AI safely and responsibly. “The desire to go fast was a mistake for some of the other news services,” Renn Turiano, senior vice president and head of product at Gannett, told Reuters at the time. “We’re not making that mistake.” Turino, per Reuters, further argued that automation would mostly just streamline workflows and for its human journalists, freeing up their time and alleviating busy work (a common refrain among the AI positive, in the media industry and beyond.) Perhaps most notably, Turino reportedly promised that humans would always be included in the publisher’s AI processes, and that no AI-generated content would be published “automatically, without oversight,” according to the June report. It’s a reasonable-enough attitude toward the use of AI, and if Gannett had actually followed through with it, it may well have set a strong example for the rest of the industry. Gannett’s optimistic promises, however, couldn’t be more broken. To recap: last week, it was discovered that the news behemoth had been quietly publishing AI-generated high school sports articles in multiple of its local papers as well as USA Today. And this content, generated by a company called Lede AI, was terrible. Each AI-spun blurb was awkward and repetitive, with no mention of details like player names — and occasionally even displaying outright formatting gore. Most…Gannett Promised to Be Super Responsible With AI Before Completely Bungling It

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