Google’s AI Tool “Genesis” Explores Automated News Writing
Proposition to Top-tier Publications
Google is reportedly experimenting with an AI-powered tool, codenamed “Genesis”, designed to generate news content. This information comes from a recent report by The New York Times. It’s known that Google has been presenting the potential of this tool to prestigious publishers including The New York Times itself, News Corp, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
AI: A Journalist’s Assistant?
According to Google, Genesis could act as a personal assistant for news writers by automating some of their tasks. This would leave journalists free to focus on other aspects of their work. As part of its ethos of “responsible technology,” Google sees the tool as a means to enhance rather than replace human effort.
Despite this, some media executives have described the tool as “unsettling,” stating that it appears to downplay the hard work and dedication that goes into crafting accurate news reports.
A Google spokesperson explained to TechCrunch: “In partnership with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, we’re in the earliest stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work.”
Potential Applications and Goals
The spokesperson went on to elaborate on the possible functions of such AI tools, which could include suggesting headlines or various writing styles. The ultimate goal is to offer journalists the option to utilize these emerging technologies to improve their work and increase their productivity.
“Just like we’re making assistive tools available for people in Gmail and in Google Docs,” the spokesperson added, “Quite simply these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles.”
Adoption of AI in Newsrooms
The news of Google’s AI tool comes as several news organizations, including NPR and Insider, have announced their intentions to explore how AI could be responsibly used in their newsrooms.
Many news organizations, like The Associated Press, already employ AI for generating articles on subjects such as corporate earnings. However, these AI-written pieces represent only a tiny portion of their overall content, with the bulk still being produced by human journalists.
Concerns Over AI Journalism
Google’s initiative is likely to raise concerns, as unverified or inadequately edited AI-generated articles could potentially fuel the spread of misinformation.
Earlier this year, CNET, an American media website, started using generative AI to produce articles. This decision, however, resulted in complications for the company. CNET was forced to correct over half of the AI-generated articles due to factual inaccuracies and possible plagiarism. As a result, some of their articles now carry a disclaimer stating, “An earlier version of this article was assisted by an AI engine. This version has been substantially updated by a staff writer.”