BBC will stop using AI to promote Doctor Who after complaints

After receiving complaints about using artificial intelligence to promote the Doctor Who series, BBC now says there are no plans to do it again.

The BBC’s marketing teams used the tech “as part of a small trial” to help draft some text for two promotional emails and mobile notifications. It’s promoting the 14th season of Doctor Who.

The British media corporation admitted on its complaints website that it received complaints over the reports that it was using generative AI and said it was not going to do it again.

The decision contradicts its previous endorsement of AI, where BBC stated that it could speed up the creation of promotional content and allow for more experimental campaigns. It even specifically mentioned Doctor Who.

“Generative AI offers a great opportunity to speed up making the extra assets to get more experiments live for more content that we are trying to promote. There’s a rich variety of content in the Whoniverse collection on iPlayer to test and learn with, and Doctor Who thematically lends itself to AI, which is a bonus,” Head of Media Inventory David Housden said at the beginning of March.

He added that the success of the AI generative copy “will be measured by click rates, open rates, and post-impression conversion rates across each channel.”

It now looks like the fate of the experiment has actually been decided by the scale of viewer backlash, although the BBC wouldn’t say how many complaints it received.

The television industry's use of AI has recently become a debated topic. The producer trade body Pact has recently released guidelines for the ethical use of AI in UK productions.

“Pact believes in the value of human creativity and artistic talent in the production process. This cannot be replaced by AI,” claims one of the included principles.

OpenAI’s Sora software, a text-to-video service that allows you to create videos using prompts, is also making waves in Hollywood.

According to experts, Sora has arguably disastrous implications for Hollywood and creative industries as a whole because the technology threatens to challenge the market by facilitating a space where everyone can create groundbreaking movies.

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