The battle inside tech news site CNET

January 20, 2023

Mia Sato and James Vincent of The Verge examine tech news site CNET given the recent disclosure it was using artificial intelligence to write some of its content.

Sato and Vincent write, “Internally, there has been unease among CNET staff at their corporate owners’ use of artificial intelligence — though staff was assured the current test is limited in scope. But layoffs and restructuring, coupled with the lack of clarity on the use of new tools, are causing some to worry about what the creep of AI signals for the venerated site so many journalists were drawn to.

“‘I don’t lay any blame at CNET’s or its masthead’s feet,; one former staffer says. ‘This is all due to the machinations of the greater Red Ventures machine, and its desire to squeeze blood from a stone.’

“After multiple rounds of layoffs last year, dozens of people lost their jobs, from audience and copy teams to CNET cars staff. Entire teams were decimated, one former staffer says, and people continue to leave ‘in droves,’ fearing more layoffs are around the corner.”

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