Eight years ago, the idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) in journalism was met with skepticism. Many doubted whether an algorithm could match the expertise of seasoned journalists. However, a recent development has reignited discussions on AI’s role in journalism.
In November 2022, OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, an AI tool that demonstrated remarkable natural language understanding and generation. Media outlets worldwide took notice, but they approached its application with caution, aware of its impact on content creation and audience engagement.
A working group, consisting of editors, social media specialists, technology experts, and human resource officials, evaluated ChatGPT. The AI proved exceptionally efficient in writing formulaic stories, like weather reports and earthquake alerts, completing tasks in a fraction of the time it would take human journalists. It was also valuable in constructing opinion pieces, transforming press releases into news stories, providing SEO-friendly headlines, and accurately translating major Filipino languages to English.
Despite its capabilities, ChatGPT has limitations. Its data is limited to September 2021, leading to occasional dissemination of outdated information. The AI may also generate fictional quotes or background details, requiring careful handling to ensure accuracy and credibility.
Legal concerns arise as ChatGPT might inadvertently draw from copyrighted material during its training. Moreover, AI lacks the ability to identify fresh angles in stories or conduct essential tasks like interviewing sources and attending press conferences. Unique journalistic skills such as emotional intelligence, intuition, empathy, and authentic human conversation remain irreplaceable.
While AI tools like ChatGPT are powerful, addressing their limitations and ethical implications is crucial. How do we handle situations where AI generates defamatory content or spreads misinformation? Establishing guidelines for responsible AI use without stifling its potential is essential. As we embrace this exciting AI era, it is vital to navigate with care, continuously refining our understanding of AI’s capabilities and limitations. Ultimately, the heart of journalism remains firmly rooted in human involvement.