AI brings many considerations for journalists, news stories

These past few months, AI has seen progressive and rampant growth. In programs like ChatGPT and Deepfakes, people have been exploring the ever-growing fascination with AI. While many are looking toward these advancements with much excitement, there is a handful who have been approaching this with skepticism, wishing people may take their next steps carefully. 

ChatGPT, an algorithm that acts as a chatbot, was created in November of 2022, and has seen great use by the internet since its inception. Prompts can be put in and the algorithm spits out a highly realistic response, quite impressive for AI until recently. Deepfakes have also exploded on the scene recently, with many using them to parody famous celebrities and even influencers. The program mimics the face of someone and synthesizers can change someone’s voice to sound like the person as well.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, especially in journalism. A lot of my best friends were in occupations that no longer exist. I feel like I have one foot in the steel, glass, and wood generation, and another in the microchip and plastic generation,” 21st Century Literacy and Journalism teacher Brian Winkel said, “You get to see both and it’s hard when I’m looking at the ISASP today and I’m looking at the tickets when these kids were born, in 2005 and 2006 and 2007, after September 11th, after the internet, after the iPhone dropped. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around that.”

Some of the concerns with programs like ChatGPT come in with the employment of journalists. On paper, it would make sense to utilize the speed of ChatGPT in order to produce as many stories as possible, but this creates more problems for journalists as a result. 

“ChatGPT is something I can see as both being useful and horrible for the future of journalism,” said enior Ash Keve, an ex-journalist for the Tiger Hi-Line, “It’s useful in the sense that stories can be written and published faster and cheaper giving more people access to the news, but journalists are already losing jobs at a rapid pace because of social media and the advancement in technology. ChatGPT would only increase the already rapid rates of unemployment in the Journalism field.”

Challenges with AI become more apparent with its tie-in to social media, as well as the spread of misinformation across the internet. Plus, it is getting more difficult to determine what actually is human and what is artificial. 

“I do agree that maybe we should seriously consider the consequences of some of this innovation that has been going around,” Winkel said.

The concern for the youth poses an even greater issue for being more impressionable. As children scroll through media, there’s a chance they can find themselves misguided by false media. As is, YouTubers’ marketing toward children has a profound effect on hooking them into different channels. One could imagine if this technology fell into the hands of some of these people, maybe taking its abilities too far. It is Winkel’s job as a 21st Century Literacy teacher to teach the youth of misinformation alone on the internet, but as these technologies grow more widespread, who knows what the media will look like in the future, posing an even greater risk if it’s to fall into irresponsible hands.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.