Google is reportedly testing a new AI tool called “Genesis” that can generate news stories. The tech giant has even pitched the tool to major news publications, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. This tool aims to serve as a personal assistant for journalists by automating certain tasks and freeing up their time for more important work.
However, some executives who were presented with the tool found it unsettling. They argued that it disregards the effort journalists put into producing accurate news stories. Despite this, Google sees Genesis as a form of “responsible technology.” The company believes that AI-enabled tools can assist journalists, especially those working for smaller publishers, by providing options for headlines or different writing styles.
Google assures that these tools are not meant to replace journalists but rather enhance their work and productivity. The tech giant draws a parallel with the assistive tools available in Gmail and Google Docs. They want to give journalists the choice to use emerging technologies in a way that benefits their work.
This development comes as several news organizations, including NPR and Insider, are exploring the responsible use of AI in their newsrooms. While some organizations, like The Associated Press, have already used AI to generate stories for specific topics, the use of AI-generated articles without proper fact-checking or editing raises concerns about the potential spread of misinformation.
Earlier this year, American media website CNET experimented with generative AI to produce articles, but it backfired. Over half of the AI-generated articles required corrections, with some containing factual errors or plagiarized material. These incidents highlight the need for careful oversight and human involvement in the news-writing process.
Google’s AI tool, Genesis, has the potential to automate news writing tasks, but it also raises questions about the role of journalists and the risk of spreading misinformation. While AI can enhance productivity, it should not replace the essential work done by journalists in reporting, creating, and fact-checking articles like what we do here in GAT. The responsible use of AI in newsrooms requires careful consideration and human oversight to maintain the integrity of news reporting.