The rapidly evolving technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way to journalism. Google has announced that it is in the early stages of developing AI tools to assist journalists in writing stories and headlines.
The project, Genesis, was first reported by The New York Times, which was one of the news organisations to attend Google’s demonstration of the new tool. According to the report, Genesis uses information such as details about current events to generate news content. A Google spokesperson said in the report that the company believes the tools could serve as a kind of personal assistant for journalists, and it is responsible technology to help steer the publishing industry away from the dangers of AI.
Genesis is in an early testing stage, but after seeing its capabilities, some news executives have already found it "unsettling". Some news executives said the new AI tools seemed to take for granted the work journalists put into producing accurate stories, as reported by The New York Times. Notably, a Google spokesperson said that “quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their articles."
Last week, ChatGPTs creator OpenAI and The Associated Press (AP) announced a tie-up, wherein the latter got the license to use archives of AP from 1985 to train AI. "The arrangement sees OpenAI licensing part of AP's text archive, while AP will leverage OpenAI's technology and product expertise," the organisations said in a joint statement, as reported by AFP. AP was one of the first news organisations to use automation technology. It began with automating corporate earnings reports and moved to using the technology to cover local sporting events.
Google’s new tool is bound to make people anxious about the future of news publishing. Currently, many newsrooms are conflicted about whether to use ChatGPT and if so, to what extent.
Meanwhile, OpenAI, Alphabet, Meta Platforms and other companies have agreed to implement AI safeguard measures. On Friday, the White House confirmed that it has received voluntary commitments from seven U.S. companies meant to implement measures such as watermarking AI-generated content to help make the technology safer.