CNET is experimenting with AI assistance. here’s why
Much has been said about AI engines and how they may or may not be used in newsrooms, newsletters, marketing and other information-based services in the months and years to come. . Conversations on ChatGPT and other automated technologies have raised many important questions about how information will be created and shared and how useful stories will be to the public.
We decided to do an experiment to answer this question for ourselves.
For more than two decades, CNET has built its reputation on testing new technologies and separating hype from reality from voice assistants to augmented reality to the metaverse.
In November, our CNET Money editorial team began experimenting with the technology to see if there’s a pragmatic use case for AI assistance with basic explanations of financial services topics like What is Money? compound interest? and how to cash a check without a bank account? So far we have published about 75 such articles.
The goal: to see if technology can help our team of busy reporters and editors cover stories from a 360-degree perspective. Will this AI engine effectively help them use publicly available facts to create the most useful content so our audience can make better decisions? Will it allow them to create even more in-depth stories, analysis, features, testing and advice that we are known for?
I use the term “AI assist” because while the AI engine was compiling the draft story or gathering some of the story information, every article on CNET – and we publish thousands of new stories and updates every month – is reviewed, checked. and edited by an editor with thematic expertise before publishing. This will remain true as our policy, regardless of the tools or technology we use to create these stories.
Our reputation as a factual and unbiased source of information and advice is based on the transparency of how we work and the sources we rely on. So, in the last 24 hours, we’ve changed the signature to CNET Money and moved our disclosure so you don’t need to hover over the signature to see it: “This story was assisted by an AI engine and reviewed, verified, and edited by our editorial team.” We always note who edited the story so that our audience understands which expert influenced, shaped and verified the article.
Will we make more changes and try new things while continuing to test, learn, and understand the benefits and challenges of AI? Yes.
In the meantime, CNET is the world’s largest consumer technology news and advice site because our global audiences trust the stories gathered and curated by our knowledgeable, award-winning journalists and consultants from around the world.
We can’t talk about how other organizations view AI. Some are very transparent about how they use AI to help their news services, like the Associated Press. We will also continue to evaluate these new tools to determine if they are right for our business. For now, CNET is doing what we do best: testing new technology to separate hype from reality.
Thanks for reading.