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The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Amidst the Astounding Leaps

A Threat or Opportunity to Journalism:

By George Ryan TabadaPublished about a month ago 4 min read
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Amidst the Astounding Leaps
Photo by Thomas Charters on Unsplash

What was once viewed as science fiction has turned into a reality.

The field of journalism has already been influenced by the astounding pace at which technology is evolving. But in reaction to these developments, a prevalent concern among journalists is that they might be displaced by a human creation that is said to be more proficient than human abilities—the Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Now, the main issue is how hard it is to tell whether the information that is spoken, written, or viewed is coming from a human being or an AI entity. How long before journalists become obsolete and are forced to reassess their role as the fourth estate?

This is why we are facing threats as well as opportunities from the development of these large-scale language models. Although this concern relies on the actual shifts that AI has already brought about in a number of industries and industrial chains, it also shows opportunities and challenges, as well as the necessity of adapting and maneuvering these adjustments.

In fact, the GMA Network gave us a taste of how AI is being applied in journalism on September 23 last year when it unveiled Marco and Maya, the nation's first artificial intelligence sportscasters. These sportscasters are set to provide sports updates on GMA Integrated News, GMA Sports, and GMA Synergy's social media platforms.

Though the announcement was regarded as a groundbreaking innovation in Philippine media, it also provoked criticism and raised concerns about whether this new approach signifies a shift in the industry toward networks depending more on artificial intelligence (AI) than on journalists.

This is why the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) asserts that news organizations need to hold conferences and develop policies on AI, despite the network's defense of its use of the technology as a step toward journalistic innovation and diversity. NUJP supports a more proactive approach by viewing AI as a tool that supports journalists rather than one that replaces them.

Rappler, an independent news organization, has actually already taken a stand on AI by publishing rules, highlighting the value of human judgment and critical thought. Open but cautious, their approach to AI is consistent with their mission to provide innovative news that mobilizes communities. They also stated clearly that the purpose of artificial intelligence technologies is to enhance productivity and effectiveness, not to replace human labor. This indicates that their primary goal is to use AI to enhance journalistic operations and provide services that better serve the public while upholding moral principles and responsibility.

Even so, concerns about a rise in misinformation that makes it harder for people to distinguish reality from fiction have been raised by developments in artificial intelligence. Due to its history as a means of disseminating misleading information, technology has made it more difficult to identify offenses and provided offenders with effective tools to carry out their schemes.

As proven by researchers, AI has the ability to produce extensively distributed, realistic-looking, but misleading content. This could have a substantial influence on people's opinions, behavior, and access to public information. This is also in line with the commentary released by the Harvard Kennedy School, which emphasizes the idea that artificial intelligence AI augments misinformation with more quantity and quality, making it harder to refute and more persuasive.

Amidst these concerns, it's important that we keep in mind the complex structure of entities that make up our contemporary information environment. These media outlets have played a critical role in helping AI disseminate information and increase public confidence in its skills. The emergence of deepfakes and other manipulative images, however, presents major challenges for fact-checkers.

Al Jazeera's investigation demonstrates the broad application of AI technology and raises the possibility that it might utterly destroy the idea of shared reality. Given that AI is a result of an information system, a nuanced response is required in this ever-evolving setting. AI also requires an all-encompassing approach to handle its drawbacks and maximize its advantages in a broader framework, therefore, to ensure the continued distribution of information in the future, carefully balancing the advancement of technology with the preservation of truth as we traverse this challenging terrain is a must.

It is also important to perceive AI as an extra identity rather than a total substitute for the authenticity of human work. AI must be viewed as an augmentation of journalistic abilities rather than as a substitute for human authenticity since the complex method of gathering and preparing reports that defines human work reflects an authenticity that AI, as it exists today, cannot fully emulate. The inherent risks of overreliance are made apparent by the lack of depth of presently accessible tools and the early stages of AI technology.

Moreover, while AI certainly makes things more efficient, using technology to replace human knowledge runs the risk of undermining journalism's core values. It is of the utmost importance to protect the function of journalists as guardians of truth and accountability as we walk this fine line between innovation and legacy. Thus, maintaining the integrity of the journalism field and inspiring the next generation of journalists need embracing AI as a supplement rather than a complete replacement.

This viewpoint supports Rappler's claim that news gathering, research, interviews, and corroboration are crucial journalistic tasks that AI output should not replace, as it's feared that relying too much on AI could harm aspiring journalists' careers.

It is nevertheless clear that news companies must adhere to ethical journalism standards despite technological advancements. Newsrooms have to recognize the benefits and constraints of artificial intelligence technologies.

This brings us back to the basic question: will artificial intelligence in journalism present new opportunities or create new challenges? Truth is, it is up to the journalists to mitigate dangers and maximize advantages— an important endeavor for a nation struggling with disinformation and cyberattacks.


About the Creator

George Ryan Tabada

George Ryan Tabada is a fourth-year journalism student at Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

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