Artificial intelligence: Google says it is developing new tools to help journalists

The Google logo is displayed at their offices, in 2018, in London
The Google logo is displayed at their offices, in 2018, in London Copyright Alastair Grant/AP Photo, File
By Euronews with AP
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Google says it is developing AI tools to help journalists to write headlines and in different writing styles, but some are concerned that in an industry struggling financially, AI could replace jobs.


US tech giant Google says it is in the process of developing artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help journalists with writing headlines and stories.

"Our goal is to give journalists the choice of using these emerging technologies in a way that enhances their work and productivity," a Google spokesperson said in a statement provided to Euronews.

Artificial intelligence has been rapidly growing and fuelling concerns that it could replace jobs. There have also been questions about the accuracy of information created by AI.

"Quite simply these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles," Google said in a statement.

The company said that it would create the tools in partnership with news publishers, especially smaller ones.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that an AI tool that produces news stories had been pitched to multiple large US news organisations. The tool can take in information to create news content.

Using articles to train AI

To build AI tools that can produce human-like content, tech companies have to ingest large amounts of written work such as news articles and books. There is a debate over whether these companies are fairly compensating artists and others for the work used to train these systems.

Last week, AP and ChatGPT-maker OpenAI announced a deal for the artificial intelligence company to license AP's archive of news stories going back to 1985. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Chatbots such as ChatGPT and Google's own Bard are part of a class of so-called generative AI tools that are increasingly effective at mimicking different writing styles, as well as visual art and other media.

Many people are already using them as a time-saver to compose emails and other routine documents or help with homework.

However, the systems are also prone to spouting falsehoods that people unfamiliar with a subject might not notice, making them risky for applications such as gathering news or dispensing medical advice.

“We're all for technological advances helping our reporters and editors do their jobs,” said Vin Cherwoo, president of the News Media Guild, which represents some journalists in the US. “We just don't want AI doing their jobs.”

“What's most important for us is to protect our jobs and maintain journalistic standards,” he said.

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