Artificial intelligence 

6 April 2024

Large-language model ‘artificial intelligence’-derived text is not permitted on Transdiffusion owned-and-operated websites.

This includes in reader comments, which will not be published if they are generated by a chatbot.

However, depending on your definition of ‘artificial intelligence’, it may appear in other contexts.


A lot of the text on our sites is scanned and then run through Optical Character Recognition software. These programs now describe themselves as ‘smart’, which may meet your definition of AI.

All scanned and OCR’d documents are checked by a human being against the original, line by line. Human beings are far, far better than AI at this, but not infallible. We appreciate polite requests for corrections where an OCR error (or plain old-fashioned typo) has occurred.


The throwaway introductory image on the top of some articles may be generated using NightCafé’s suite of AI tools. These images are being generated by the same graphic designer who also makes the non-AI images.

Other images in articles are never AI-generated. However, they have often been ‘cleaned up’ in various ways to present better on-screen. This involves, in part, the use of ‘smart’ in-fill brushes, which may meet your definition of AI.

Because many images are both very old and very small in their original format, they may be ‘blown up’ using an AI-based service to make them bigger and smooth out the most obvious distractions. Each image is checked by a human by hand to ensure that no detail has been faked as part of this; if the AI enlarger creates hallucinogenic features, the resulting image is not used.


Audioclips are manually tweaked to improve balance and reduce noise. The noise reduction process is ‘smart’, which might meet your definition of AI.

Some clips of speech, especially if they derive from a very noisy source (medium wave radio and 78rpm shellac records spring to mind) may be passed through Adobe’s Enhance Speech AI. This is then listened to all the way through by a human being and any hallucinogenic sound is removed – usually by dropping back to the original clip for a period.


Videoclips are manually tweaked to improve colour, contrast and, in very old recordings, screen shape because reel-to-reel video could be very variable in this regard. The capture hardware used will often upscale the clip from VHS’s 240 lines to the modern 720 or 1080 lines. This process is ‘smart’ and may meet your definition of AI. It doesn’t, at present, seem to generate hallucinations of non-existent items. If that starts to happen, the videoclips will be rejected and not used.

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Liverpool, Thursday 20 June 2024