Journalism and democracy

According to Bharat, journalists will find that AI gives them superpowers in discovery, analysis, reporting, and editing — as long as the knowledge is accessible for everyone.eCCO Magazine recommend to read the article of GLOBAL EDITORS NETWORK:  In recent years, the threats posed by AI to democracies through hacking, manipulation, and disinformation campaigns have garnered public attention. However, technologies of the future could also enhance both the craft and the business of journalism, and create new opportunities for civic engagement. Krishna Bharat, the creator of Google News, shares his thoughts on AI’s potential contributions to newsrooms and democratic processes as well as ways to democratise AI itself.

GEN: AI has seen major developments in the past years, from automated fact-checking to news aggregation. While some see the potential applications of AI as an asset, others deem it problematic. Is there a middle ground? And what are, in your opinion, the main concerns newsrooms should or shouldn’t have?

Krishna Bharat: AI innovations tend to be aimed at communication and commerce broadly, but they end up impacting news business models and the information ecosystem — with both positive and negative consequences. User modelling and content targeting can be used to boost relevance, benefiting users and advertisers. They can also be used to manipulate vulnerable users with fake news, displacing legitimate content. The problem is with social media business models. They make virality and watch-time top-line metrics and the AI optimizes for it, boosting misinformation and spin.

According to Bharat, journalists will find that AI gives them superpowers in discovery, analysis, reporting, and editing — as long as the knowledge is accessible for everyone.
Looking to the future, I see a lot of upside for newsrooms. AI can help them cut costs, without sacrificing reach or quality. Journalists will find that AI gives them superpowers, in discovery, analysis, reporting and editing. With improved speech synthesis and recognition, and the ability to create custom multimedia content on the fly, news will become more engaging, interactive and personalized.

The main concern for newsrooms, especially small ones, will be getting access to data scientists, machine resources, and AI models. We should find ways to pool resources and democratise access and knowhow across the industry, keeping most of it open.

For more information, take a look at the GEN page.