Sports Illustrated's parent company, The Arena Group, announced it has ousted CEO Ross Levinsohn, the latest in a string of firings allegedly related to the company's reported use of artificial intelligence to produce content on its website.
The news comes two weeks after tech and culture site Futurism reported the sports publication appeared to be publishing articles written by AI and using headshots from an AI marketplace—without disclosing it to their readers—with many of the articles filled with errors. After initially denying the report, The Arena Group said the articles were product reviews and licensed content from an external, third-party company. Listen to an interview with the journalist who broke the news here.
The report triggered backlash, sparking debates on AI's role in media and questions about media credibility. A recent study showed about 90% of newsrooms used some form of AI, although 60% were concerned about the ethical implications.
The Arena Group dismissed Operations President Andrew Kraft, Media President Rob Barrett, and Corporate Counsel Julie Fenster last week. Manoj Bhargava, founder of the 5-hour Energy drink, will serve as interim CEO.