Both BuzzFeed and Microsoft have joined ChatGPT in partnerships to use the service on their platforms.
For those unfamiliar with ChatGPT, according to Digital Trends, it’s an AI chatbot by OpenAI, the company Elon Musk and Sam Altman originally founded. OpenAI became popular for the text-to-image generator DALL-E in early 2021, and last year created ChatGPT.
ChatGPT allows people to input phrases and requests, and it will output generated text based on the information it’s given. For example, you could input “Explain why the sky is blue,” and it’ll give you a paragraph on theories of why the sky is blue.
For basic home use, ChatGPT seems enticing. But when large platforms like BuzzFeed and Microsoft get involved, it becomes an issue.
BuzzFeed has announced that it will begin to use ChatGPT to create and personalize content and quizzes. For example, quiz results would be personalized for each user based on their responses.
The Chief Executive of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti, said that in 15 years, he expects AI to help “create, personalize, and animate the content itself.”
Microsoft also intends to use ChatGPT for their products. In a January press meeting, reported on by Forbes, it was revealed that they intend to invest $10 billion into OpenAI and use their cloud service, Microsoft Azure, to allow developers to use AI to enhance their programs.
They’ve already developed Microsoft Designer, which uses AI to create art and social media images. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, said, “In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
These partnerships have raised concerns for both the public and the companies own employees.
One employee asked how BuzzFeed planned to avoid “inevitable legal issues” around copyrighted work and visual work created by artists at the company. In response, Peretti said they were focused on text-based work at the moment.
But what does this mean for BuzzFeed’s writers? Many ask how they will avoid plagiarism and copyright infringement for writers who provide the data for AI.
Another major concern is how this will affect the current creatives at these companies. Employees are worried that this will put them out of a job, with less of a need for human-created writing as algorithms take over.
Peretti said that the AI tools are an opportunity to make full-time employees more efficient and creative, not a strategy to reduce real life workers. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that BuzzFeed has already cut 12% of it’s workforce last December, according to a Tweet made by the More Perfect Union.
Jack Mirkinson, senior editor for The Nation, responded to this Tweet saying, “This is why independent media is so important—because corporate bosses see journalists as line items first and people second.”
As media AI continues to grow, more and more artists, writers, and creators are concerned with how this will affect their jobs and livelihood. Not only will people be removed from their jobs, AI may rely on their work to generate content without their consent. Currently there are very little laws or protection in place on the side of creatives losing their work or jobs due to AI, and this needs to change.
With a constant sci-fi depiction of “Computers taking over the world and stealing human’s jobs,” it seems like this may finally come true.
By Caileigh Winslade, Senior, ChiArts
Instagram @fairytwist / Twitter @silverrebi