Sports writers aren’t going to lose their jobs to AI just yet

Sports writers aren't going to lose their jobs to AI just yet

Tyreek Hill

AI predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs will win the Super Bowl — thanks to Tyreek Hill, who isn’t on the team anymore
Image: Getty Images

Technology is terrifying. That’s why I still do all my research via newspaper and all my math by abacus. However, when I heard about an AI that could write professional-level essays and news articles with ease, my curiosity got the better of me. I’d been hearing about it everywhere. Some of my favorite YouTube creators were making videos on the subject. People on Twitter were raving about its ability to emulate specific writing styles. I was hooked, and even though my job could become totally irrelevant one day because of the advancements in these types of AI, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enter a prompt, have an AI do all my work for me, and coast by until my boss figured it out and promptly fired me. When I started using the AI though, I quickly realized just how much work was going to be left on my plate.

For reference, I understand there are multiple sites that produce AI-generated articles. For this piece, I used Open AI’s ChatGPT. I started off by giving the AI a pretty simple prompt: “Write me an essay, Bleacher Report style, indicating which NFL team will win the Super Bowl this year. Use the words ‘explosive’ and ‘fast-paced’ to describe the offense.”

Pretty simple, right? Not at all. Here’s what was produced, word for word.

“The team to watch out for this season is the Kansas City Chiefs. Their offense is explosive and fast-paced, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is one of the most exciting players in the league, known for his ability to make big plays and extend 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 each year. They have a talented front seven that can get after the quarterback and shut down the run. In the secondary, they have a mix of veterans and young players who are coming into their own.

Overall, the Chiefs have the talent and coaching to make a deep playoff run and potentially win the Super Bowl. They will be a tough team to beat this season.”

Clearly, this needs some updating. Tyreek Hill isn’t on the Chiefs anymore. That sort of throws any credibility this piece would’ve had out the window. Also, the Chiefs’ defense is certainly not improving. They don’t have a “talented front seven that can get after the quarterback and shut down the run.” The Chiefs are near the top of the league in pressure rate (23.9 percent — sixth in the NFL) and sacks (42 — fourth), and they love to blitz (27.7 percent blitz rate — 11th).

Yes, they can get to the quarterback, but shut down the run? I don’t know about that. They’re pretty mediocre, allowing 4.4 yards per carry, smack dab in the middle of the league in that regard. They do have the benefit of not having to face the run very often. They’ve got such a good offense that most teams are playing from behind early and have to abandon the run early in the second half. That doesn’t mean they have a good run defense though. Kansas City has allowed over 100 rushing yards in eight of their last nine games. All but two of those eight games were one-possession slugfests that the Chiefs probably should’ve won by much more.

Furthermore, when I asked who the Chiefs were going to face in the Super Bowl, the AI told me the Packers would represent the NFC, which — *checks standings* — yeah, that’s not happening. Why the Packers? Because Aaron Rodgers is “unstoppable,” according to the AI. Sure, his connection with Christian Watson has seemingly re-invigorated the Packers’ offense, but they’re so far behind in the standings and the team as a whole clearly isn’t what it was in years past. There’s no perceivable future where the Packers reach the Super Bowl.

Okay, maybe this was just a fluke though. Maybe the AI needs more nuanced options. If I were to give it a prompt that didn’t require any knowledge of statistics, analytics, or matchups, how would it fare? For my second test, I gave it the prompt “Write me an article, New York Post-style, describing the social downfall of Kyrie Irving. Be sure to mention Kanye West. Use the terms ‘extremist’ and ‘anti-vax.’” Here’s what it created.

Image for article titled Sports writers aren't going to lose their jobs to AI just yet

Screenshot: Open AI ChatGPT

As I expected, much better! Without any need for stats, the AI just found news of Irving and Kanye West and created a fairly solid, if not outdated, article. West didn’t “just announce” his candidacy for President. That happened years ago. Also, while the “mark of the beast” is a popular derogatory term some people have used to describe the COVID vaccine, Irving has 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 has never uttered those words. That’s likely how this AI came up with that line.

There’s obviously promise here. The fact that an AI spit out these pieces in 10 seconds apiece is pretty astounding, but unless it starts filtering out news from more than a year ago for certain topics, I think my job is pretty safe.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.