With OpenAI’s recent release of ChatGPT AI content writer, everyone is buzzing about its potential. So, it’s completely appropriate that Buzzfeed seems to be jumping on board as well. The digital media company announced that it would be using ChatGPT content generator for all of its quizzes starting immediately. Rather than relying on actual human creators to come up with the quizzes, a more robotic approach will take place. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any human inputs. But the actual effort put forth by actual writers will be substantially less. The question is whether or not Buzzfeed’s readers will be able to notice.
As media companies and businesses alike begin to contemplate this brave new technology, there’s a great deal of mixed emotions. Resistance to change is certainly going to fuel naysayers who claim an AI content writer can never approximate human-composed content. But others see ChatGPT content generators and others like it as AI disruptors that offer potential to many, including writers. As such, Buzzfeed may be ahead of the curve of what inevitably will happen at all media companies. Rather than looking at their decision as the demise of human composition, perhaps it’s just the opposite. It might just represent a dawning of something much more incredible in the years to come.
“I think that anything that can elevate our journalism and the work of our journalists, we’d obviously consider. Our focus for A.I. is to advance the mission of the company and the work that everyone’s doing.” – Jonah Peretti, Co-founder and CEO, Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed’s Plans for ChatGPT Content Generators
In some ways, it’s not surprising that Buzzfeed looks to be an early adopter of AI content writer programs. The company has become famous for its reader quizzes, which used to be composed by staff writers years ago. But in recent years, Buzzfeed allowed readers to submit their own quizzes for the publication. As it turned out, many were quite good and were well-liked by the masses. Given that reader-generated content was free of charge, the company began letting some of its writers go. Now, things have simply taken another step forward with ChatGPT content generators. If technology is even better at quiz content creation, then why not?
In terms of using ChatGPT content generators, Buzzfeed isn’t simply letting machines go wild. Instead, human content creators are still the ones coming up with ideas for quizzes to help guide the results. In addition, they’ll be injecting more humorous aspects into these quizzes in an effort to be more emotionally appealing. But the bulk of the actual questions will be the responsibility of the AI content writer itself. Buzzfeed hopes this will free up their writing staff’s time to advance the publication’s quality in other ways. In other words, they expect ChatGPT content generators to improve speed and efficiency, freeing up staff for other endeavors.
“I think now that the quizzes are so template-ized a robot probably could write a BuzzFeed quiz, but it’s going to be lacking the heart that we all really put into it back in the day.” – Jen Lewis, a former Senior Illustrator for Buzzfeed
Leveraging Benefits and Avoiding Pitfalls
As you might imagine, plenty of writers and content creators aren’t very happy to hear about Buzzfeed’s plans. And to some extent, their criticism has some merit. Certainly, ChatGPT content generators are not the end-all, be-all when it comes to writing. In fact, there are several AI content creators with varied strengths and weaknesses. For example, most typically lack a true sense of humor or emotion within their final outputs. They may also omit key pieces of information, especially when larger pieces of information is consumed. And they have not been shown to be highly proficient in the area of storytelling. These aspects and their potential to draw false conclusions are why some are pushing back on AI content creators.
As far as Buzzfeed is concerned, however, these criticisms won’t affect their plans for ChatGPT content generators at all. The content created by Buzzfeed’s AI content writer won’t require such high-level writing talents or accuracy of analysis. Plus, human inputs and reviews can quickly and easily correct any minor missteps that might occur. Buzzfeed’s situation is one that is well-suited for ChatGPT overall. After all, its strengths are in headline creation, word economy, information search and personalized content. This and SEO content are areas where an AI content writer can definitely help. Therefore, though not perfect, it’s evident ChatGPT may be able to help Buzzfeed quite well.
“The writer no longer needs to write the articles alone, the programmer to code on their own, or the analyst to approach the data themselves. The work is a new kind of collaboration that did not exist.” – Ethan Mollick, Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Selling Out or Buying Into a Vision
For many in the industry, they feel Buzzfeed may be sacrificing quality for profits. After all, it’s no secret that the media industry has had its struggles with technology since the inception of the Internet. Deciding to shift content creation to ChatGPT content generators is therefore seen by some as giving in. In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Such a perspective is not only too simplistic but one that’s shortsighted as well. Certainly, using an AI content writer today may not be the norm. But it may well be in a couple of years.
The vision at Buzzfeed is a progressive one that sees AI content writer programs as a tool rather than writers’ competition. The same sentiments have been expressed in a variety of industries in relation to robotics. Many fear job displacement and rising unemployment when in fact the opposite occurs. Advancing technologies definitely create skills gaps and changing job demands. But this is what growth and progress look like. When it comes to ChatGPT content generators at Buzzfeed, content creators and writers will need to adapt. However, by embracing these changes, they may position themselves for the future. This is the vision that Buzzfeed is buying into, and it’s one that other media companies will soon follow.