Amidst the fears of AI-written articles taking over the internet, CNET has started publishing completely auto-generated articles without an official announcement. The tech site has allegedly been publishing such pieces since November 2022. While CNET doesn’t mention which AI technology it is using, it is reasonable to assume the site could be using ChatGPT.
With the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022, many thought that it was only a matter of time before AI-generated articles flood the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Google maintains that content produced using machine learning tools is categorized as spam which, in theory, is penalized by the search giant. As it turns out, CNET, one of the biggest tech media sites in the world, has been publishing articles generated with AI since November 2022.
According to Gael Breton of Authority Hacker, CNET has been putting up articles written with AI since November 11, 2022. To date, the site has 72 such pieces. While CNET does disclose under each piece that the article was written using “automation technology”, it is not immediately clear, as the byline only mentions “Written by CNET Money”. It is only after clicking on the byline that you are presented with the disclaimer that the content was generated with an AI engine.
What’s more concerning, however, is that the articles are pulling in quite a bit of traffic per Gael Breton’s research. Auto-generated articles pulling in traffic is in direct contrast to Google’s claims of penalizing AI content.
Now the question becomes: Is Google able to effectively distinguish between human-generated and AI-generated writing? Sadly, we have no clear answer. Talking to Search Engine Journal, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller explained that, although the company can’t claim to have the ability to automatically detect AI written pieces, “if we see that something is automatically generated, then the webspam team can definitely take action on that”.
Finally, neither CNET nor Google answered any question posed to them by Futurism regarding the issue.
Fawad Murtaza – Tech Writer – 324 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
I am Fawad, a fellow tech nerd. As a tech junkie, my relationship with technology goes back to my childhood years. Getting my first Intel Pentium 4 PC was the start of journey that would eventually bring me to Notebookcheck. Finally, I have been writing for tech media since 2018. From small no-name projects to industry leaders, I have worked with a number of tech publications.
Fawad Murtaza, 2023-01-12 (Update: 2023-01-12)