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Penalty Box Radio’s declaration of authenticity: Where we stand on A.I. generated content

Penalty Box Radio’s declaration of authenticity: Where we stand on A.I. generated content

With the digital media landscape changing rapidly every day, we thought it might be helpful to put out a statement about where Penalty Box Radio stands regarding authentic written content on this website.

In case you are just catching up on what’s been happening in the digital space regarding artificial intelligence, allow me to provide a brief synopsis. (Note: if you already know about A.I. and “chatbots”, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs and just skim down to our declarations of authenticity at the bottom of this page.)

Almost overnight, the digital media environment is facing the consequences of mainstream implementation of highly advanced deep learning computers and natural language processing systems. “Chat bots” like ChatGPT are no longer just an internet side show — they are now being used by corporate media companies to generate regular content. What perhaps was a fad six months ago now appears to threaten content creators who rely on the written word as their medium.

If you think we are being dramatic here, just keep in mind that hundreds of journalists and writers, especially in the sports writing space, are losing their jobs every day. Most of those terminations are happening because of poor revenue models, but once executives find a way to implement chat-bot workers as replacements, more lay-offs will follow.

Thankfully, Penalty Box Radio is an independent outlet. We employ a handful of writers to generate content and have a small ad model to support their work (if you’d like to support us, please visit our sponsor page and use their products!). We do not answer to any corporate entities. Our primary goal is to bring you the very best hockey stories, analysis, and podcasts in our market.

With that in mind, we thought it important to release a statement about artificially created content; how we feel about it, how we will approach it, and what you can expect from our website moving forward.

The declarations below are based on many hours of attempting to answer big questions. Things like, “does our audience care who authored our content?” and “does it matter if a human brain conjured up the words on this page?” and “will a computer be able to tell a story so immersive, you’d never know it wasn’t written by a human?” It’s easy to get lost in a philosophical debate when discussing this sort of thing.

So, with all of that context, here is Penalty Box Radio’s declaration of authenticity moving forward:

  • We are committed to human-created content.
  • Penalty Box Radio will always feature writing that is developed, written, and edited by humans. Our website employs humans to make organic decisions about content and humans will always be our only source of original material. 
  • The future of A.I. generated content is uncertain, but Penalty Box Radio will always provide non-A.I. generated content within stories that list a human author.
  • Our audience expects “truth in the byline”: when an author’s name is listed on our stories, that is the person who developed, wrote, and edited the piece. Sometimes our stories will have more than one editor (some of which may not be listed in the byline) but any additional editing will be performed by a human.
  • The addition of A.I. generated text into any story with a human author, without full disclosure, deceives the audience. We value the inherent trust between author and reader and will not betray that trust.
  • For our purposes, A.I. generated content does not include legacy analysis tools like spell-check, word counters, or SEO analysis machines, most of which are already built into mainstream editing platforms like WordPress (which we use). We use these tools to streamline the writing process.
  • We do not believe A.I. generated text adds any real value to story-telling. In fact, it obfuscates the purpose of creating genuine stories about hockey altogether. In the case that A.I. generated texts saves the writer time when writing a story, it does so at the cost of lying to the reader about who created the content (not to mention, it is very often incorrect about basic facts). That’s not something we will ever do at Penalty Box Radio.

This declaration has been developed and agreed upon by all current staff members at Penalty Box Radio on this day, July 24th, 2023.

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