Media braces for the robot era with flux of AI tools

The rapid rise of generative AI tools could displace dozens of media companies and journalists, Axios reports.

Media companies are trying to figure out how to quickly move and adapt to a new internet reality filled with artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT. 

Facebook’s many pivots pushed media outlets to move their focus away from social media and toward search. 

But now experts predict another major disruption for publishers relying on search traffic.

ChatGPT is the artificial intelligence chatbot developed by AI startup OpenAI. The tool is capable of taking written inputs from users and producing human-like responses — from poetry in the style of William Shakespeare to advice on what to do for a child’s birthday party.

The tool is the talk of the business world. 

It is quickly becoming the talk of the media and publishing world too. 

For years, automation was perceived as a threat mostly to physical labor and operations work, not creative types, but the latest wave of AI has flipped that script.

Experts say that tools like ChatGPT is the undoing of the robotic behavior with which journalism was being done because a lot of work was going toward search engine optimization and trending content. 

But journalists also fear that ChatGPT could eliminate the need for human writers and journalists. 

BuzzFeed is already jumping on board. The media companies said it is using OpenAI’s publicly available software to automatically publish quizzes beginning this month. 

BuzzFeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti said in a memo to staffers that the company sees breakthroughs in AI opening up a new era that allows humans to harness creativity in new ways, and does not plan on using AI to write journalistic articles. 

Most media outlets have drawn the line already at using AI for journalistic articles. 

But what the balance will actually be – remains to be seen. 

Recently there was an AI saga at CNET. CNET had to pause an AI publishing experiment after being called out for inaccuracies in articles it posted that were written by AI tools.

AI is not completely new to the media world. Newsrooms have been using automation for years to strengthen their journalism and free up time for strategic functions that require more human judgment, like investigative reporting.

But now that the technology has become so advanced and accessible, it is becoming harder for newsrooms to draw the line between leveraging AI and over-relying on it.

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