Google is testing a new AI tool called Genesis that is capable of writing news articles, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The company has pitched the tool to different leading media organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post and News Corp, claimed the report citing unnamed sources.
The tool generates news articles by taking in information from the users. Some of the executives who were pitched Genesis believe that it does not take into consideration the effort that goes into producing news stories. One of the executives, the report said, termed the tool as a personal assistant for journalists.
Responding to a request for comment, a Google spokesperson told The Verge that the company is working with smaller publishers to explore ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work, “For instance, AI-enabled tools could assist journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles. 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. Quite simply these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles.”
Several small publishers and journalists are currently utilizing AI tools to assist them in news reporting. However, we have not encountered any prominent name that employs these tools without the oversight of an editor. Despite the capabilities of AI tools, they can sometimes produce hallucinated or false information, making them unreliable for newsrooms without human editors’ involvement.
It would be interesting to see if Genesis, whenever it becomes available, can help journalists with fact checking as well.