BuzzFeed's stock soared more than 200% on Thursday after the company revealed that they will be using A.I. instead of writers to create content.
CEO Jonah Peretti sent an email—which was reviewed by Wall Street Journal—to the online media company's staff stating that BuzzFeed will become the "premiere platform for A.I.-created content."
In addition to Peretti's vow to invest heavily in A.I. to create content, WSJ also reported a multi-million dollar deal between BuzzFeed and Facebook parent company Meta, in which the company would generate content for Facebook and Instagram.
Soon after, BuzzFeed shares rose to $2.88, its highest in seven months, before settling for the day at $2.09, still an increase of 120% and a gain of $156 million.
While the jump in share prices is good news for the company, the stock is still down 80% since it went public in December 2021.
According to Peretti's email, A.I. will begin creating content for BuzzFeed as early as next month to help generate quizzes and improve personalized content. It was confirmed to Forbes that the company will be using ChatGPT creator OpenAI to fulfill this initiative.
Peretti wrote in his email to staff:
"If the past 15 years of the internet have been defined by algorithmic feeds that curate and recommend content, the next 15 years will be defined by AI and data helping create, personalize, and animate the content itself."
He continued that A.I. "opens a new era of creativity" and later clarified:
"To be clear, we see the breakthroughs...that will allow humans to harness creativity in new ways with endless opportunities and applications for good."
The news was alarming, to say the least. Many wonder what this means for the workforce and the future of journalism.
People are also baffled as to why the news generated an increase in share prices.
Several also believe that this could spell trouble for BuzzFeed.
While Peretti's memo raised concerns for his employees, the CEO has responded to many of their queries.
According to Slack communications also reviewed by WSJ, Peretti addressed legal worries regarding content protected by copyright and plagiarism, noting:
"We've done experimentation in the past with AI-generative images, and we recognize these concerns and take them seriously."
Responding to the fear of workforce reduction, Peretti assured that the implementation of A.I. is intended to help employees be more efficient and creative and not to replace them.
We hope this is true.
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