Google is exploring the use of artificial intelligence tools to write news articles and is encouraging news organizations to use AI to help journalists, the tech giant has confirmed.
Google did not name the publishers it has spoken with, but it has held talks with the New York Times, the Washington Post, the owner of the Wall Street Journal, News Corp, and others, the Times reported on Wednesday.
The AI journalism tool is called “Genesis” internally at Google, and some newspaper executives who saw the launch described it as “disturbing,” the Times reported, adding that the executives asked not to be named.
A Google spokesperson insisted that AI tools could help journalists in a way that “enhances their work and productivity,” for example by generating options for headlines or different writing styles.
“Simply put, these tools are not intended to and cannot replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their stories,” the spokesperson said.
Google is exploring the use of artificial intelligence tools to write news articles, launching news organizations like the New York Times, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal owner News Corp.
The spokesperson added that Google was in the “earliest stages of exploring ideas.”
According to sources cited by the Times, several executives who saw the proposal felt that it “seemed to take for granted the effort that went into producing accurate and witty news.”
A News Corp spokesperson declined to comment specifically on the AI tool, but said: “We have an excellent relationship with Google and appreciate (CEO) Sundar Pichai’s long-term commitment to journalism.”
The Times and Washington Post did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s requests for comment on Thursday afternoon.
The news comes days after the Associated Press said it would partner with OpenAI, owner of ChatGPT, to explore the use of generative AI in the news, a deal that could set the precedent for similar partnerships between industries.
Under that deal, AP will open up its story archives to help train ChatGPT, in exchange for access to OpenAI’s tools and expertise in generative AI.
AP has been using a simpler form of artificial intelligence in some of its work for about a decade.
For example, it uses automation to help create stories about routine sports results and corporate earnings, which are based on highly structured and predictable source data.
A Google spokesperson insisted that artificial intelligence tools could help journalists in a way that “enhances their work and productivity,” for example by generating options for headlines.
Some outlets are already using ChatGPT-like generative AI for their content, but early efforts have been fraught with landmines.
Earlier this year, tech news outlet CNET issued corrections to 41 of the 77 stories the outlet published that were written with an AI tool.
Men’s Journal was also forced to make embarrassing corrections in February, when its first AI-written article was found to be riddled with errors.
In general, news publications have been slow to embrace the technology out of concerns about its tendency to generate factually incorrect information, as well as challenges in differentiating between human-produced content and computer programs.
A debate about how to apply the latest AI writing tools overlaps with concerns from news organizations and other professions about whether tech companies are fairly compensating them for using their published works to improve AI systems known as long language models.
To build AI systems that can produce human-like writing, tech companies have had to ingest vast amounts of written work, such as news articles and digitized books. Not all companies disclose the sources of that data, some of which is pulled from the Internet.
The AI journalism tool is called ‘Genesis’ internally at Google, and some newspaper executives who saw the launch described it as ‘disturbing’, the Times reported.
Last week, AP and ChatGPT maker OpenAI announced an agreement for the artificial intelligence company to license AP’s news archive from 1985. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Chatbots like ChatGPT and Google’s own Bard are part of a class of so-called generative AI tools that are increasingly effective at mimicking different styles of writing, as well as visual arts and other media. Many people are already using them to save time writing emails and other routine documents or to help with homework.
However, the systems are also prone to spewing falsehoods that people unfamiliar with a subject may not notice, making them risky for applications like gathering news or giving medical advice.