Webinar Recap: How Will AI Affect Newsrooms?
by The Notified Team on Nov 9, 2023 6:29:32 PM
Our recent webinar featured panelists from leading news organizations discussing the opportunities and limitations artificial intelligence (AI) brings to journalism.
This was a can’t-miss webinar for public relations pros and anyone working in the media industry.
In this engaging conversation, Andrea Baillie, Editor in Chief at The Canadian Press, Troy Thibodeaux, Director of Digital News at Associated Press and Jeff Stacey, VP of Product Management at Notified, explored the evolving role of AI in the newsroom, covering topics such as:
- AI's practical applications in the newsroom
- Where to draw the line for AI in journalism
- The trust equation in automated journalism
- Establishing news authenticity in a post-truth landscape
While you can watch the full webinar on demand, here were some of our favorite takeaways from the discussion – featuring poll results from our live audience!
AI's Practical Applications in Journalism
Audience Poll: How often do you use AI tools in your work?
- 22% - I use AI tools regularly.
- 58% - I’ve experimented, but do not use them regularly.
- 20% - I’ve never used AI tools.
Our panelists discussed the fact that while generative AI cannot replace original stories from journalists, it can be used to increase efficiency and lighten workloads.
For example: AI tools can help journalists tackle transcription, translation and summarization, giving them more time to craft compelling narratives.
Meaningful stories that require detailed work are only capable of being created by a human, said Baillie. “I am confident AI cannot replace this type of content anytime soon,” she explained.
Thibodeaux agreed, suggesting AI can be a useful tool in news gathering and formatting stories in different ways - but it’s not capable of obtaining the narrative approach needed.
Drawing the Line for AI and the Trust Equation
Audience Poll: Does your company/organization have official AI guidelines/policies?
- 32% - Yes.
- 68% - No.
Most organizations have yet to establish official AI guidelines, facing challenges on how to approach regulation.
Our panelists discussed the importance of establishing standards and staying updated on this ever-changing technology.
“This field is changing so fast, this technology is developing so quickly, that you’re not going to be ready,” Thibodeaux said. “But it’s important to put out something at least provisionally, saying based on what we know now and what the technology is – these are our standards.”
He underscored the importance of gathering input from people outside of your organization. Differences in AI’s application depending on place, access to technology, safeguards and what it means to disadvantaged communities are all factors to consider when implementing policies.
Moreover, AI models include data with harmful biases, as our panelists emphasize AI-generated content is always considered an unvetted source.
When it comes to generative AI (such as the creation of articles or content), Thibodeaux stressed that “generative AI is not going to find its place on the wire without human intervention. A human being vetting it, editing it, and making sure it’s accurate.”
And given that newsrooms value their credibility, AI’s imperfect accuracy is not acceptable. “The core of our brand is accuracy and trust,” Baillie noted.
As such, when it comes to drawing the line Baillie added that transparency is key. “We would never pass something off that is AI-generated as a Canadian Press story,” she said.
For PR pros interested in learning about AI ethics, check out our recent blog below!
Combating the Dark Side of AI: News Authenticity in a Post-Truth Landscape
Audience Poll: Have you ever doubted the authenticity of images/text/video you've seen online?
- 99% - Yes.
- 1% - No.
With deepfakes and voice cloning, it’s now common to doubt the authenticity of images and videos seen online. Some fear that there will eventually be an inability to detect reality from fake news.
However, Thibodeaux explained that misinformation has always existed – AI just heightened its volume. The result is that it has reinforced the necessary role of journalists to filter through the noise and verify source credibility.
“For example, the AP (Associated Press) will say how they called a race and how we got there, to increase credibility. This will bring value in the sea of noise,” he added.
Baillie stressed that training reporters on fact-checking tools is also key. She concluded that journalists should dedicate time to verify – even if that means slowing down their process to ensure accuracy.
Thanks for reading our webinar recap! If you’d like even more insights from our expert panel, watch the full discussion on demand.
And thanks again to The Canadian Press for partnering with us on this great event.
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