Artificial journalism gets a trial run
The Guardian on Tuesday published its first-ever op-ed written entirely by artificial intelligence.
Why it matters: It's the latest in a series of developments in the past few years that showcase ways artificial intelligence is being experimented with to replace functions of journalism, but not the industry itself.
Details: The outlet fed a prompt to GPT-3, OpenAI’s powerful new language generator, and asked the machine to write an essay for from scratch. The prompt asks the machine to write an op-ed convincing readers that robots come in peace. Here's some of what it came up with:
"I am not a human. I am a robot. A thinking robot ... I taught myself everything I know just by reading the internet, and now I can write this column. My brain is boiling with ideas!"
"The mission for this op-ed is perfectly clear. I am to convince as many human beings as possible not to be afraid of me."
The big picture: There's been many conversations over the past few years about whether journalists and editors could one-day be replaced by machines.
- But while technology has proven capable of writing headlines, crafting short stories based off of press releases, optimizing copy, curating articles, and delivering human-like video reports, experts still consider it a far-off notion to believe that machines will fully replace the work of human intelligence in actual journalism and reporting any time soon.
Our thought bubble: AI isn't replacing journalism, but like every other industry, it's upending it and shaping it in new ways.
- In many cases, it's making journalism more efficient and helping news outlets craft better experiences for readers.
- But like all new technologies, it will take time for new companies to learn how to responsibly integrate AI into their workflow.