Could ChatGPT do my job?

Could ChatGPT do my job?

Could ChatGPT do my job?

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So far, newsrooms have taken two very different approaches to integrating the hottest new AI tool, ChatGPT, into their work. Tech news site CNET has secretly started using ChatGPT to write entire articles, only for the experience to go up in smoke. He eventually had to post corrections amid accusations of plagiarism. Buzzfeed, on the other hand, took a more cautious and measured approach. Its leaders want to use ChatGPT to generate answers to quizzes, guided by journalists who create the topics and questions.


You can boil these stories down to a fundamental question that many industries now face: how much control should we give to an AI system? CNET gave too much away and ended up in an embarrassing mess, while Buzzfeed’s more cautious (and transparent) approach of using ChatGPT as a productivity tool was generally well received and boosted its stock price.

But here is the dirty secret of journalism: a surprisingly large amount could be automated, says Charlie Beckett, a professor at the London School of Economics who runs a program called JournalismAI. Journalists regularly reuse texts from news agencies and steal story ideas and sources from competitors. It makes perfect sense for newsrooms to explore how new technologies could help them make these processes more efficient.

“The idea that journalism is this flower bed of originality and creativity is pure nonsense,” says Beckett. (Ouch!)

It’s not necessarily a bad thing if we can outsource some of the boring and repetitive parts of journalism to AI. In fact, it could free up journalists to do more creative and meaningful work.

A voucher Example I’ve seen this using ChatGPT to repackage newswire text into the “intelligent brevity” format used by Axios. The chatbot seems to do a pretty good job, and I can imagine any journalist tasked with enforcing this format will be happy to have time to do something more fun.

This is just one example of how newsrooms can successfully use AI. AI can also help journalists summarize long texts, skim through datasets, or come up with headline ideas. While writing this newsletter, I myself used several artificial intelligence tools, such as autocomplete in word processing and audio interview transcription.

But the use of AI in newsrooms poses major problems. One of the main ones is confidentiality, especially around sensitive stories where protecting the identity of your source is vital. This is a problem MIT Technology Review reporters have run into with audio transcription services, and unfortunately the only way around it is to manually transcribe sensitive interviews.


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