Google pitched a news-writing AI tool to New York Times, Washington Post

As Google tries to make up lost ground in the AI race, the company unveiled a tool that can create news articles. Could it be the future of journalism?
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Google building
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According to an article from the New York Times, Google is testing an AI tool that can write news content. The article states that Google demonstrated the product to executives at the New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp, the owner of The Wall Street Journal.

Google named the product Genesis, though the name is an internal title. Genesis can collect information about current events and produce news articles. According to The New York Times, people familiar with the tool say Google is marketing it as a supplemental tool to journalists, not a replacement for human-written articles.

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Allegedly, some executives were not impressed with the tool and believed Google was trying to downplay the knowledge and effort it takes to be a journalist. 

"Quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles," Jenn Crider, a Google spokesperson, said in a statement. 

Google says the AI tool could help journalists generate headlines and help them strengthen their writing styles.

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Some newsrooms have been using AI-generated content for years. For example, The Associated Press uses AI to automate stories that cover corporate earning reports and some sporting events. The Associated Press also uses AI technology to help transcribe audio and video from live events.

But recently, publications that use AI to generate stories that should be reviewed and written by humans received fierce backlash for publishing mistake-ridden, AI-generated content.

Journalism relies on journalists to be knowledgeable and ethical when reporting on the news. Generative AI tools cannot be relied on to do the same, as they can hallucinate or output misinformation.

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Google's Bard, the company's competitor to OpenAI's ChatGPT, delivered false information to some users. Although hallucinations are a side effect of the technology in its current form, newsrooms with a prestigious reputation to preserve will likely be hesitant to adopt it widely.

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