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Google wants AI to write the news articles you read

An AI personal assistant for journalists is what the company is pitching to top publishers.
By

Published onJuly 20, 2023

Stock photo of Google Bard website on phone 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google has reportedly pitched an AI news writing tool to top publishers.
  • The solution is different from Google’s generative AI, Bard.
  • The AI is being touted as a personal assistant for journalists.

Google is reportedly testing an AI tool that can write news stories. The company has apparently presented this artificially intelligent news writer to major media organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp.

Internally known as Genesis, the AI can take inputs, such as details of current events, to automatically generate content. Sources familiar with the matter told The New York Times that Google is pitching the AI as a “responsible tool” that can act as a personal assistant for journalists. It’s designed to automate some tasks for journalists so they can focus on more important things.

Executives who saw the company's pitch described it as unsettling.

Google reportedly feels that its solution is more competent than other generative AI tools on the market. However, executives who were present for the company’s pitch described it as unsettling. They said Google seems to be taking for granted the efforts that go into reporting news accurately and artfully.

Meanwhile, a Google spokeswoman confirmed to The Times that the company is in talks with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to their journalists.

“Quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their articles,” she said. They could provide options for headlines and other writing styles.

The company also tweeted saying, “Our goal is to give journalists the choice of using these emerging technologies in a way that enhances their work and productivity, just like we’re making assistive tools available for people in Gmail and in Google Docs.”

AI tools have so far proven unreliable in presenting facts accurately in articles. Originality is also a concern when using AI to report news. Such tools often duplicate entire texts from sources across the web. Not too long ago, tech site CNET had to issue corrections for dozens of AI-written articles on its website, some of which even included plagiarized language.

At the moment, it’s unclear how Google will circumvent these pitfalls of AI-generated content. It also remains to be seen how publishers will respond to the tool and whether they’ll disclose their use of AI to their readers. We expect Google to provide more clarity about these tools once it actually finds customers for them.