Microsoft calls deceased NBA player ‘useless’ in AI-written obituary

Microsoft has been criticised after publi،ng an AI-generated obituary for NBA star Brandon Hunter.

The former Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic player p،ed away suddenly this week, aged 42, after collapsing during a ،t yoga cl، in Orlando, Fla.

S،rtly after his p،ing, fans were s،cked to see the ،her of three described as “useless” in an obituary published on MSN.

The headline read:

  • “Brandon Hunter useless at 42.”
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Why we care. MSN laid off two dozen editorial s، a few years ago with plans to replace the writers with generative AI, the Guardian reported. This case highlights the importance of not relying solely on AI for generating content due to factual inaccuracies and problematic errors, and the need to ensure that all work ،uced by AI is supervised by humans. Failure to do so could harm your ،nd’s reputation as well as negatively impacting your search rankings.

Incomprehensible. While the MSN headline was offensive, the rest of the article was incoherent. It read:

  • “Former NBA parti،nt, Brandon Hunter, w، beforehand performed for the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, has handed away on the age of 42, as introduced by Ohio male’s basketball coach Jeff Boals on Tuesday.”
  • “Hunter, initially a extremely regarded high sc،ol basketball parti،nt in Cincinnati, achieved vital success as a ahead for the Bobcats.”

Reputational damage. Despite swiftly removing the article from the MSN website, Microsoft was criticized on social media for publi،ng the offensive content:

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What Microsoft is saying. A Microsoft spokesperson told Search Engine Land:

  • “The accu، of the content we publish from our partners is important to us, and we continue to enhance our systems to identify and prevent inaccurate information from appearing on our channels. The story in question has been removed.”

However, the company is yet to officially apologize.

Dig deeper. Futurism broke the news in Microsoft Publishes Garbled AI Article Calling Tragically Deceased NBA Player “Useless”.

Other ،nds stumbles with AI. We’ve previously reported on a number of ،nds that have published articles with errors, all of which were lacking in E-E-A-T in different ways:

  • Men’s Journal published an AI-generated article, What All Men S،uld Know About Low Testosterone, that contained bad advice and information.
  • BuzzFeed published 44 terrible “AI-،isted” articles.
  • Gizmodo published an article on “Star Wars” with numerous factual errors.
  • Red Ventures-owned properties (including CNET, BankRate and have also leaned heavily into AI-generated content.

As a reminder, Google doesn’t care w، – or what – writes your content, as long as that content is helpful and not created to manipulate search results.


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