German publishing giant Axel Springer, parent of Politico and Business Insider, is not afraid of artificial intelligence.
“I don’t see it as a structural enemy of journalism. I see it as a potential friend,” said CEO Mathias Döpfner in a CNN interview. “Why? Because we can come up with new products that we could have never afforded before."
He goes on to say, "And we can basically delegate the boring stuff of our business — translation, technical production, fact-checking, to a certain degree aggregation of information that is already out there — we can delegate that to bots, to artificial intelligence and focus on the very essence of our business, and that is news: To find out something that was not supposed to be found out. To focus on investigative reporting, to go out and watch and describe reality. That is so much more interesting to journalists.”
Döpfner made these comments as Axel Springer reportedly had shown interest in buying the UK’s Telegraph, leading to the prospect of a bidding war, The Guardian reports.
Axel Springer has registered its interest with Goldman Sachs, The Guardian continues. The auction starts later this month.
Axel Springer, which publishes Bild and Die Welt, lost to Japan’s Nikkei in an effort to acquire Financial Times, The Guardian also reports.
When asked how Axel Springer could leverage AI to address a mature market, Döpfner told CNN the firm already has “five projects where we take advantage of the possibilities of large language models.”
However, he warned, “If you just use AI in order to save costs, you make a big mistake.”