1 minute read

πŸ”— Link to the article

Amanda Meade, reporting for The Guardian:

News Corp Australia is producing 3,000 articles a week using generative artificial intelligence, executive chair Michael Miller has revealed.

Miller told the World News Media Congress in Taipei that a team of four staff use the technology to generate thousands of local stories each week on weather, fuel prices and traffic conditions, according to a report in Mediaweek.

News Corp’s use of AI to automate local news stories makes practical sense - this is exactly the type of content generation new technologies are well-suited for. The ability to efficiently produce high volumes of routine community briefs on topics like weather frees up human reporters for more in-depth local coverage.

Safeguards will be important, especially clear labelling of AI-generated content and human oversight to uphold quality standards. Transparency will help maintain public trust as automation becomes more widespread in newsrooms. Some job impacts are likely inevitable in any sector when new technologies emerge.

However, the role of journalists endures as essential curators, analysers and storytellers - functions AI cannot fully replicate. Thoughtfully integrating automation alongside human strengths provides a promising path. Done responsibly, AI can complement journalists to improve local access to both hyperlocal briefs and reported community features.

It’s unsurprising other news organisations like the ABC are also cautiously exploring applications, including audio and personalisation. The potential to expand content accessibility through AI services like text-to-speech has public value if implemented ethically.

Overall, AI holds much promise but requires judicious use. With the right guardrails and transparency, News Corp’s local news automation efforts seem a fair application that may even aid digital subscription growth and sustain more reporting jobs. This could provide a template for smart integration of emerging technologies in journalism.