Here are the latest updates on artificial intelligence in journalism
It seems like artificial intelligence is everywhere in the news, particularly in digital journalism circles. Here at Storybench, we’re keeping an eye on ongoing developments and will share an occasional round-up of links that might be relevant to you. These insights are brought to you by Northeastern University data professor Rahul Bhargava.
Here’s what was happening in the last few weeks:
Google is pitching an AI-assisted news story writer.
This points to new ideas of what word processing tools might look like in the future. Imagine creating an alternative to Microsoft Word for journalists from scratch today knowing large language models were around to help you. Read the full story from The New York Times.
Should CNET be using AI to generate articles?
The CNET controversy might be the first industry event that would count as an AI scandal. Editors started using AI-generated articles that were just plain wrong. Before trying things out, maybe make sure you have some “responsible AI” principles in place. Read the full piece at Futurism.
Newspapers v. OpenAI
Many newspapers are starting to block OpenAI scraping of their content via the robots.txt file. Read more on ArsTechnica. The Times is going further and might sue, taking the “you’re using our copyrighted materials without permission” angle. The move comes weeks after the Times declined to join a coalition of media companies negotiating with Big Tech. Read more on NPR.
…but American Journalism Project partners with OpenAI
The American Journalism Project nonprofit is taking OpenAI money to distribute grants to smaller organizations to integrate AI tech. Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.
When do we (and do we not) use AI?
Northwestern University computational journalism professor Nick Diakopoulos is collecting and amplifying stories of “responsible use” in newsrooms. Browse the real world case studies at the “Generative AI in the Newsroom” project blog.
How should journalists use ChatGPT?
A recent University of Texas Knight Center webinar on AI and journalism was so oversubscribed that organizers had to switch from Zoom to YouTube. The session shared reflections on ChatGPT and best practices. Watch the hour-long session on their YouTube channel. More recently, they are launching a month-long online course to help others think through how to use generative AI in the newsroom. Register now (the course runs 9/25 to 10/22).
What to see next in AI tools
The Online News Association published the recording of an online session about AI tools with demos from Microsoft and Nota. The talk focused on AI as a support for various points in the writing and editing cycle, and shared early experiments and tools the companies are working on. Watch the hour-long session on ONA’s website.
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