Illustration art of AI and copyright

Here is another surprising piece of information about AI: Sports Illustrated articles were recently discovered being penned by fictitious AI-generated authors – and gained considerable attention.

From outdoors enthusiasts to food-loving fitness experts, the fabricated authors like 'Drew Ortiz' and 'Sora Tanaka' seemed all too real. Something that left everyone questioning the authenticity of the content they consume.

Their headshots, taken from AI-generated image websites, added to the illusion.

The Masquerade

The masquerade was unveiled by Futurism's thorough investigation into these inauthentic authors and their origins. Despite such evidence, The Arena Group, the publisher responsible for Sports Illustrated, refuted the idea of content being AI-generated. However, these artificial authors conveniently disappeared from the platform after the allegations.

In a subtle attempt at transparency, the dubious articles carried a disclaimer stating that a third party, not the editorial team of Sports Illustrated, crafted the content.

Another Suspicious Case

A similar case occurred earlier with a consumer reviews site 'Reviewed', under the Gannett banner, which raised concerns about potential AI-generated content. Gannett, however, laid the responsibility on a third-party agency, denying the involvement of AI.

Digging deeper the trails appear to converge at one point.

A Common Culprit

AdVon Commerce, also known under the alias ASR Group Holdings, has been identified in both the Reviewed and Sports Illustrated incidents. The company claims to provide AI solutions for e-commerce, which further fueled the suspicions of AI involvement.

Evidence linking AdVon to the Sports Illustrated articles piled up: Observably, the author page for 'Sora Tanaka' listed an email address associated with several writers from different websites owned by The Arena Group. Some of these writers were real people, and their LinkedIn profiles revealed an association with AdVon Commerce.

After all, AdVon's involvement was later confirmed by The Arena Group. The disputed content was removed.