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Can AI Replace Journalists?

With the ability to produce paragraphs of information within seconds, it makes sense that the future of journalism lies with AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Humans can be slow, unreliable, biased, and make grammatical errors; AI is none of these – but is it actually better? Does it produce better articles? Articles more accurate? Articles that keep up with the news faster?

To put this to the test, I took some of TheSocialTalks’s most recent posts and asked AI to reproduce them.

  1. My article, ‘Celebs Are Quitting Drinking: Should You?’, took hours of research in order to find the right examples and scientific information. But when I typed into ChatGPT the same questions I asked in my article, an answer came within the blink of an eye:

  1. Skylar Hatch wrote an article on the use of white paint for global cooling. Whilst Hatch’s article describes some of the ways in which white paint can be used, ChatGPT provided a much more in-depth explanation in certain areas:

And, of course, this answer came in less than a second.

  1. Mansi Jha recently wrote on space mining and its potential. I asked ChatGPT about the same topic, and it produced a list of reasons why we space mine as well as its pros and cons:

So, if AI is able to produce the same information as journalists, why do we hire humans?

My experiment also revealed that ChatGPT was not able to comment on the latest news; its information is limited to events prior to 2021, as it has not been updated since. 

If AI is simply going to redirect us to other news sites, where real-time human journalists provide the information, why ask it in the first place?

This feature also undermines the very purpose of journalism: to educate and inform on current events.

Aside from this obvious problem, current AI cannot produce an opinion. Not only does this slice out an entire article genre, but limits our engagement with the news. Part of the thrill of modern media is its facilitation of discussion from thousands of different perspectives; whether you agree or disagree with what you read, another person’s opinion always ignites some kind of feeling – a feeling that will be lost should AI write all articles for us.

So, if you’re a journalist like me, worried about the technology stealing your job, I would take a step back and think: AI has developed so much. It can do so many things we can’t do.

But we can also do things that AI can’t. No computer system can emulate human emotions, generate opinions, create feelings. As long as we remain human, our ability to write will always be needed.

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