Sports Illustrated Publishes Authors Who Don’t Exist


Sports illustrated publishers Arena allegedly published fake, AI–generated articles by non-existent authors. Futurism asked them about the articles and authors, and that’s when they deleted them all.

Busy author at work

The AI-generated stories include the names of authors and their biography. For example, one of the articles was written by Drew Ortiz, and alongside his biography was a picture of him as a neutral white man. We called him that because that’s how his picture is labeled on a site that sells that photo.

In one fake AI article, Futurism couldn’t find the author Drew Ortiz anywhere. He didn’t seem to exist. As it happens, the photo of him is for sale on a website that sells AI–AI-generated headshots, and he is described as a “neutral, white young adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes.”

Ortiz disappeared from the site in the summer, and the pages with his articles redirected readers to that of Sora Tanaka. Interestingly, her picture is also for sale on the same AI headshot marketplace as Ortiz. She’s listed as “a joyful Asian young adult female with long brown hair and brown eyes.”

She’s gone now too.

Futurism spoke to Sports Illustrated employees who said it isn’t just the authors who were machine-generated – there are many of them. The articles are also fake.

When Futurism asked Sports Illustrated about the articles, all of them disappeared. A spokesperson for the publisher told them that an outside advertiser had put the articles together and assured them humans wrote the articles. The publisher didn’t say anything about the fake authors and headshots.

We don’t know if ADVON did it or not. They might be taking the hit for them. Gradually, all of the evidence is deleted – the articles disappear.

The Sports Illustrated Union was “horrified” by the story. They said, “If true, these practices violate everything we believe about journalism. We deplore being associated with something so disrespectful to our readers.”

They are demanding answers.

It was only a matter of time. It’s so much cheaper to have fake writers.

Futurism found non-existent authors published on another site owned by Arena Publishing. It’s called The Street. It included an article by non-existent Nicole Merrifield. It reads like an advert.

At the end is the fake photo and bio.

I had a free AI on this site for a while, and it completely rewrote the story. The AI Assist wrote a phony and canned article, but AI will improve, and eventually you won’t know what’s real and what isn’t.


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John Vieira
John Vieira
2 months ago

The Art of Deception is being honed…and becoming ‘dimensional’…