Google has reportedly been testing an AI-powered technology that will automate the production of news content, and probably put thousands of NPC journalists out of a job.
Known internally as "Genesis," the new project aims to collaborate with organizations such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and News Corp, according to the NY Times, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
The Genesis AI tool possesses the capability to assimilate vast amounts of data, including current events and intricate details, and generate comprehensive news articles, the sources revealed. This development has ignited fervent debates over the future of journalism and the role of AI technology in shaping the news landscape.
Industry insiders who witnessed Google's Genesis pitch have voiced a sense of unease, particularly over the potential for the tool to disrupt the tireless efforts of journalists in crafting authentic, compelling, and meticulously fact-checked stories.
Google says Genesis will be a boon for journalists, however, and has framed it as more of a personal assistant that can automate certain tasks, leaving journalists with more time to conduct more in-depth reporting.
"We’re in the earliest stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide A.I.-enabled tools to help their journalists with their work. Quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles. Instead, they could provide options for headlines and other writing styles," said Google spokeswoman, Jenn Crider.
Some experts aren't so sure, such as journalism professor Jeff Jarvis, who says that if the technology can deliver factual and reliable information, it could be a valuable resource for journalists, but that it has the potential for misuse - including the fact that certain topics require nuance and cultural understanding that might get lost in translation.
The use of AI in newsrooms has become a central issue for news organizations worldwide. Many have already embraced the technology, such as the Times, NPR and Insider, all of which have told journalists to explore potential use cases.
Google Genesis, however, adds another layer of complexity to the debate, as concerns arise over potential misinformation and its impact on the perception of traditionally written news stories.
Meanwhile, governments worldwide have intensified calls for tech companies like Google to share advertising revenue with news outlets. Google, in response, has forged partnerships with various news organizations in an attempt to address the issue.