For the two months we have been travelling in the United States and meeting with journalists and top media executives, ChatGPT has been at the center of many discussions across media platforms. Nearly four months after it launched officially, ChatGPT is entering U.S. newsrooms.
Is AI a threat for journalism? Will it replace editors, reporters, investigative journalists? What will newsrooms look like in 10 years from now?
Sitting in my comfortable hotel room on Nob Hill overlooking San Francisco and while listening to Bill Evans’ memorable trios, I tried to find answers to some of these questions from the person, (sorry) the machine itself. So, I engaged for more than an hour in a late-night conversation with it.
I asked if ChatGPT considers itself a threat to journalism. Its answer was simple: “Whether or not I am a threat to journalism depends on how I am used and the ethical considerations surrounding my use.”
Even though Chat GPT admits it could cause job displacement by automating tasks usually performed by journalists, it considers that it can increase productivity and efficiency in newsrooms. Among the tasks Chat GPT said it can accomplish: researching, fact-checking, generating content and translating.
In one answer, Chat GPT used the term “human journalism.” So I asked its views on “AI journalism.” ChatGPT confirmed it is unlikely that AI will completely replace human journalists. “There are certain tasks that require human judgment and decision-making,” ChatGPT said. “AI cannot replace them.” But ChatGPT said human journalism and AI journalism “should work in tandem to deliver high-quality, insightful and engaging news content.”
ChatGPT’s answers did not convince me, so I asked it to list in 100 words strong arguments to persuade me that journalists will not be replaced by AI anytime soon.
Here is what it wrote:
“There are several arguments to suggest that journalists will not be replaced by AI anytime soon. First, AI is not able to replicate the human creativity, intuition, and empathy that is essential to journalism.
“Second, AI still struggles with understanding the nuances and complexities of human language, culture, and context, which are critical to journalism.
“Third, journalism requires a high level of ethical and moral considerations, which cannot be fully automated.
“Fourth, human journalists can build relationships with sources and communities, which can lead to more insightful and impactful reporting.
“Lastly, journalism is a rapidly evolving field, and human journalists can adapt to new challenges and technologies to stay relevant and valuable.”
Partly… ChatGPT’s answer is 12 words longer than the requested 100 words, not to mention it is not using the AP style.
Would have expected better from a tool supposed to be a liable editor…
This is another reason that pushes me to think that the road might still be long before ChatGPT can completely replace journalists.