CNET begins big layoffs weeks after AI-generated stories came to light: Report

CNET begins big layoffs weeks after AI-generated stories came to light: Report

Tech News

With reports of tech site CNET quietly using artificial intelligence to produce articles, another report arrived that it is doing extensive layoffs, including several longtime employees.

According to a draft blog post circulated internally and obtained by The Verge, CNET editor in chief Connie Guglielmo will also step down from her role, but will become the senior vice president of AI content strategy and editor-at-large.

Guglielmo will be replaced by another Red Ventures-owned outlet NextAdvisor’s former editor in chief Adam Auriemma. The site hasn’t tweeted since January and now redirects to CNET.

As per details, the CNET is going to layoff about 10 percent of the public masthead and the layoffs already began on 2 March. It was announced internally via email by Red Ventures, the private equity-backed marketing-turned-media company that bought CNET in 2020.

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The website in its mail wrote that cuts made to focus CNET on areas where the site can succeed at bringing in traffic on Google search.

“To prepare ourselves for a strong future, we will need to focus on how we simplify our operations and our tech stack, and also on how we invest our time and energy,” The Verge quoted CNET Group at Red Ventures’ president of financial services Carlos Angrisano as saying.

CNET would focus on consumer technology, home and wellness, energy, broadband, and personal finance, said Angrisano in the mail.

“But those sections are shadows of what they once were, particularly home,” The Verge quoted the staffer as saying, who added, “If you want to do that section the right way, you don’t sell off your Smart Home, get rid of its video team and cripple your editorial staff.”

Earlier in January, Futurism reported that CNET had published dozens of articles since last November that were generated using AI tools. Similarly, Red Ventures-owned properties, Bankrate and had also been publishing similar pieces.

Amid hue and cry, the firm paused the practice, while promising to do an audit of all articles using AI systems. Over half of the articles eventually had corrections made to them on CNET.

Meanwhile, Futurism confirmed The Verge that Red Ventures is preparing to deploy the tool again soon despite AI-generated stories were put on pause in January. The report added that Guglielmo will work on machine learning strategies across Red Ventures and the news is expected to be announced tomorrow.

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