Journalists face another threat to their jobs beyond the usual newspaper closings: artificial intelligence.
Yes, AI can be employed to write articles.
CNET, the tech news outlet, is already using AI to to create articles explaining financial issues, according to The Byte.
This started last year, but was only revealed on Wednesday when online marketer Gael Breton posted a tweet about it, The Byte reports.
Breton points to an article titled, “What are NSF Fees and Why Do Banks Charge Them?
This note was included with the piece: “This article was generated using automation technology and thoroughly edited and fact-checked by an editor on the editorial staff.”
Good—at least editors may still have jobs.
Twitter thread, Chris Dyson writes, “If it’s fact-checked and edited appropriately, I’ve no issue with it."
Breton responds, “Same, but obviously this hasn’t been Google’s tune lately which led to a lot of people ‘witch hunting’ AI content."
It’s not possible that AI could generate a novel of the magnitude of James Joyce’s "Ulysses," or in-depth, very stylized magazine articles by writers like Gay Talese and the late Joan Didion. But it can probably write news stories using standard newswriting formulas that have been around for over 100 years.
AI is also being used for writing in the marketing world. On Wednesday, a company called ChurnZero announced it had built generative artificial intelligence into its customer success platform to help companies create emails, call scripts and other forms of content on demand.
For instance, the user can specify a goal like,“Write a short email welcoming Jane Doe as a new point of contact on my account,” the firm says. Of course, marketers can refine or expand the resulting content.
The Byte notes that, based on Breton's observations, some of the AI-generated articles on CNET “appear to be pulling in large amounts of traffic, in spite of Google having vowed to penalize AI-generated content last year.”
Altogether, CNET has published 73 AI-generated articles, it adds.
A mere test.