Google is developing an artificial intelligence tool — code-named “Genesis” — that will be capable of writing news articles and crafting headlines, the company said Thursday.
The search giant has approached major news organizations — including News Corp, the parent company of the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal — to pitch them on the benefits of its AI tool.
However, Google stressed its robots would not replace ink-stained editors and digital journalists currently employed.
“Our goal is to give journalists the choice of using these emerging technologies in a way that enhances their work and productivity, just like we’re making assistive tools available for people in Gmail and in Google Docs,” a spokesperson told The Post.
Journalists, however, were more skeptical.
Some executives who sat in on the presentation said the plan for the product was “unsettling” and glossed over the human effort required to write “accurate and artful news stories,” the New York Times reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.
Others were less quick to pass judgment on Google boss Sundar Pichai’s vision for Genesis, which he sees as a potential “personal assistant” for journalists that could help ease their workload by handling basic tasks, a source told the Times, which along with the Washington Post was also approached.
“We have an excellent relationship with Google, and we appreciate Sundar Pichai’s long-term commitment to journalism,” a News Corp spokesman said.
The New York Times and the Washington Post declined to comment.
The Google spokesperson said the company was in the “earliest stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work.”
“Quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles,” the rep said.
Some outlets, such as BuzzFeed and the tech news site CNET, have already begun to make use of AI in their coverage.
However, Google is developing AI tools for news content during a period of significant tension between media outlets and Big Tech firms.
Last month, USA Today publisher Gannett sued Google for allegedly pursuing a “deceptive scheme” to gain a monopoly over the online advertising market. Google has denied engaging in anti-competitive business practices.
Separately, California state lawmakers recently advanced a bill that would require tech firms to pay media outlets in order to use their news content. That piece of legislation is set for a final vote later this year.
Facebook parent Meta fired back, warning that it could pull all news content from its platforms in California if it were to receive final approval.
Source by [New York Post]