AI Copy Stands Corrected: CNET Finds Errors In Test Stories

Here’s one tip for publishers tempted to try AI-driven content: Make sure the stories are thoroughly edited and fact-checked. 

CNET Money, which has drawn much attention for using AI to create short finance stories (77 altogether, 1% of its total content) learned this lesson after trying it. 

The CNET team had launched “a test using an internally designed AI engine – not ChatGPT – to help editors create a set of basic explainers around financial services topics,” CNET Editor In Chief Connie Guglielmo writes in a Wednesday blog post.

Someone cited a factual error (“rightly,” Guglielmo admits) and the team performed a full audit.  

Some stories required “correction, with a small number requiring substantial correction and several stories with minor issues such as incomplete company names, transposed numbers or language that our senior editors viewed as vague,” Guglielmo reports.



Going forward, CNET “changed the byline for articles compiled with the AI engine to 'CNET Money' and moved the disclosure so you don't need to hover over the byline to see it,” Guglielmo continues.  

But there will be more than a robotic byline: “Because every one of our articles is reviewed and modified by a human editor, the editor also shares a co-byline,”  Guglielmo adds. 

Then there was this: “In a handful of stories, our plagiarism checker tool either wasn't properly used by the editor or it failed to catch sentences or partial sentences that closely resembled the original language,” Guglielmo continues.  

The result? “We're developing additional ways to flag exact or similar matches to other published content identified by the AI tool, including automatic citations and external links for proprietary information such as data points or direct quotes,” Guglielmo states. “We're also adding additional steps to flag potential misinformation.” 

The question remains: Why did CNET initiate this test? 

“The case for AI-drafted stories and next-generation storytelling tools is compelling, especially as the tech evolves with new tools like ChatGPT,” Guglielmo states. 

Guglielmo's post continues that these tools “can help media companies like ours create useful stories that offer readers the expert advice they need, deliver more personalized content and give writers and editors more time to test, evaluate, research and report in their areas of expertise.”



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