A Sports Illustrated "writer" named Drew Ortiz has caused some controversy for the company. Why? Because he doesn't exist. While the profile page for Drew Ortiz described him as an outdoorsman who loves camping and hiking, sleuths have discovered that his Sports Illustrated articles were generated by artificial intelligence. But they're not alone. Glenn and Stu discuss the controversial trend of newsrooms using AI to write articles, generate images, and even generate voices.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Okay. Let me just start with the -- the author of many stories now, apparently in Sports Illustrated. Drew Ortiz. Drew has spent much of his life outdoors. He decided to guide you through his never-ending list of best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature.
Nowadays, there's rarely a weekend that goes by, where Drew isn't out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents' farm.
Now, Drew sounds like a regular guy, doesn't he?
STU: Yeah. Sounds like somebody I would like to listen to, on these topics.
Has some insights like living the life. Because you hate having someone who is like posing. Right? This is someone who is doing this on an every week basis, who is in the middle of this lifestyle, who will understand what the best things are for this particular --
GLENN: And when you're right, you're right, my friend.
STU: Thank you.
GLENN: When you're right, you're right.
Now, Drew has written a story that is kind of a little weird. He was talking about volleyball. And he said, volleyball is very difficult, especially to practice if you don't have a ball.
STU: That's a great point. It's true. It's almost impossible.
GLENN: That's why I'm so bad at volleyball. I don't have a volleyball.
STU: You've never really been able to improve. Now, I've seen you out in the lobby, doing the poses, trying to set services --
GLENN: No. I don't have a net or a ball.
STU: So it doesn't help you at all.
GLENN: But Drew brought that to us.
STU: That's a good point.
GLENN: Now, somebody was reading that. And they went, hmm. Drew sounds like a machine.
And so they ran it through a system that can detect if it's written by AI or not. For ever and lo and behold, Drew doesn't exist. Well, Sports Illustrated has removed Drew's writing. And it really looks like Drew doesn't exist. As well as other writers at Sports Illustrated.
But they won't confirm nor deny that this is --
STU: Wait. Where was he wrong? It's hard to practice volleyball without a ball. It is.
GLENN: Right. Right.
STU: At what point -- show me the lie, Glenn. Show me the lie.
GLENN: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Well, there's another guy named John, he lives in Houston. He loves yard games.
STU: I love yard games.
GLENN: And hanging out with his dog, Sam. You know.
STU: Right. That's a plausible dog name.
GLENN: Sam. He -- he might have thrown in, that Sam is also not good at volleyball. He has a ball, but no hands.
And so that's -- that's a problem. Dogs -- that's why dogs are not good at volleyball.
So AI-generated. Now, I -- you know, I don't think there's going to be any problem, having reporters just replaced by fake human beings.
STU: Yeah. That's interesting. Because there have been sites, that have already admitted doing this.
They're not selling it as a person. Most of the sites have said, look, this is AI-generated content.
It's usually selling something. Some sites have admitted it.
But they're not like, hey. I spend my weekends, with my mom at the farm. They don't say that.
GLENN: No. No.
This one had AI-generated images too. So they had the person there. And, wow, that's -- that's good.
STU: What they're doing now is fascinating with this stuff.
I was talking to a guy who works in -- in radio circles. And sound circles. He describes how he uses AI on an everyday basis.
A lot of people say, you watch -- that stuff is going all over the place.
Now they're getting to a point where they can create voices from scratch. You know how -- the old thing we used to play. Remember, the big frog.
No, remember the big frog, 109.9. We had -- it was a really bad radio station that we used to make fun of. And we had these sounders made. One of them was -- it was supposed to be all these different people. Like, I listen at work. I listen at work.
And like, they had these regular people.
STU: And now what they're doing is just creating AI regular people.
GLENN: Should I play the scratch track that I played for you this morning?
STU: I mean, I don't know. That's up to you.
GLENN: Yeah. I don't.
So every year, we change themes. And I don't want to act like we're fooling everybody.
But every time we do a new year, we do a new theme. Now I can't find it.
Okay. So that's good.
STU: It's a shock. Now we need AI to help Glenn find his emails.
GLENN: Exactly right. Right?