After pivoting to AI journalism, CNET lays off a chunk of its human staff
The tech site has reportedly cut around 10% of its workforce
Only a few months after confessing to using AI to generate online articles in lieu of human writers, CNET has laid off a chunk of its workforce.
Speaking to The Verge, a CNET staffer said around 10% of employees were let go on Thursday morning and editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo, who defended the site’s use of AI over the past 18 months, will step into a senior role overseeing AI content strategy.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: CNET job cuts
🙁 Tech site CNET has laid off some of its staff
🤖 The job cuts come only months after it was found to be using AI
🤔 The outlet looks to betting big on artificial intelligence
📈 The hype around the burgeoning tech has only increasing
According to an internal email, CNET’s parent company Red Ventures said the cuts were made so the brand could focus efforts on increasing traffic through Google search.
“To prepare ourselves for a strong future, we will need to focus on how we simplify our operations and our tech stack, and also on how we invest our time and energy,” wrote Carlos Angrisano, president of financial services at Red Ventures.
CNET came under fire last year when it was found to have been surreptitiously using artificial intelligence to create content, and appeared to be hiding the AI origins of those articles under a generic byline.
In January, it announced that it would stop using AI to create articles after many were found to contain factual errors, inaccuracies and basic math problems. Elsewhere, it appeared as if the machine-generated articles had inadvertently plagiarized content from other writers and sites, seemingly slipping past human copy-editors.
The layoffs follow redundancies at other media outlets over the last few months, as well as growing investment and interest in AI. Buzzfeed announced it would be using the burgeoning tech to produce quizzes and personalize content for audiences, while Microsoft made a multi-billion dollar investment in ChatGPT creator OpenAI.
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