BuzzFeed Publishes AI-Generated Travel Guides Collaboratively Written with Buzzy the Robot

Russell Kidson
Mar 31, 2023
Updated • Mar 31, 2023

According to a report by Futurism, BuzzFeed has taken a significant step forward in AI-generated content by releasing travel guides written entirely by AI. While the publisher's initial AI-generated content consisted of ad-lib quizzes that were relatively harmless, the travel guides are a more audacious attempt to draw in search traffic for various destinations.

There are currently 44 travel articles on BuzzFeed's "Buzzy" AI tool, featuring locations like Stockholm, Morocco, and Cape May, New Jersey. While BuzzFeed notes that the articles are "collaboratively written" by a human and Buzzy, they also state that the pieces are "written with the help of Buzzy the Robot (aka our Creative AI Assistant) but powered by human ideas."

Readers can access the full list of travel articles generated by Buzzy on their profile.

Futurism reported that BuzzFeed has taken its foray into AI-written content to the next level by publishing AI-generated travel guides. The first articles published by the publisher's Buzzy AI tool were ad-lib quizzes. However, the travel guides appear to be a more ambitious attempt to attract search traffic about different destinations. Currently, there are 44 articles covering locations such as Morocco, Stockholm, and Cape May, New Jersey. According to BuzzFeed, the articles are "written with the help of Buzzy the Robot (aka our Creative AI Assistant) but powered by human ideas." Buzzy collaborates with humans to write these articles, which are reviewed by human editors.

As observed by Futurism, many of the articles include some common phrases, such as "hidden gem" and "now, I know what you're thinking" ahead of a rhetorical question about the specific place. BuzzFeed spokesperson Juliana Clifton clarified that the first set of travel articles was made with input from non-editorial BuzzFeed employees, who responded to a questionnaire about travel that was used by the AI tools to build articles.

BuzzFeed's AI tools could potentially be used in the future to help write articles based on reader contributions that could be similar to its "Add Yours" format. Additionally, Buzzy, who wrote the quizzes, has a separate author page from the travel writer Buzzy, which is specifically credited as "As Told to Buzzy."

According to BuzzFeed spokesperson Juliana Clifton, the company is testing new formats that allow anyone to contribute their ideas and perspectives on their site, regardless of their writing or content creation background. The company is incorporating human editors in the process, and as they continue to develop AI-assisted formats, they will integrate ways for humans to collaborate and edit.

However, the current state of BuzzFeed's AI-written travel guides leaves much to be desired. While they include nice pictures and generic advice about destinations, they lack the necessary information to help readers plan detailed trips.

BuzzFeed's venture into AI-generated travel guides follows its January announcement that it would use OpenAI tools to personalize content. CNET also experimented with AI-generated stories, but it stopped shortly after the practice was brought to light.


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