Google is working on a new AI tool, Genesis AI, specifically designed for journalists and can generate news copy based on factual inputs in a supposedly “responsible” manner.
In a presentation to media executives from renowned publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal owner News Corp, Google showcased its latest AI technology. However, the demonstration has divided the media industry on its potential implications, reported The New York Times.
While some media executives felt that Genesis overlooked the efforts invested in producing accurate and artistic news stories, others perceived it as more of a personal assistant or helper.
It is not the first time a media company has utilised an AI tool. Criticisms have surfaced, pointing to previous instances where AI-driven content, like that of CNET/Red Ventures and a flawed Star Wars list by G/O Media’s io9, exposed the limitations of machines in creating content without human intervention.
Moreover, we have already seen reports of Bard showing inaccurate content in its first demonstration. Also, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google’s AI model for hospitals showed inaccurate and irrelevant content.
Additionally, the media industry’s strained relationship with Google adds to the apprehension surrounding Genesis AI. Past issues include disputes over Google News exposure for local papers and allegations of ad tech monopolies hurting local news organisations, exemplified by Gannett’s ongoing lawsuit against the tech giant in federal court.
“In partnership with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, we’re in the earliest stages of exploring ideas to provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work potentially. For instance, AI-enabled tools could assist journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles. Our goal is to give journalists the choice of using these emerging technologies to enhance their work and productivity, just like we’re making assistive tools available for people in Gmail and Google Docs. Quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles,” Google told The Verge.
As Genesis AI enters the spotlight, concerns linger about its potential impact on journalism and whether it can live up to responsible and accurate news generation promises. The debate over the role of AI in news production continues, and media executives and industry observers alike remain watchful of Google’s latest creation amidst a backdrop of ongoing challenges between the tech giant and the media sector.