Google is testing ‘Genesis’ AI tool that can write news articles, assist journalists
The ‘Genesis’ AI tool was previewed for some executives, and reportedly it can write news articles and act as a personal assistant for journalists. Check details.
No field is beyond the influence of artificial intelligence. After demonstrating its impact on customer service, business operations, academics, and entertainment, it is even looking at newsrooms. In the last month, many news publications, including The New York Times, NBC News, and Gizmodo have begun their own attempts at using AI. And now, Google has previewed its new AI tool called Genesis, which is capable of writing news articles.
According to a report by The New York Times, Google showcased the new product to some of its executives, the Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal's parent company News Corp. Genesis appears to be a working name, and is not final. And the tool is not only geared towards taking over the newsroom and writing articles, but also to act as a personal assistant for journalists, as per the report.
Google showcases its news writing AI
The report also mentions citing anonymous sources that Google believes its new AI tool to be a ‘responsible' technology and an alternative to the ‘pitfall' of generative AI. While details about how exactly this tool works are not available, it is aimed to free up the time of journalists by automating some tasks and improving the efficiency and productivity of newsrooms.
However, some executives were reportedly not impressed with the tool. While one called it ‘unsettling, two others said, “It seemed to take for granted the effort that went into producing accurate and artful news stories”.
Google spokesperson Jenn Crider defended ‘Genesis' in a statement given to The Verge, and said that the company is in its earliest stages of exploring ideas with news publishers to potentially offer AI-powered tools to enable journalists with their day-to-day work.
“For instance, AI-enabled tools could assist journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles. Our goal is to give journalists the choice of using these emerging technologies in a way that enhances their work and productivity, just like we're making assistive tools available for people in Gmail and in Google Docs,” she added.
Will newsrooms see layoffs in the near future?
The jury is out on this one, however, the attempts of integrating AI into newsrooms have not gone well so far. Earlier this month, Gizmodo attempted to write news articles with the help of AI. But unfortunately, one of its earliest attempts, an article on the chronological order of Star Wars movies and television shows, contained “18 concerns, corrections, and comments”, as per a deputy editor in the company, as quoted by The Washington Post.
Even Crider explained in the statement that the purpose of the AI tool was not to replace journalists. She said, “Quite simply these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles”.
Considering this, it appears that Google is taking a safer approach and instead of positioning its ‘Genesis' tool as an AI journalist, it is pitching it as an AI assistant for journalists.
It will be interesting to see whether this tool begins getting adopted by major publications considering the media industry has had its own share of problems with Google through its News app. Further, Google is also battling a lawsuit against Gannett, a US-based media publication, alleging that Google's monopoly in the digital advertising marketplace is hurting local publishers.
With these complications, Google might have to do a lot more to make its AI tool appealing. Perhaps, it should ask AI for a solution to this problem too.