Ross Levinsohn has been fired as CEO of Arena Group.

Sports Illustrated publisher Arena Group fired its CEO Ross Levinsohn in response to public outcry over the publication’s use of artificial intelligence in writing articles. The company also appointed Manoj Bhargava as interim CEO. In a statement posted on its website on Monday, the media giant announced Mr. Levinsohn’s departure at the same time as its board members met to discuss ways to “improve (the company’s) operational efficiency and revenue.” The magazine was accused of publishing AI-generated articles under fake author profiles for its website.

The controversy was brought to light by futurism, a science and technology magazine, on November 28. They stated that some of the author’s biographies did not refer to a real person. Citing an example, Drew Oritz wrote in his profile that he has “spent much of his life outdoors and looks forward to guiding you through his endless list of the best products that could keep you safe from the dangers of nature.” . Hardly a weekend goes by these days when Drew isn’t camping, hiking, or simply at his parents’ farm.” However, Mr. Oritz doesn’t seem to exist.

“He has no social media presence and no publishing history. And even stranger, his Sports Illustrated profile photo is for sale on a website that sells AI-generated headshots, where he is described as a “neutral white young adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes,” the outlet wrote in their report. They also added that “AI writers’ writing often sounds like it was written by an alien.”

On November 28, the magazine responded to these allegations, saying on X: “Today an article was published claiming that Sports Illustrated published AI-generated articles. According to our initial investigation, this is not correct.”

They blamed a third-party company, AdVon Commerce, and said they were in the middle of an investigation when these allegations came to light. “The articles in question were product reviews and were licensed content from an external third party company, AdVon Commerce. A number of AdVons e-commerce items ran on certain Arena websites. We continually monitor our partners and were in the midst of a review when these allegations were made, “they added.

Additionally, Sports Illustrated said the third-party company assured them that the articles were written by humans. “AdVon has assured us that all articles in question were written and edited by humans. According to AdVon, their writers, editors and researchers create and curate content and follow a policy that includes the use of anti-plagiarism and counter-AI software. However, we have learned that AdVon has required authors to use a pseudonym or Using pseudonyms to protect the author’s privacy – actions we strongly condemn – and we are removing the content while our internal investigations continue and have since terminated the partnership. “, they concluded.

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