"Time to pump out content at ultra-high speed."
In the wake of our reporting that CNET had been quietly publishing dozens of AI-generated articles, many expressed dismay at what seemed like an underhanded attempt to eliminate the jobs of entry-level human writers while downplaying the shoddy content to human readers.
One group was absolutely thrilled, however: spammers, who could scarcely contain their glee that a mainstream publisher was getting away with churning out bot-written content — and immediately expressed plans to do the same.
"Time to pump out content at ultra-high speed," rhapsodized one poster on BlackHatWorld, a notorious black hat search engine optimization forum where members trade dirty tricks and sell illicit services.
"Now is the time to maximize this pivotal moment that will cut down on cost with writers," another chimed in.
The implication was clear: that tools like ChatGPT will now allow scofflaws to pollute the internet with near-infinite quantities of bot-generated garbage, and that CNET — and its sister publication Bankrate — have now paved the way. In a way, it served as a perfect illustration of a recent warning by Stanford and Georgetown academics that AI tech could rapidly start to fill the internet with endless quantities of misinformation and profiteering.
The spammers were particularly fixated on Google's response to the CNET and Bankrate AI revelations, which they interpreted as a reversal of its previous stance that it would penalize...
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