Since ChatGPT’s popularity, many have wondered if it will make a journalist’s job obsolete. AI tools are actually seeping into newsrooms. However, it would be vague to say that it renders journalists irrelevant.
Nieman Lab Predictions for Journalism in 2023 looks at the use of AI in newsrooms. However, the predictions mention the transition of the newsroom. It also provides that the work of journalists will not become irrelevant as a result.
ChatGPT and other AI
ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer. It is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI. OpenAI had previously launched DALL-E, which generated realistic images and graphics based on the description provided.
While ChatGPT helps structure scattered thoughts, it may not replace a human’s work. In order to work with ChatGPT, one must be able to give commands that match the requirements. No AI bot will give you the exact information. It also needs someone to guide it step by step.
The combination of human intelligence with artificial intelligence is important for running an AI bot to get the best results.
Pitfalls of AI
It’s undeniable that AI bots can find their way through newsrooms, but even that needs to be monitored.
Stereotyping and prejudice play a prominent role in the results generated by AI. In 2019, the New York University-based AI Now Institute dubbed AI a “diversity disaster” in its report. AI works according to the data set fed to it, which means that the AI product does not take into account outliers or exceptions. For example, AI artist Madhav Kohli uses AI to show the stereotypical image it creates for people from different regions.
In February 2019, a 31-year-old black man from New Jersey was accused of shoplifting and assaulting a police officer. It was later determined that Parks was at least 30 miles away at the time of the incident. The arrest was based on AI facial recognition software. Parks spent 11 days in prison despite not committing a crime because the AI stereotyped races mistaking Parks for another black person.
In addition, it also raises the million-dollar question of ethics. Journalists are seen as authentic storytellers, the ones who uphold democracy. AI can produce a story in less time, but it may have corrupted data, which can also call into question the authenticity of the story. The content that AI produces is also not original.
When AI entered CNET’s newsroom, it turned out that many articles written by AI contained incorrect dates, errors, and plagiarism. It was found that many of the stories from Red Ventures and Bankrate – the two competitors – were copied.
It is also important to note that AI is not an information generator. It can only generate content based on the data that has already been fed to the AI bot. As the Nieman Lab report mentions, in the times to come, AI may be able to deliver stories so journalists can work on better, more human stories.
Only the journalist can interview his sources, offer different and fresh perspectives and produce facts. The AI is not able to produce facts, but should be used to process facts.
future of journalism
As experts have pointed out, the future of journalism is about to change. However, it is important to adapt, learn and adapt to the change. So to fully understand why the use of AI in the media will not make a journalist’s job obsolete. Quote by Bill Grueskin quoting excerpts from ChatGPT: “‘I believe that journalism is still a valuable and necessary part of our society.’ In closing, fellow journalists, I just want to reiterate that ‘I think the industry needs to adapt to the changes that are taking place.’”