Google is in the process of developing artificial intelligence (AI) tools that will assist journalists in researching and writing news articles. This advancement has the potential to create apprehension within the media industry, which has already faced significant job cuts in recent years.
According to a statement from Google, the company is collaborating with media outlets, especially smaller publishers, to offer AI-powered tools that can aid journalists in generating headlines and different writing styles. Google spokeswoman Jenn Crider clarified that these tools are designed to enhance journalists’ work and productivity, similar to the assistive features already available in Gmail and Google Docs. The company is at the early stages of exploring these ideas and emphasizes that AI tools are not meant to replace journalists’ essential roles in reporting, creating content, and fact-checking articles.
Spark a broader discussion about the pros and cons of AI-powered platforms
This development is likely to spark a broader discussion about the pros and cons of AI-powered platforms, such as ChatGPT, which has amazed users with its human-like speech abilities but also raised concerns about issues like copyright infringement, misinformation, and the potential replacement of human workers.
The global media industry has suffered significant layoffs due to declines in print advertising revenue, with a record 17,436 jobs lost in US newsrooms during the first five months of 2023. Google’s AI tool, known as Genesis, has been presented to several news organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp (owner of The Wall Street Journal).
Some executives who saw Google’s pitch reportedly found it unsettling, as stated in The New York Times report. While some media organizations have started using generative AI, newsrooms have generally been cautious about adopting the technology for news gathering due to concerns about accuracy, plagiarism, and copyright issues.
Allowing the creator of ChatGPT to access the news organization’s archives
Recently, the Associated Press announced a partnership with OpenAI, allowing the creator of ChatGPT to access the news organization’s archives dating back to 1985 for AI training purposes. Google is currently conducting tests on a product that utilizes artificial intelligence technology to generate news stories.
This product, internally referred to as “Genesis,” has been presented to various news organizations, including prominent media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp, the owner of The Wall Street Journal. Three individuals familiar with the matter shared this information while requesting anonymity to protect the confidentiality of the product.
The Genesis tool has the capability to process information, such as details of current events, and autonomously generate news content, as explained by the sources. Google envisions it as a potential personal assistant for journalists, automating certain tasks to free up their time for other activities. The company perceives this technology as responsible and believes it could help the publishing industry avoid the pitfalls associated with generative AI.
However, some executives who had the opportunity to view Google’s pitch for the product found it unsettling and expressed their concerns about the matter while requesting anonymity due to its confidential nature. They noted that the pitch appeared to overlook the considerable effort that goes into creating accurate and skillfully crafted news stories.
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