When I was growing up in the 1980's and 90's, Sports Illustrated was not just the most important magazine; it was also the best. They would hire the greatest sportswriters of that that time and the photography was incredible. You'd see so much effort in each and every page. This sounds hard to believe but kids at school would talk about who was on the cover each week. Magazines mattered a lot back then and no weekly publication meant more to their genre than SI meant to sports.
SOURCE - After we reached out with questions to the magazine's publisher, The Arena Group, all the AI-generated authors disappeared from Sports Illustrated's site without explanation. Our questions received no response.
The AI content marks a staggering fall from grace for Sports Illustrated, which in past decades won numerous National Magazine Awards for its sports journalism and published work by literary giants ranging from William Faulkner to John Updike.
People are going to blame The Arena Group and that's fine but it's missing the larger issue. Magazines don't matter anymore. It hurts to write that because I am old enough when they weren't just important but so enjoyable as well. I would look forward to getting the mail and seeing a fresh new SI or Entertainment Weekly waiting for me. You'd be informed about things you cared about and discover things you didn't know about.
Back then, you were almost forced to check out stuff that you might not be instantly be interested in out of boredom. The articles in SI were so well written, you'd read it cover to cover and learn about new athletes and other sports. Content wasn't as specialized and segmented as it is now. I'm guessing people my age or older remember reading the backs of many shampoo bottles when you finished (or worse forgot) a magazine on the shitter and there was nothing else to read. We also read a lot of the backs of cereal boxes in the morning because we didn't have other options. You didn't want to get up if you started eating and if the newspaper wasn't delivered yet, it just made sense to check out what was going on in the back of the Lucky Charms box.
The internet and our phones made SI irrelevant. We don't need to wait a week to read an in depth article on something. We get and expect everything RIGHT NOW. Because there is so much of everything, we can choose to only care about the things we already care about. I think that's a shame because it'll leave us more unwilling to try new things. That makes us less likely as a society to understand other people's perspectives.
I should be thankful that Dave hasn't decided to replace bloggers with AI. One of the biggest complaints about the AI writers was they didn't have a true understanding of the English language. They also couldn't count correctly all the time. To be honest, that just sounds like a Marty Mush blog to me. Maybe he's ahead of his time.
With all the deep fakes, you wonder if SI will be able to replace the Swimsuit Issue with AI one day. Until they do (and as a thank you for reading the whole blog), here you go: