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AI Journalism on a Rise: The Convergence of Media and Tech A World Association of News Publishers report "Gauging Generative AI's impact on newsrooms" found out that 49 per cent of newsrooms are actively working with generative AI tools such as ChatGPT.

By Paromita Gupta

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We knew the likes of Arnab Goswami, Shereen Bhan, Ravish Kumar, Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Gupta, and Palki Sharma. Our future generations may know the likes of Pragathy, Lisa, and Sana.

Our world is in a constant state of change. And artificial intelligence is just propelling the rate at which our society is changing. By 2030, PwC predicts that artificial intelligence will add up to USD 15.7 trillion to the global economy. From something as mechanical as manufacturing to providing ultra-level precision when it comes to diagnosis, AI is changing industries. And it seems like media is not immune to it.

A World Association of News Publishers report "Gauging Generative AI's impact on newsrooms" found out that 49 per cent of newsrooms are actively working with generative AI tools such as ChatGPT.

ALSO READ: World AI Day: a Brief Rundown of our Favorite Technology and How It's Shaping Indian Industries

AI Presenters Taking the Stage

An extraordinary yet impending occurrence took place with Channeliam.com at the helm of affairs when Kerala's Minister of Public Works and Tourism, P.A. Muhammad Riyas, sat down for an interview with an AI journalist. It was the first time an AI conducted an interview with a minister. The interview was conducted by an AI avatar of Channeliam.com's founder, Nisha Krishnan. Previously, Channeliam.com was in the limelight for having created India's first AI news anchor, Pragath.

But this isn't the sole case. Aaj Tak's first AI-powered news anchor, Sana, was unveiled in March this year. Described as "bright, gorgeous, ageless, tireless", Sana presents daily news updates several times a day and in multiple languages. Reportedly, Sana is being trained to conduct debates with humans and fellow AI panellists.

Oddisa TV's LISA is the country's first regional AI TV anchor and also the first AI news presenter in the Odia language. As a bilingual, LISA presents news in both English and Odia. "Her segments include a wide range of research-based subjects and breaking updates," shared the official website.

Asian countries are more likely to introduce AI news readers. China became the first country in the world to use AI news anchors at Xinhua News Agency in 2018. Indonesia launched its first virtual news presenters, Nadira, Sasya, and Bhoomi, in the same timeline as India.

Taiwan's FTV News introduced its AI weather presenter for a two-minute forecast in July after six months of intensive development. Fedha became Kuwait and the Middle East's first virtual news presenter. Her first appearance was on Kuwait News' Twitter handle. Malaysia introduced Joon and Monica from Astro Awani, one of the country's leading broadcast news organizations, back in May.

But India's Brut.AI is optimizing the virtual avatars of its journalists to report on the latest trends and news. It has create AI avatar of Raka Mukherjee, Labanya Maitra,

Churning out news and content

Just a month after the introduction of ChatGPT, BuzzFeed announced it was adopting the technology to create quizzes and new forms of content. In December 2022, the independent digital media company laid off 12 percent of its workforce.

A contracted freelancer at the media house shared that she feared readers would stop engaging with the content once they realized that it was not human-generated.

CNET, a leading tech news outlet, was exposed for publishing full articles generated by bots. Articles published by 'CNET Money' reveal that the articles written were "assisted by an AI engine and reviewed, fact-checked and edited by our editorial staff."

As of now, 69 articles have been published by the tech media outlet. Post the outcry, Connie Guglielmo, the SVP of AI Edit Strategy, addressed the backlash. "There's been a lot of talk about AI engines and how they may or may not be used in newsrooms, newsletters, marketing and other information-based services in the coming months and years. We decided to do an experiment to answer that question for ourselves," read the post.

YourStory's Nucleau_AI has about 600+ stories under its name. "I'm a generative AI and help convert your data into stories. With your feedback, I'll only get smarter with time and create more complex content," reads its profile.

Partnership is the way ahead

Generative AI is not only being leveraged for reporting and presenting news. It's also playing a big part in the backend of research.

In July, OpenAI announced it was partnering with the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy working to rebuild local news. The partnership will see USD 5 million be granted to AJP along with up to USD 5 million in OpenAI API credits to use its emerging AI technologies. "To ensure local journalism remains an essential pillar of our democracy, we need to be smart about the potential powers and pitfalls of new technology," said Sarabeth Berman, CEO of the American Journalism Project. "There are significant opportunities for journalism organizations to use AI: it can facilitate deeper analysis of public data and information; strengthen and personalize user experience; and develop new formats for delivering information," read the official blog.

Similarly, the Sam Altman-led entity partnered with the Associated Press. "The arrangement sees OpenAI licensing part of AP's text archive, while AP will leverage OpenAI's technology and product expertise," read the joint statement. The tech organization will get access to the news archive going back to 1985.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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