AI systems could use more intelligence


Social media was abuzz Monday with screenshots providing example articles from several news outlets all under the same corporate umbrella which will go unnamed. The posts were of AI-generated sports game stories created from box scores uploaded by coaches and administrators.

If these examples are any indication of the fantastic work we will get from those services, everyone reading will be thrilled.

However, these automated systems are lucky they are unable to comprehend that last sentence was written with extreme sarcasm in mind.

These “stories” the AI are creating are nothing more than inserting team names “A” and “B” into a madlibs formula with the same wacky usage of verbs and adjectives you would get from a kindergarten student.

One example was found in an Ohio publication. The seven-sentence atrocity posted online about a football game repeated sentences using different phrasings, informed the reader what was the score at the each of quarter, and closed by trying to entice someone to check out more of the pointless drivel.

If in the future an article I write contains the phrase, “a close encounter of the athletic kind,” you can assume I got the idea from the AI as that’s my favorite term from the story.

After the ending of these word-blob articles, readers are informed it was created by a service called ScoreStream which markets itself as “the world leader in fan-driven sports results and conversation.” This service could be seen as something functional for the general public with no ties to an area, but it does nothing to truly create interest for the product or make people want to return to the outlet as their primary source of information.

I get thanked often — more than I’m comfortable with actually — by parents, coaches, and fans for just coming out to watch, taking pictures of and writing about the student-athletes in Greene County. I appreciate the compliments. I’ve mostly just looked at my time out-and-about though as my job.

Getting a chance to see an alternative of what other communities are getting instead, well, I now want to thank those same people for continuing to be our readers. It’s you reading this, which helps keep something similar to the provided examples from invading your news.

Thankfully it was announced on Tuesday the publications using the AI service have decided to cease its usage after two weeks of “journalistic standards” not being met, while also claiming they don’t want to replace real reporting by actual people.

While I’m essentially only complaining about these sort of services having the potential to put me out of a job, it would be the greater community who suffers more from these systems being put into place.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X, formerly known as Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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