According to a report by Bloomberg, BuzzFeed revealed to its investors this week that its AI-powered quizzes engage readers for 40 percent longer compared to traditional quizzes. This has taken place but it is worth noting that BuzzFeed is placing even greater emphasis on AI despite the recent closure of its Pulitzer-winning news division and the layoff of approximately 120 employees, which accounts for around 10 percent of its workforce.
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed announced a unique concept where human employees would create quizzes incorporating AI chatbots, which initially seemed like an interesting idea.
However, it became evident that BuzzFeed’s use of AI extended beyond quizzes. The website started featuring numerous SEO-driven travel guides that relied heavily on clichéd writing and repetitive content.
Currently, even the AI quizzes themselves have essentially enhanced versions of fill-in-the-blank exercises, falling far short of the “more personalized, more creative, more dynamic” AI-generated content promised by CEO Jonah Peretti in a March interview with CNN.
BuzzFeed is not the only company exploring AI-generated content. Earlier this year, Futurism discovered that both CNET and Men’s Health quietly published entire articles generated by AI, some of which contained errors and plagiarism.
Nevertheless, BuzzFeed appears to be attempting to validate its AI strategy by demonstrating the positive outcomes of its experiment.
In a statement to Futurism at the time, BuzzFeed said it was “continuing to experiment with AI to ‘enhance human creativity,'” and “trying new formats that allow anyone (with or without a formal background in writing or content creation) to contribute their ideas and unique perspectives on our site.”
The company had already informed its investors that it anticipates adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to reach the “high teens” in millions of dollars for this fiscal year.
It is however important to note that BuzzFeed’s stock value is currently hanging around half of its initial value just after the AI content was first announced.
It remains to be seen whether the perceived success of BuzzFeed’s investment in AI or the significant layoffs experienced by the company this year is truly contributing factors to these projections.