CNET's AI Policy

With proper guardrails, new tools can assist us in producing expert, unique and helpful advice.

Published June 2023 | Updated March 2024

CNET has built our expertise through nearly 30 years of testing and assessing new technology. Our goal is to help drive conversations about how those advancements -- including generative AI -- can solve real-world problems, because we believe you can create a better future when you understand new ideas. Our commitment is to be transparent about our process and results and to deploy new tools in smart and ethical ways.

Our ethical standard includes three tenets:

One, every piece of content we publish is factual, original and edited by a human, whether it's created by a human alone or assisted by a commonly used AI tool (like Otter.ai) or our in-house AI engine, which we call RAMP. (It stands for Responsible AI Machine Partner.) If and when we use generative AI to create content, that content will be sourced from our own data, our own previously published work or carefully fact-checked by a CNET editor to ensure accuracy and appropriately cited sources.

Two, on any CNET stories or pages that feature text that originated from our in-house AI tools, we'll include that information in a disclosure -- specifically, in a secondary byline at the top of the story. Readers should know if AI was used to generate any significant portion of the information they're reading beyond standard implementations such as autocorrect or transcription tools.

Three, authors and creators are always credited for their work. The use of any AI tools we may test or adopt will include staff training on processes that prioritize accurate sourcing and meet our standards of citation.

CNET's use of AI is guided in part by a working group of staffers from across our organization who regularly meet to collaborate on principles that establish how we work with new and emerging tools. This page will keep you informed of that work, and we'll update it as we learn and adjust.

Here are some examples of places in our work where we have previously used RAMP or may consider using another generative AI tool. We are not actively publishing new RAMP-bylined work. Anytime AI-generated content is published in the future, that information will be accompanied by a disclosure.

Organizing large amounts of information: After decades of reporting and testing products, we've got loads of valuable data -- and so do our trusted partners. One way we can use AI is to analyze and sort that information to create specific guidance, such as in geographically targeted guides of local services. Without an AI assist, this volume of work wouldn't be possible. For example, this guide to the best internet service providers in Bismarck, North Dakota, used RAMP to gather speed, pricing and availability information from a proprietary database. A staff writer then reviewed, fact-checked and added additional subject matter expertise to RAMP's drafted content, which was trained on CNET's archive.

Speeding up certain research and administrative portions of our workflow: CNET editors could use AI to help automate some portions of our work so we can focus on the parts that add the most unique value. This might include creating outlines of a given topic or analyzing written work to let us know if it's missing key themes or relevant context we can add.

Here are situations where we won't being using AI:

Writing full stories: None of the stories on CNET have been or will be completely written by an AI. If that changes, as technology and our processes evolve, we will disclose it here. For now, articles with our AI disclosures may contain portions of text that were generated by AI and then edited and fact-checked by our editors.

Product testing: We're not using AI tools to do any of the hands-on, product-based testing that informs our reviews and ratings -- except in cases where we're reviewing and rating AI tools themselves and need to generate examples of their output, as we do within AI Atlas, our human-created compendium of AI news and information. All CNET reviews are performed by our trusted, experienced and award-winning human experts, many of whom have a decade or more of experience with the tech they review. See here for more information about how we test everything.

Generating images and videos: CNET staff photographers and video producers are evaluating approaches and best practices regarding the use of generative AI to create images and videos. As of now, CNET is not publishing AI-generated images or videos except as examples of AI capabilities in our coverage of tools currently on the market.

On any stories or pages that feature text that originated from our AI tool, we'll include that information in a disclosure -- specifically, in a secondary byline at the top of the story. On any story that deals substantively with the topic of artificial intelligence, whether or not we used the technology in the creation of that story, we'll include a disclosure about our organization's use of AI that links to this page.

We're continuing to test AI tools and we expect that the future will bring many new ways to use them. We'll continue to let you know about our progress.