Dec 12, 2023 - Technology

The New York Times hires newsroom AI director

The New York Times building on April 29 in New York City. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The New York Times has hired an editorial director of artificial intelligence initiatives.

Why it matters: The new position comes as media organizations look to leverage artificial intelligence in the newsroom and experiment with the technology, while still grappling with ethical choices to protect public trust.

Details: Quartz co-founder Zach Seward will work with newsroom leadership to establish principles "for how we do and do not use generative A.I.," The Times' Executive Editor Joe Kahn and Deputy Managing Editor Sam Dolnick said in a news release.

  • Seward is tasked with creating a team to experiment with AI tools and helping to design related training programs for journalists.

Be smart: Journalists, like many other professionals, are fearful and anxious about the new technology, and this is not going to be an easy job, Axios' Ina Fried wrote when The Times posted the job opening, along with a memo with some helpful advice for the hire.

What they're saying: "One reason we're excited to have Zach in this role is that he shares our firm belief that Times journalism will always be reported, written and edited by our expert journalists," Kahn and Dolnick wrote.

  • "But Zach will also help guide how these new tools can assist our journalists in their work, and help us broaden our reach and expand our report," they added.

Go deeper: Newsrooms try AI to check for bias and error

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