Google Pitches its AI News Writer to Publications

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Google reportedly pitched its new AI news writing tool to major publications aimed to assist journalists.

Google demonstrated its new news writing AI tool (pitched as a helper and not a replacement) to executives from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp (The Wal Street Journal’s parent company).

This new tool is internally called “Genesis” and it can take information to produce news stories.

Aimed at being a personal assistant for journalists, The New York Times reported (Link—Requires sign-up) that it’s being pitched as a tool to automate some tasks for journalists.

The pitch was described as “unsettling” by some executives who saw the pitch. Two people also said that it “seemed to take for granted the effort that went into producing accurate and artful news stories.”

In partnership with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, we’re in the earliest stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide A.I.-enabled tools to help their journalists with their work.

Jennifer Crider, Leading Google News communications, Google in a statement to The Verge

Though generative AI cannot be used to create compelling and artful news stories as it cannot investigate and add personality or flair in a meaningful way (yet), Google’s new tool might have something more to offer.

For example, it’s already possible today to use GPT-4 or Bard to create news articles. You can provide the chatbot with some key pieces of information and then it can write a news report for you in the tone you want while adhering to any instructions such as word counts.

Mainly focused on presenting headline alternatives or writing styles, the tool aims to enhance productivity and not “replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles,” Crider added.

In a comment to The New York Times, journalism professor and media commentator from the City University of New York, Jeff Jarvis, said how this tech can be used if it can deliver factual information reliably, but there are potential downsides too.

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.

Jeff Jarvis, City University of New York

By Abhimanyu

Unwrapping the fast-evolving AI popular culture.