Sports writers aren’t going to lose their jobs to AI just yet
Technology is terrifying. That’s why I always do all my research through the journal and all my calculations with the abacus. However, when I heard about an AI that could easily write pro-level essays and news articles, my curiosity got the better of me. I had heard about it everywhere. Some of my favorite YouTube creators were making videos on the subject. People on Twitter raved about its ability to mimic specific writing styles. I was addicted, and even though my work might become totally irrelevant one day due to advances in these types of AI, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enter a prompt, get all my work done by an AI until my boss figured it out and promptly fired me. When I started using AI, I quickly realized how much work I had left on my plate.
For reference, I understand that there are several sites that produce AI-generated information articles. For this piece I used Open AI ChatGPT. I started by giving the AI a fairly simple prompt: “Write me an essay, Launderer’s report style, indicating which NFL team will win the Super Bowl this year. Use the words “explosive” and “quick” to describe the offence. »
Simple enough, right? No way. Here is what was produced, word for word.
“The team to watch this season is the Kansas City Chiefs. Their offense is explosive and quick, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is one of the most exciting players in the league, known for his ability to making big plays and extending plays with his legs.The Chiefs also have a strong supporting cast on offense, including wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.
On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs have a defense that is improving with each passing year. They have a talented front seven that can go after the quarterback and stop the run. In high school, they have a mix of veterans and thriving young players.
Overall, the Chiefs have the talent and training to make a deep playoff run and potentially win the Super Bowl. They will be a tough team to beat this season.
Obviously, this needs an update. Tyreek Hill is no longer with the Chiefs. This kind of throw all credibility off this piece would have had through the window. Also, the Chiefs’ defense is definitely not improving. They don’t have “talented forward sevens who can tackle the quarterback and stop the run.” The Chiefs are near the top of the league in pressure rate (23.9% – sixth in the NFL) and sacks (42 – fourth), and they love to blitz (27.7% blitz rate – 11th).
Yes, they can reach the quarterback, but stop the run? I do not know. They’re pretty mediocre, giving up 4.4 yards per carry, right in the middle of the league in that regard. They have the advantage of not having to deal with running very often. They have such a good offense that most teams play from behind early and have to retire early in the second half. That doesn’t mean they have a good run defense though. Kansas City has allowed more than 100 rushing yards in eight of its last nine games. All but two of those eight games were one-possession slugfests that the Chiefs probably should have won a lot more.
Also, when I asked who the Chiefs were going to face in the Super Bowl, the AI told me that the Packers would represent the NFC, which – *checks the ranking* – yes, it does not work. Why Packers? Because Aaron Rodgers is “unstoppable”, according to the AI. Sure, his connection with Christian Watson has seemingly invigorated the Packers’ offense, but they’re so far behind in the standings and the team as a whole is clearly not what it was in years past. There is no discernible future where the Packers will reach the Super Bowl.
Well, maybe it was just a fluke. Maybe the AI needs more nuanced options. If I were to give it a prompt that doesn’t require any knowledge of stats, analytics, or matches, how would that go? For my second test, I gave it the prompt “Write me an article, New York Post-style, describing Kyrie Irving’s social downfall. Be sure to mention Kanye West. Use the terms “extremist” and “anti-vax”. Here’s what it created.
As I expected, much better! Without any need for stats, the AI just found some Irving and Kanye West news and came up with a pretty solid, if not outdated, article. West did not “just announce” his candidacy for president. It happened years ago. Also, while the “mark of the beast” is a popular pejorative term that some people have used to describe the COVID vaccine, Irving never referred to the vaccine as such. In his song “Savior”, Kendrick Lamar references Irving in a line mentioning the “mark of the beast”, but Irving himself never said those words. That’s probably how that AI found that line.
There is obviously promise here. For an AI to spit out these bits in 10 seconds each is pretty amazing, but unless it starts filtering news from over a year ago for certain topics, I think my job is pretty sure.