Google is getting AI to write news stories now. Are jobs at stake?
New artificial intelligence tools are being explored by Google which can write news articles and the tech giant is in talks with news organizations to use the tools to assist journalists, said a company spokesperson late on Wednesday (July 19).
The name of the publishers in the talks was not revealed by the spokesperson, however, the New York Times reported that discussions were being held by Google with the Wall Street Journal-owner News Corp, the Washington Post, and even the New York Times, among others.
This has led to worries that AI might soon replace journalists in the newsrooms, leading to several job losses. As of now, the Google spokesperson claims that these new AI tools can assist journalists by providing different writing styles and different options for headlines, in a way that “enhances their work and productivity”, adding that it was in the “earliest stages of exploring ideas”.
“Quite simply these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles,” stated the spokesperson.
However, several executives who went through the pitch of Google described it as unsettling, said the NYT, adding that the executives did not wish to be identified.
AI tool to generate news copies using information
The AI tool, which was pitched in front of the executives, was called Genesis internally at Google, reported NYT, citing officials are familiar with the matter.
As per the report, the tool can take in information such as details of current events and generate news copies.
A spokesperson of News Corp refused to comment on the AI tool or NYT report, but said, “We have an excellent relationship with Google, and we appreciate (Google CEO) Sundar Pichai’s long-term commitment to journalism.”
Media commentator and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis said the new tool of Google has potential upsides and downsides.
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“If this technology can deliver factual information reliably, journalists should use the tool,” said Jarvis, who is the director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.
“If, on the other hand, it is misused by journalists and news organizations on topics that require nuance and cultural understanding, then it could damage the credibility not only of the tool but of the news organizations that use it,” he said.
The report was published days after the Associated Press said that it would be partnering with ChatGPT-owner OpenAI to explore the use of generative AI in news.
(With input from agencies)
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