Google is reportedly testing an artificial intelligence (AI) “journalist” bot that the Big Tech giant hopes to use to write news stories.
A report from the New York Times reveals that Google is testing the product in an effort to reduce the reliance on human reporters in the journalism industry.
The tool, which is named “Genesis,” seeks to launch the start of AI “reporters.”
Genesis has already started to make the rounds.
Outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal have all been in talks with the company behind the tool about testing it.
Some are already trying to downplay the impact of AI on journalism, however.
Insiders insist that AI technology could serve as a potentially helpful tool for journalists.
Some executives, meanwhile, have warned that the software is “unsettling.”
But at least two of those familiar with the matter looked at the AI technology and said it seemed to take for granted the effort and creativity that goes into creating news stories.
“If this technology can deliver factual information reliably, journalists should use the tool,” said Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.
“If, on the other hand, it is misused by journalists and news organizations on topics that require nuance and cultural understanding, then it could damage the credibility not only of the tool but of the news organizations that use it.”
Journalists have been grappling with how to handle AI technology for some time.
In January, the website CNET corrected several of their stories after it was pointed out by a competing outlet that some of their articles contained numerous falsehoods.
The issue prompted the revelation that the news pieces were bot-written.
But in 2017, the Washington Post revealed their AI tool called “ModBot,” which was created not to write stories, but to moderate and censor comments left by readers across their website.
As for Google, some publishers and other online creators have criticized the company (as well as other tech companies pioneering AI technology) for using decades’ worth of their articles and other content to train the AI systems, which threaten to replace their line of work, without any compensation.