BBC scraps ‘Doctor Who’ AI promo plans after viewer complaints

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The BBC has abandoned plans to use generative AI in its marketing material for the sci-fi series “Doctor Who” after receiving complaints from viewers following a trial.

According to the BBC’s Complaints website, the corporation’s marketing team has “no plans” to use AI again after a “small trial” in two “Doctor Who” promotional emails and mobile notifications. Generative AI was used to generate the text.

The BBC noted that it had “received complaints” about reports that it was using generative AI to promote “Doctor Who”, although it did not say how many complaints it had received. happened Decrypt The BBC has been contacted for comment and will update this article if it receives a response.

“We followed all the BBC’s editorial compliance processes and the final text was verified and signed off by a member of the marketing team before it was sent,” read a statement from the BBC. , adding, “We have no plans to do that again. To promote Doctor Who.”

The decision to abandon plans to use generative AI for promotion marks an about-face for the BBC. Earlier this month, it announced it would use generative AI to create marketing copy for “Doctor Who” as part of a pilot scheme.

In a statement (since removed from the BBC’s website but available to view on the Wayback Machine), David Hosden, the BBC’s head of digital media inventory, said that generative AI “can achieve more It provides a great opportunity to accelerate the creation of additional assets. The experiences live on for more content that we’re trying to develop,” he added, adding, “Doctor Who thematically lends itself to AI. Which is a bonus.”

The experiment included creating human-written marketing copy for a “Doctor Who” push notification, email subject line and a BBC search page. Generative AI was then used to “suggest copy variations” which were reviewed by the BBC’s marketing team before rollout.

Housden wrote that the BBC aims to “better understand the technology” and “get a sense of how our teams feel about using it.” It did not disclose which AI platform was used to generate its marketing materials.

Artificial intelligence has proved controversial in the creative industries, with US actors and writers striking last year to establish clear guidelines for its use.

An agreement reached with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to end its months-long strike stipulates that AI cannot be used to “write or rewrite literary material”, and cannot Only AI-generated content can be considered source material, at least in the basic sense. Agreement (MBA), “means that AI-generated content cannot be used to harm the author’s credit or separate rights.”

Audiences are also increasingly speaking out against the use of AI in creative work. Recently, the writers and directors of the indie horror feature “Late Night with the Devil” released a statement addressing the use of AI art in the film, following backlash from viewers on social media.

Edited by Stacey Elliott.

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