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AI takes over newsrooms: ChatGPT replace Journalists

European publishing giant, Axel Springer SE, recently announced plans to replace several editorial positions with AI, chatGPT

By Ground report
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European publishing giant, Axel Springer SE, recently announced plans to replace several editorial positions with artificial intelligence (AI). In an internal email sent to staff, the company indicated that certain tasks would be taken over by AI and digital processes, resulting in the elimination of positions such as editorial directors, page editors, proofreaders, secretaries and photo editors.

This move by Axel Springer raises concerns about the impact of AI on the media industry worldwide, with the potential for chatbots like ChatGPT to write news and make human journalists obsolete. The Reuters Institute's Digital News Report has even declared 2023 the "breakthrough year" for AI in journalism, noting its growing use in newsrooms for transcription tools, story selection, subtitling, and text-to-speech applications.

AI is highly unreliable

While some analysts believe that AI's automation of mundane tasks will allow journalists to focus on investigative reporting and in-depth analysis, there are also concerns about the risks and limitations of relying solely on AI for editorial work.

Critics argue that AI lacks the ability to provide context, exercise critical thinking, and make ethical judgments, which are essential aspects of journalism. The rise of AI-generated content raises questions about trust, as AI can produce misleading or false news, potentially distorting historical facts and challenging the reliability of information.

While some journalists expect the demand for unique, human-powered storytelling to persist, thousands of publishers have already lost their jobs in the industry. However, it is important to recognize the critical role that publishers play in democracies.

They select, shape, and present news, serving as a vital link between events and public understanding. Publishers contribute to public discourse, encourage civic engagement, hold governments accountable, and help mitigate the spread of misinformation.

AI systems like ChatGPT are currently unreliable when it comes to ensuring factual accuracy and fairness. They are known to generate false information and exhibit inherent biases based on the data they are trained with. Additionally, AI's lack of transparency and accountability raises concerns about its use in editorial roles, where human decision-making and reasoning are crucial.

While AI can be valuable in supporting editorial processes by automating repetitive tasks and trend analysis, it should not replace human editors. The collaboration between AI and human supervision can improve efficiency and increase the capabilities of human editors, ensuring the accuracy of the information and maintaining editorial standards. This approach allows AI to serve as an assistive tool rather than a complete replacement while maintaining the essential human touch in journalism.

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