The New York Times was the first to reveal that Google is testing an AI program called “Genesis” that can produce news articles.
According to three people with knowledge of the situation, it can produce news articles based on specifics like current events and is being marketed to publications including the Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London.
People who saw Google’s pitch told the Times that they thought the AI was frightening and that it lacked knowledge of the work that goes into producing factual news reports.
The Washington Post’s chief communications officer, Kathy Baird, said: “Most Post officials from the Engineering and Business teams attended a meeting with Google this spring to exhibit their new technology, Genesis.
In a statement issued to Insider, a Google representative stated, “In partnership with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, we’re in the early stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help journalists with their work.”
They said that the business aimed to boost journalists’ productivity in the same manner that Gmail and Google Docs are beginning to offer AI technologies.
The representative continued, “For instance, AI-enabled tools could help journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles.”
They continued, “Pure and simple, these technologies are not intended to replace, and cannot replace, the crucial role that journalists play in reporting, writing, and fact-checking their pieces.”
Google’s tool comes after a number of news organizations around the world said that they will investigate how artificial intelligence (AI) can assist journalists.
This includes the top US newspaper publisher Gannett, Insider, and The New York Times.