Imagine a day in the future when you flip open your favorite news outlet only to have your morning cup of coffee accompanied by articles written by AI. It might sound a bit far-fetched but it is an eventuality that Google is diligently working towards.
Google, in its most recent ventures into the realm of AI, is in the early stages of testing ‘Genesis,’ an AI tool capable of writing news articles. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the tech giant’s ambitious forays into AI and machine learning technologies have been consistently making headlines.
Genesis, as it is known, uses AI technology to absorb and process current events and associated details, then employ this information to generate news stories. The process is intriguing and also a tad alarming as it suggests the possibility of machines encroaching upon a domain primarily governed by human intellect.
Google showcased Genesis to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and News Corp, the proprietor of the Wall Street Journal, positioning it as a “helpmate.” However, Google was quick to clarify that the tool was not designed to replace journalists but to assist them by offering suggestions for headlines and diverse writing styles.
Quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their articles, said Google spokeperson, Jenn Crider.
The disclaimer did little to assuage the concerns of the executives at the New York Times who partook in the pitch meeting. They were reportedly unsettled by the presumption that Genesis seemed to have to make—underestimating the effort that goes into producing a well-researched, articulate, and accurate news story.
The development follows closely on the heels of OpenAI’s agreement with the Associated Press. The deal allowed the maker of ChatGPT, an AI model designed to produce probable responses, to train its AI models using the news agency’s vast archive of stories.
Google’s initiative is signaling an impending shift in the journalism landscape. But it also raises some pertinent questions about the role of AI in journalism and whether a machine can replicate the creativity and craftsmanship of human journalism.
Only time can tell how far Genesis will go in reshaping the white-collar world. However, its inception has already set the stage for a fascinating fusion of technology and journalism.
Via New York Times