Google Tests AI News Writing: The Future of Journalism

Google is pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI) with its latest experiment, testing whether AI can write news stories. Not to panic, though, as they’ve assured us that it will not replace human journalists. In the company’s words, they are at the “earliest stages of exploring ideas,” seeing how AI might augment “work and productivity” in the newsroom.

What Can AI Contribute to A Newsroom?

Potential uses are intriguing, including generating headlines or suggesting diverse writing styles. Google’s representatives emphasise that these AI tools, although promising, are not intended to replace human labour.

The Google initiative has sparked some discomfort among publishers. Having seen Google’s proposal, executives have shared their disquiet, as The New York Times reported. The paper was the first to disclose Google’s plans for AI in journalism.

Many prominent US media outlets, including The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have held talks with Google, and the media behemoth News Corp is also involved.

Google’s Relations with News Corporations

In response to this, a News Corp spokesperson affirmed their productive relationship with Google and expressed appreciation for Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s commitment to the long-term future of journalism.
This follows a trend of comparable developments in the practical applications of AI. Both the Associated Press and Sky News have tested AI in journalistic tasks, with results that suggest AI newsrooms could be a step into the future.


Possible Factors To Consider with AI Journalism

There are however still cautionary factors to consider. Both CNET and The Irish Times have had to admit to missteps when using AI in their reporting.

Professor Charlie Beckett of the London School of Economics’ JournalismAI initiative, which assists outlets in leveraging AI responsibly, warns against over-reliance on AI.

He posits that while “a lot of newsrooms are thinking through” how to use AI, quality may suffer if the technology is expected to take over human tasks fully.

As always, it is important to ensure responsible integration of AI into journalism: it should never compromise the fundamental role of journalists in reporting, creating, and fact-checking articles.