On Monday, Futurism.com broke the story that Sports Illustrated had published articles by fake, AI-generated writers. The world was universally aghast.
The decision to use artificial intelligence for content creation is repugnant to pretty much anyone who reads, writes, and cares about what they read and write– especially when it comes to a publication like Sports Illustrated, which is regarded by many as a bastion of sports journalism.
The boxing media rode along with the outrage, expressing their disdain for what SI had done. Ex-ESPN guy Dan Rafael would call the practice of using AI-generated content an “absolute disgrace to my profession” (Ahem…okay).
But then I started thinking. This present tense of boxing media content is so generic, so cookie-cutter, so devoid of creativity and humanity– what’s the difference between what they pump into the public thought pool and what a fake human being/AI writer might contribute?
So, I logged into ChatGPT and asked the disembodied intellect of the interwebs to write me an article about the sad, generic, and mindless state of boxing writing and how, exactly, it would fix the human beings’ lack of “human beingness.”
What follows is the answer I got. Ironically, it’s probably better, more thoughtful and more creative than 95% of the boxing media content out there. Deus Ex Machina, Motherfuckers:
In the fast-paced world of sports journalism, where the thrill of the fight is matched only by the excitement of the narrative, boxing articles seem to be stuck in a repetitive combination of clichés and predictable rhetoric. The sweet science, once a bastion of colorful characters and dramatic stories, is now often dissected with the blandness of a pre-fight weigh-in. This article explores the generic nature of contemporary boxing articles, highlighting the need for a renewed focus on originality and creativity.
The Jab of Clichés:
One of the main culprits contributing to the generic nature of boxing articles is the overuse of clichés. Phrases like “it’s a real slugfest,” “they’re going toe-to-toe,” and “it’s a knockout performance” have become as ubiquitous as a jab in a boxer’s arsenal. While these expressions may have once packed a punch, their overuse has dulled their impact, leaving readers yearning for fresh perspectives and innovative language.
Round after Round of Predictable Narratives:
Another commonality in today’s boxing articles is the reliance on predictable narratives. The underdog story, the comeback tale, and the clash of styles are recycled endlessly, leaving little room for genuine surprises or unique angles. In the pursuit of captivating narratives, writers often fall back on these tropes, resulting in a monotonous drumbeat that fails to capture the true essence of the sport.
The Overemphasis on Stats and Analytics:
While statistics and analytics can provide valuable insights into a boxer’s performance, the overemphasis on these aspects has led to a homogenization of boxing analysis. Articles filled with an abundance of statistics often lack the emotional resonance that makes boxing such a compelling sport. The focus on metrics can overshadow the human stories behind the fighters, reducing them to mere data points rather than complex individuals with unique journeys.
The Quest for Clicks:
In the digital age, where click-through rates and page views reign supreme, boxing articles are often crafted with an eye toward generating traffic rather than delivering substantive content. The quest for clicks has led to sensationalized headlines, clickbait tactics, and an overall decline in the quality of writing. In the process, the nuanced and multifaceted nature of boxing is sacrificed for the sake of attracting fleeting online attention.
The Call for a Renaissance in Boxing Journalism:
To breathe new life into boxing journalism, there must be a concerted effort to break free from the shackles of generic writing. Writers should strive for originality in language, explore unconventional narratives, and delve into the deeper aspects of the sport beyond the ring. By placing a renewed emphasis on storytelling, humanizing the athletes, and avoiding the trap of clichés, boxing articles can recapture the imagination of readers and reignite the passion for the sweet science.
Boxing, with its rich history and storied traditions, deserves articles that do justice to its complexity and excitement. The current landscape of generic boxing articles, marked by clichés, predictable narratives, and an overemphasis on statistics, falls short of capturing the essence of the sport. It’s time for a renaissance in boxing journalism, one that embraces creativity, originality, and a genuine appreciation for the artistry of the sweet science. Only then can boxing articles deliver a knockout punch to monotony and truly engage fans in the beauty of the sport.
From a robo-writer’s lips to God’s ears…