How Journalism Can Benefit from Artificial Intelligence

Every so often we here a cry from journalists and newsrooms that Artificial Intelligence will steal their jobs. We’d argue that in fact, journalists are the least likely to lose their jobs to AI. In addition, AI could be a boon to improving journalism and helping to make news media companies, from newspapers to magazines to read, more profitable. Here’s our take, based on several years of being around Artificial Intelligence.
The New York Times and the Washington Post are good examples of where AI is being used to bolster journalism. Others like Schibstead are also implementing AI and it is likely larger magazine publishers like Conde Nast are looking at this opportunity as well.
Enabling Greater Creativity: As AI gets better, certain tools could do fact verification or wade through complex corporate or legal documents to surface and interpret key issues for journalists. Already AI systems are proving effective for lawyers. Similar AI’s could be used for journalists. The reporter can then write a more creative and engaging story.
Audience Insights: Mining social media and bringing issues to light, journalists could discover meaningful story opportunities much faster and create stories even at a local level, that will resonate more deeply with an audience.
Historical Analysis: On issues that have a history, AI’s can crawl through text using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to go through past stories and also look for issues in other regions. This can help a journalist provide greater context to a story.
The place we’re placing AI in the newsroom is doing the drudge work. AI just isn’t emotional or very creative. It likely never will be. Journalists that can create emotional connections and provide true balanced insight are humans, not machines. In an upcoming post, we’ll look at using AI on the business side of the news media.

About the Author Giles W. Crouch

Giles Crouch is a design anthropologist and CDO/CIO. He spent over 20 years in globally-focussed marketing communications for technology products and services, but his roots are anthropology in a modern sense. He uniquely ties his deep knowledge of technology, marketing, design thinking and design anthropology as a polymath to help clients seeking digital advantage in today’s complex world. Giles has been regularly interviewed by international news media on topics such as social media, blockchain, artificial intelligence and it’s impacts on society. He is a passionate practitioner of design thinking and anthropology. Giles is prolific writer and public speaker, lecturer and keynote. He has also completed over 250 netnographic research projects since 2009. His secondary activity is as Group Publisher with Human Media Inc.

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