AI in journalism
Recently I wrote an article for WhatTheyThink.com on AI image generation tools. I wrote it at the end of last year, shortly before text tools like ChatGPT kept on making headlines. I can still very much recommend reading the article and I am sure it is worth the subscription 😉. While I am confident that AI image generation will revolutionise image production, at first, I was reluctant about the capabilities of AI in journalism and text generation in general.
After seeing many samples on sources like LinkedIn recently I am more impressed with the quality. ChatGPT is good, no doubt. It can write a convincing essay on why water-based ink is the best solution and another one on why UV-ink is the best. It surely could find arguments for letterpress as well. Where AI is not good at is finding the balance between pros and cons and filtering marketing arguments for an unbiased view.
I can see a big impact of AI texts in general marketing collaterals. I imagine AI doing a good job at summarising, providing ideas and helping with intro sections as well. It is interesting to see that selecting and recommending articles already arrived at newsrooms and publishers according to recent research on journalism. That is even ok – if newsrooms are not resorting to clickbaiting and headline manipulation (I wrote about this here)
It is a safe bet that there will be a quick rise in AI text generation in all supporting functions like summarising, selecting, researching and providing snippets. It will be used in for full articles as well, but here the true capabilities are limited and original copy writing and editing will be necessary for good results. I still believe that image generation will have a bigger impact.
- Creating an image requires equipment, tools, and usually a lot of practice. With text, the barrier is much lower. Hence offloading AI to image creation is a lot more worthwhile.
- You do not have to check images on factual correctness (like an AI text). Of course, you might want to tweak or edit an image but you do not have to (or you simply create more).
- When creating communication in most cases the text and the main aims are at the centre of focus. Images often function as an embellishment.
- As a consequence most content creators are a lot more familiar with creating text than images. With image AI they can omit relying on external resources.
AI in journalism will come undoubtedly and flood the markets with articles that are not too helpful. I hope that readers will recognise that only humans, and especially independent journalists and analysts, can provide the balanced insight that make an article worth reading.