Sports Illustrated CEO Fired In AI Scandal

According to a press statement from parent firm The Arena Group, the sports magazine “Sports Illustrated” was reportedly found to have published pieces written by computer-generated authors, leading to the CEO’s dismissal.

“Effective today,” the company’s board said when they terminated the CEO Ross Levinsohn and selected Manoj Bhargava as temporary Chief Executive officer. The announcement was made Monday afternoon.

Other casualties of the AI controversy are corporate counsel Julie Fenster, Andrew Kraft (the chief operating officer), and media president Rob Barrett.

The magazine has been under fire and ridiculed since November when the blockbuster revelation by the website Futurism was reported. They wrote that Sports Illustrated used bogus bylines and photos of authors when cranking out AI-generated material.

According to Futurism, one of the site’s writers, Drew Ortiz, had a profile image that looked like it was acquired from a service that makes fake pictures. The publication said that when Ortiz’s page was removed this summer, remnants of Ortiz were included in a new profile, a woman named Sora Tanaka.

Sports Illustrated reportedly removed all the other purportedly AI-generated pages from their website once Futurism contacted them.

According to Vince Bodiford, who represents newly-minted CEO Manoj Bhargava, the management change was partly an effort by The Arena Group’s board of directors “to enhance the operational efficiency and the income of the firm” and had nothing to do with the AI incident, as stated by the outlet.

Articles “written” by Ortiz had passages that made little sense, often sounding robotic and not of a human world. The material was provided by AdVon Commerce, not the Arena Group. AdVon provides “AI solutions for eCommerce.”

According to Euronews, the modeling agency The Clueless in Barcelona, Spain, produced an AI-generated “influencer.” Aitana López is supposedly a 25-year-old model with pink hair. “She” has twelve hundred and forty-four people following her on Instagram. Fifty-six images of her have been posted, some in her underwear.

In her most recent Instagram Stories, she is seen working out and sipping drinks after a night on the town. She’s described as a “strong and resolute lady,” a “passionate Scorpio” who loves exercise and video games.

Her monthly earnings on Fanvue range from three thousand to ten thousand euros, and she is wholly fabricated in AI.

At least the Sports Illustrated bathing suit edition models are human.