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Journalists to benefit from Google AI tools

Journalist AI
Journalist AI

Google is exploring using artificial intelligence tools to write news articles and is in talks with news organisations to use the tools to assist journalists, a company spokesman said.

The spokesman did not name the publishers, but the New York Times reported that Google has held discussions with the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal-owner News Corp and even the New York Times, among others.

These AI tools could assist journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles, for instance, in a way that “enhances their work and productivity”, the Google spokesman said, adding 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,” the spokesman said.

However, some executives who saw Google’s pitch described it as unsettling, the New York Times said, adding the executives asked not to be identified. The AI tool that was pitched is called Genesis internally at Google, the Times said, citing people familiar with the matter.

A News Corp spokesman declined to comment on the report or the AI tool, but said: “We have an excellent relationship with Google, and we appreciate [Google CEO] Sundar Pichai’s long-term commitment to journalism.”

The New York Times and Washington Post did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular working hours on Wednesday evening.

Generative AI

The news comes days after the Associated Press said it would partner with ChatGPT-owner OpenAI to explore the use of generative AI in news, a deal that could set the precedent for similar partnerships between the industries.

Some outlets are already using generative AI for their content, but news publications have been slow to adopt the tech over concerns about its tendency to generate factually incorrect information, as well as challenges in differentiating between content produced by humans and computer programs.

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