Buzzfeed: When it comes to the holidays, most people would be eager to finally take a break, an escape from work, but some occasionally choose to delve deeper into work.
For Jonah Peretti, the BuzzFeed co-founder and chief executive, the holidays allowed him to familiarize himself with artificial intelligence.
Peretti is one of those eager individuals who want to try out the latest and greatest technologies.
Over the years, he has become familiar with how AI runs and people’s prediction of how it has the potential to revolutionize the media industry.
It is no surprise, as BuzzFeed has utilized AI through the years.
Late last month, Peretti sat in his California home to probe into how the developing AI writing tech could be utilized in BuzzFeed’s DNA.
During a Thursday interview, Jonah Peretti shared that he and a few colleagues prototyped how technology could be used to enhance interactive articles and hallmark quizzes, to name a few.
Peretti said he had fun in the process, adding, “It started to feel like we were all playing.”
Their process (playful work, he described) later led to multiple Google docs filled with implications of how BuzzFeed and the tech could build into the platform.
The documents also talked about how Peretti could extend it to other formats.
The experience prompted Jonah Peretti to make an official announcement on Thursday, saying BuzzFeed will collaborate with ChatGPT creator OpenAI.
The partnership allows OpenAI to help create content for the audience while moving AI into the “core business.”
According to Peretti, he understood how people might read the news and conclude that BuzzFeed was replacing humans with robots.
However, he insisted that it wasn’t his vision for the technology despite predicting other companies taking that path.
“I think there are two paths for AI in digital media,” said Peretti.
“One path is the obvious path that a lot of people will do– but it’s a depressing path – using the technology for cost savings and spamming out a bunch of SEO articles that are lower quality than what a journalist can do, but a tenth of the cost.”
“That’s one vision, but to me, that’s a depressing vision and shortsighted vision because in the long run, it’s not going to work.”
He continued, saying:
“The other path, which is the one that gets me really excited, is the new model for digital media that is more personalized, more creative, more dynamic – where really talented people who work at our company are able to use AI together and entertain and personalize more than you could ever do without AI.”
In other words, Jonah Peretti envisions AI as a tool to help improve his employees’ work, not just as a replacement.
The company cited the BuzzFeed quiz as an example of what Peretti wants to happen.
Humans write questions and responses for the users based on their input.
However, with AI, staffers could make questions while the software develops highly personalized answers for the users.
For example, a user would take a quick quiz while the AI creates a short RomCom content with the data provided.
“We don’t have to train the AI to be as good as the BuzzFeed writers because we have the Buzzfeed writers,” Peretti explained.
“So they can inject language, ideas, cultural currency and write them into prompts and the format.”
“And then the AI pulls it together and creates a new piece of content.”
A different path
Jonah Peretti isn’t interested in using AI to replace human journalists for news articles.
He cited the tech outlet CNET taking such action to terrible results.
“There’s the CNET path, and then there is the path that BuzzFeed is focused on,” said Peretti.
“One is about costs and volume of content, and one is about ability.”
“Even if there are a lot of bad actors who try to use AI to make content farms, it won’t win in the long run,” he continued.
“I think the content farm model of AI will feel very depressing and dystopian.”