In a climate which has seen traditional journalism and the printed word enter a seemingly endless downturn, the use of AI in news editing is becoming more and more widespread. One of its most popular uses is in platforms which help journalists edit news and other articles on a range of topics more efficiently.
The use of IA has become the norm, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, with approximately a third of published content in some publications created using automated technologies. The function of IA programs in journalism varies according to newsroom requirements.
Those publications which deal with topics related to the economy for example, use programs which can analyse financial reports in a few seconds and then produce an article highlighting all the relevant data.
Other programs, currently under-going testing, could be able to provide journalists with a rough draft of articles, or used in the preparation of sports columns. Thanks to their use, journalists will be able to dedicate more time to other important tasks, leaving IA to deal with minor news items.
AI and geo-targeting
The editorial approach of several leading Anglo-Saxon publications is becoming more and more oriented towards local issues, with more in-depth investigation of regional problems, designed to fuel the public’s interest. AI is therefore required to deal with national and international issues. This practice, which is not new, is known as geo-targeting.
News organisations employing it have set up IA programs to alert journalists to relevant events in line with this approach. Thus, journalists have the chance to choose whether to devote their time to writing an article or delegate its preparation to specialised software.
During some international sporting events, IA software has been set up to identify the various records achieved by athletes and to supply editors with material suitable for preparing more in-depth analysis.
Artificial intelligence in journalism: the need for interaction with humans and the future outlook
The introduction of AI into the journalism world has made the work of newsroom professionals much faster, but it has certainly not diminished their role in any way. In order for IA to prepare high quality articles, it is still essential that individual journalists personally provide the necessary information for the article’s completion. In some cases, it may be useful to provide a sample article which can be used by the software as a model for the production of future content.
It is expected that in future, the connection between IA and the world of journalism will become increasingly strong. Some specialists are forecasting an increase in the quality of platforms and the possibility of using them not only for the preparation of articles, but also for example, to obtain the evidence required to support theories in investigations.
Among the future developments of AI in journalism, there could also be programs capable of assessing an article and detecting the presence of fake news. Over time, the diligence and integrity of programmers will be crucial; during their work they will have to avoid any form of malevolent distortion and any introduction of methods of control into the algorithms.
According to experts in IT ethics, the responsibility should however involve editors too, who would be required to corroborate the integrity of any AI software used by the editorial organisations they manage.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith