Following monthslong questions on how CNET makes use of synthetic intelligence instruments, longtime CNET editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo will step down from her function and tackle a brand new job: senior vp of AI content material technique and editor-at-large, in keeping with an inner draft memo circulated in the present day, a duplicate of which was obtained by The Verge.
In her new function, Guglielmo will work on machine studying technique at Crimson Ventures, the non-public equity-backed media firm that acquired the tech information website in 2020. Adam Auriemma, the previous editor-in-chief of a unique Crimson Ventures outlet, NextAdvisor, will turn into editor-in-chief. NextAdvisor, a private finance outlet, seems to now not be energetic — the location’s Twitter account hasn’t posted since January, it now not seems on Crimson Ventures’ listing of manufacturers, and its web site redirects to CNET.
Guglielmo’s transfer to her synthetic intelligence function comes simply hours after The Verge reported that mass layoffs had been underway at CNET. A minimum of a dozen staff misplaced their jobs, together with some longtime figureheads on the firm, in keeping with sources with data of the layoffs. The total extent of the layoffs just isn’t but clear as workers work to determine which colleagues are affected — the quantity could possibly be as excessive as 26 or extra, sources say.
After Futurism revealed in January that CNET had been quietly publishing dozens of articles generated utilizing AI, Guglielmo and different Crimson Ventures leaders defended the usage of automation instruments regardless of public concern round how the follow was applied. The software’s use was briefly paused whereas Crimson Ventures carried out an inner audit of all AI-generated content material throughout its websites. Quickly after, greater than half of the articles had been up to date with corrections.
Guglielmo, who has been CNET editor-in-chief for 9 years, has defended the usage of AI instruments on the outlet. In late January, she mentioned in a weblog put up that although the AI-generated tales had been halted, the newsroom would proceed testing AI instruments that will “assist [CNET’s] groups.”
A number of former CNET workers informed The Verge that editorial independence was chipped away beneath Guglielmo’s management and Crimson Ventures’ possession. Former workers recounted a number of cases of staff being pressured to vary their work to appease advertisers, and different crew members had been repeatedly requested to work on adverts and prioritize work that served advertising functions and ranked extremely in Google search.
The newest spherical of layoffs is way from the primary: former CNET workers informed The Verge that some groups have been decimated by previous cuts to the workforce, whereas different staffers have been pushed out over time.
Crimson Ventures didn’t instantly reply to The Verge’s request for remark.