An unstoppable tide of server-generated slop
The inescapable server slop

Stop the Slop

The perfect word to describe thoughtless, rude use of AI has emerged. Let’s hope it sticks…

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Turns out that a twee X post can still change the language. This one from Gabe (X’s self-proclaimed number one owl 🦉) seems to have done just that:

it’s cool how every google search now starts with a wall of LLM slop that is completely useless and takes up half the screen

He’s talking about Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), which sits above some search results in some parts of the world — sometimes.

This was his example:

A screenshot of AI-created SGE in Google search results
Search Generative Experience in your SERPs

Slop is the new Spam

But it’s the word — “slop” — that’s resonated, not least because it resonates with an existing term for unwanted products of tech:

Watching in real time as "slop" becomes a term of art. the way that "spam" became the term for unwanted emails, "slop" is going in the dictionary as the term for unwanted AI generated content

Simon Willison pushed it a step further with a clear definition:

Not all promotional content is spam, and not all AI-generated content is slop. But if it’s mindlessly generated and thrust upon someone who didn’t ask for it, slop is the perfect term for it.

Don’t make your journalism sloppy

That’s the key idea that should underlie any use of modern AI in a journalistic context: intentionality. Is that piece of work being shepherded by a human, who is monitoring the output, fact-checking it, and focusing on the audience value of what you’re producing?

Or are you just vomiting slop onto the internet in the hope of making a broken advertising model last for just a few more years?

[via Pixel Envy]


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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.