BuzzFeed and Peretti take a unique stance on AI

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Buzzfeed: Most individuals would be excited to finally take a vacation over the holidays and get away from work, but on occasion, folks will decide to work more.

The holidays gave Jonah Peretti, co-founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, a chance to become more acquainted with artificial intelligence.

Peretti is one of those enthusiastic people who wants to experiment with the most cutting-edge technology.

He has gained familiarity with the machinations of AI and beliefs on how it could impact the industry over time.

It comes as no surprise given how frequently BuzzFeed has used AI.

Late last month, Peretti took a seat at his California home to explore how the growing field of AI writing technology might be incorporated into BuzzFeed’s core tenets.

The news

Jonah Peretti mentioned in an interview on Thursday that he and a few colleagues prototyped ways to leverage technology to improve interactive articles and popular quizzes, to name a few.

Peretti claimed to have enjoyed the experience, stating, “It started to feel like we were all playing.”

He characterized their method as fun labor, which subsequently produced a number of Google docs with implications for how BuzzFeed and the technology may integrate into the platform.

Peretti could expand it to other forms, according to the documents.


Due to the experience, Jonah Peretti officially announced on Thursday that BuzzFeed will work with OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT.

Through their partnership, OpenAI is able to contribute to audience content creation while also integrating AI into their “core business.”

Peretti said that he was aware of how readers of the news would get the notion that BuzzFeed was replacing people with robots.

He predicted more firms will follow that path, but said it wasn’t his goal for the technology.

“I think there are two paths for AI in digital media,” said Peretti.

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“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.”

Jonah Peretti does not see AI as a replacement, but rather as a tool to help improve the performance of his staff.

BuzzFeed quiz

The firm used the BuzzFeed quiz as an illustration of Peretti’s intended goal.

Based on the users’ input, humans create the questions and answers for them.

With AI, however, employees might ask questions while the program creates highly customized responses for the visitors.

For instance, a user may complete a brief quiz while the AI uses the supplied data to produce a brief RomCom content.

“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 is not interested in employing AI to write news pieces in place of real journalists.

He referenced the tech publication CNET as having done so with disastrous outcomes.

“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.”