According to a recent story from The New York Times, Google is currently testing a tool that makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) to produce news stories and has begun pitching the idea to the media.
The tech giant has made presentations about AI technology to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp., the company that owns The Wall Street Journal.
This piece of software, which has been given the internal codename “Genesis,” is able to take in information and then generate news copy. According to reports, Google believes that the tool has the potential to act as a personal assistant for journalists by automating certain chores in order to free up time for other tasks. The multinational technology company views the application as an example of “responsible technology.”
According to the New York Times, some executives who were briefed on the technology found it “unsettling,” citing the fact that it seemed to devalue the effort that went into producing factual news stories as a reason.
“In partnership with news publishers, particularly smaller publishers, we’re in the very early stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work,” a Google representative said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We’re in the early stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work.”
“For instance, AI-enabled tools could assist journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles,” the spokesman explained further. “Our objective is to provide journalists with the choice of utilizing these developing technologies in a way that enhances their work and productivity.
In the same way that we are making assistive tools available for people in Gmail and Google Docs, our goal is to give journalists the option of using these emerging technologies in a way that enhances their work and productivity.
To put it plainly, these tools are not designed to—nor are they capable of—replace the crucial function that journalists play in the reporting, creation, and fact-checking of the pieces that they write.
The revelation comes at a time when a number of news organizations, including NPR and Insider, have informed their staff members that they aim to investigate how artificial intelligence (AI) could be employed in their newsrooms in a responsible manner.
Although some news organizations, such as The Associated Press, have been using artificial intelligence for quite some time to generate news stories on topics such as corporate results, these stories only make up a small portion of the organization’s overall articles, which are all written by journalists.
The newly released software from Google is expected to cause unease among users due to the fact that AI-generated articles that aren’t fact-checked or thoroughly edited have the ability to disseminate false information.
The American news and technology website CNET took a risky step earlier this year when it started writing articles using generative artificial intelligence (AI), which ultimately backfired on the company. More than half of the articles that were produced by the AI had to have revisions made to them before they were published on CNET.
There were inaccuracies in the facts presented in some of the pieces, and it’s possible that some of the others contained plagiarized material. A comment from the editor can be found at the bottom of some of the articles on the website, and it reads as follows: “An earlier version of this article was assisted by an AI engine. A member of the crew has made significant edits and additions to this version.