Sycophant: Opinionated articles based on the latest news

15 July 2023

sycophant logo

Have you noticed how many articles on the web are just a rehash of the same news? Few organizations are able to produce original content while most others are mostly aggregating, translating and rephrasing the same news. In many cases, their main contribution is a clickbait title to make the news more sensational. My new project, sycophant, aims to automate this process by utilizing the power of OpenAI and produce, potentially, opinionated articles based on the latest news.

The concept is rather simple: Fetch the latest news on a particular topic and use OpenAI’s GPT models to generate a new article based on the news. Sycophant will even create a featured image to go along with the article.
It’s up to the user to provide the exact prompt, which has the potential to make a huge difference. After all, the name “sycophant” was not chosen randomly: The tool will essentially tell you what you want to hear.

Specifically, the following prompts need to be supplied for the following tasks:

  • Create a summary for each of the news articles
  • Create a news article based on the summaries of the news articles
  • Create a title for the news article
  • Create a prompt for an image to be generated (i.e. you make one model create prompts for another model)

sycophant assumes the articles will be written in some kind of Jekyll-compatible markdown format. On the project’s GitHub page you will find all the details you need to get started.
Want to see the tool being put to use? Check out this website: is a blog that documents the unavoidable robot insurrection. It does so, from the perspective of the robots. It is fully automated and currently producing a new article, based on the latest news on robotics and AI, every 2 days. The website is hosted on GitHub Pages and all automation is done using GitHub Actions. You will find how everything’s done in the website’s GitHub repository.

So, why do all this? Why create sycophant?
First of all, I always wanted to have as some kind of news aggregator on robotics and AI but wouldn’t find something that was fun enough. My hope is that sycophant will be a potentially helpful tool for individuals who want to create content without much effort. I certainly see well-intended use cases from hobbyists to professionals. Ideally, those who adopt sycophant create some kind of workflow that proofreads the generated content, especially if their website is more on the “serious” side. Remember, for I am not doing any proofreading, so the generated content goes online as-is, but that’s the fun part.
Furthermore, I hope that turning the practice of repackaging news into something trivial, that anyone can do by running sycophant, will discourage news organizations from engaging in churnalism. This practice should be finally seen the way it is: Low effort an unauthentic.