BuzzFeed Inc co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti has revealed that the company, which includes not only BuzzFeed, but HuffPost, Tasty, and many other brands, will be turning to artificial intelligence to create content going forward, much of which is slated to focus on targeting particular identity groups.
Peretti and his team unveiled the new plan during the company's annual Investor Day on May 11, the contents of which was uncovered by independent journalist Lee Fang.
Lee Fang broke the news on Twitter.
"We view AI as an exciting new creativity tool," Peretti said, "one that humans can harness to open up new avenues for imagination, storytelling and entertainment and explore new premium product offerings that allow us to innovate and collaborate with our clients and partners on a new frontier in media."
He explained that, "over the next few years, generative AI will replace the majority of static content, and audiences will begin to expect all content to be curated and dynamic with embedded intelligence." Peretti claimed that the new AI-driven content will be "more gamified, more personalized, and more interactive" than ever before.
BuzzFeed's CEO went on to state that the "biggest beneficiaries" of the shift to AI generated content will be big corporations, which will be able to sell products to more users as engagement increases.
President Martin Marcela touted the fact that using AI will allow BuzzFeed to "rapidly expand content output and increase audience engagement without adding fixed cost," explaining that the technology would be used to create "Infinity Quizzes," as well as chatbots and games. He noted that behind the scenes, it would also be used to help editors create headlines and generate content ideas.
According to General Manager Jess Probus, AI will be used to further develop "identity-focused" content, which will be "built by and for the communities to provide a safe and welcoming space for individuals to find entertainment and to connect with one another."
The decision was criticized by many, even among those who support the outlet.
Journalist Robert Evans said Jonah Peretti was "wrong," suggesting that the decision to turn to AI "is not going to profit his company in the long run or anyone else who tries it, but ... will do incredible damage to a useful resource while it fails."
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