The Rise of AI Journalists: How The Associated Press Uses Bots for News
The digital age has seen AI make waves in various sectors, and journalism is no exception. With AI tools generating content, the lines between human and machine-written articles are blurring. But as we embrace this tech revolution, ethical and practical concerns arise.
The AI Experiment Gone Awry
CNET's recent experiment with AI-generated articles had the tech community buzzing. While initially described as a mere trial, it soon became evident that these AI bots, though efficient, were prone to errors. From miscalculations in an article about compound interest to other inaccuracies, CNET had to append corrections to several pieces. The content, though coherent, lacked the human touch – it was serviceable but lacked flair.
Google's Genesis: The New Kid on the Block
Enter Genesis, Google's AI tool currently under testing. Designed to absorb current events and churn out original articles, it's been pitched to giants like The New York Times. But Google isn't alone in this race. Tech behemoths like Microsoft and OpenAI are also in the fray, developing similar technologies. The potential? Revolutionising news production and consumption. But with this potential comes concerns about bias and misinformation.
The Associated Press and AI
The Associated Press (AP) has been no stranger to AI. Since 2014, they've used AI to produce corporate earnings stories and even sports recaps. However, their approach is more templated, with AI filling in pre-defined structures. In contrast, CNET's approach was more ambitious, aiming for feature-length articles.
"KPMG estimates that 43% of a journalist's role could be automated with AI"
The Ethical Quandary
AI-generated articles present ethical dilemmas. For instance, the issue of plagiarism arises. AI tools, by their nature, remix content from various sources. This raises questions about originality and the value of such content. After all, these tools can't conduct interviews or provide fresh insights.
Moreover, there's the looming fear among journalists about AI's impact on their profession. With the media industry already grappling with employment challenges, could AI exacerbate the situation? As AI ventures into creative domains previously thought immune to automation, the future of journalism hangs in the balance.
AI's foray into journalism is both exciting and unsettling. While tools like Genesis promise efficiency, the essence of journalism – human touch, originality, and ethical reporting – mustn't be overshadowed. As we stand at this crossroads, it's crucial to strike a balance, ensuring that AI aids human journalists rather than replacing them. After all, while 43% of a journalist's role might be automated, the remaining 57% – the human element – is irreplaceable.