Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming the next technological revolution and slowly becoming a part of our daily lives. Some forms of AI have already been around us for years, such as smartphone facial recognition, virtual AI assistants like Siri, and many more. However, AI is gradually casting its impact on all industries.
The influence of AI in traditional media is becoming a hot topic, especially with the rapid emergence of AI generative tools, such as ChatGPT, Rephrase.ai, Murf.ai, Designs.ai, and similar others. On one side, these AI-generating tools can facilitate the media industry with more quality content; on the other side, they raise concerns over potential compromise in the accuracy and integrity of traditional media. So, let’s explore in detail the growing influence of AI in the media industry and its potential concerns over the integrity of traditional media.
How AI Content Threatens the Integrity of Traditional Media?
With every passing year, the capabilities of AI in generating news articles, videos, graphics, and other elements are becoming more powerful and sophisticated. AI is emerging as the companion/partner in the media industry, facilitating journalists, graphic designers, editors, and all other concerned professionals with its powerful content creation capabilities.
Despite the promising assistance AI brings to the table, many are concerned with the limitless capabilities of AI. Just look at the picture below of Trump getting arrested, created by Eliot Higgins using AI, and imagine how realistic AI can generate media content.
Similarly, if you ask ChatGPT to write a specific statistics-oriented news feed, it will create a human-like post including many self-generated incorrect stats to validate the point. Since traditional media has long been considered a purveyor of trustworthy information, the growing presence of AI-generated content is threatening its integrity.
To make things more transparent, below are some of the factors that trigger the threat caused by AI-generated content on the integrity of traditional media:
Faster Content Generation Capability for Breaking News
One of the important features of traditional media is delivering breaking news stories to the audience swiftly. However, AI has started assisting here with its super-fast content generation capability. For example, ChatGPT just requires a small input of the scenario, and it can craft realistic story content in a matter of seconds. Similarly, writing background stories of news also gets quick with generative AI.
Despite the usefulness of AI’s expeditious content generation capability in the media industry, it also raises concerns over incorrect information and the thoroughness of fact-checking. For instance, ChatGPT knowledge is limited to 2021, so if you use it to write content for a breaking news story in 2023, you will have to customize a lot of content to make it authentic and correct. Therefore, if AI-generated content is used frequently for breaking news stories without proper human touch, it doubts traditional media’s integrity.
Can Make Readers Trust the Press Less
Traditional media is known for delivering credible and accurate information to its readers. However, when AI-generated content becomes a regular part of content creation, it shadows human journalistic practices. AI-generated content puts in danger comprehensive analysis, investigative journalism, and diversity of thoughts that are the core component of traditional media.
Once readers realize that the media channel is using generative AI in most of its news stories, they can question the authenticity and reliability of AI-generated articles, especially for investigative or stats-oriented stories.
No One Reads Anyway
In the current digitalized era, the readers’ way of consuming news has also modernized. Most of the young generation prefers easily consumable content and focuses less on deeper understanding. In fact, many just intend to read the titles of news articles without even exploring the details further.
AI-generated content can facilitate this trend and help media outlets to create short, appealing content. However, doing so also compromises the quality, depth, and true purpose of news reporting. So, if traditional media outlets start deploying generative AI tools to revive readers’ attention, they will also put in danger the traditional characteristic of media, i.e., thorough analysis.
The Long-Term Decline of Traditional Media
Ever since the dominance of social media, traditional media has been on a long-term decline from both the audience and revenue perspective. Readers are seen as less interested in spending time reading/viewing media outlets, as they have access to all the breaking news from their subscribed social media channels.
On top of that, AI-generated content is further worsening the situation. The readership is likely to decline further if the media outlets make generative AI tools as their main content writers. AI-generated content looks attractive and human-like, but readers are not convinced regarding the authenticity of AI content. Moreover, the viewership of traditional media likes the institutional knowledge, editorial oversight, expertise, and diversity of opinion aspects of traditional media, which AI cannot replace.
AI is Famously Wrong in a Number of Cases
As narrated above, AI is emerging as the ideal companion for news bloggers, journalists, and media outlets for crafting human-like content. However, everyone knows that AI can make errors or show biased responses. When OpenAI (maker of ChatGPT) openly says that its tool can produce inaccurate information, how can we expect readers to trust AI content?
Until generative AI tools start delivering real-time, accurate, and reliable content and readers start trusting them, traditional media outlets that use AI-generated content will compromise their credibility.
Wrapping Up – Generative AI a Blessing or Threat for Traditional Media
Considering the current use cases of AI-generated content, it is both a blessing and a threat to traditional media. Undoubtedly, generative AI tools help to quickly generate content and automate many activities of media outlets, which is what the current digitalized era demands. However, it’s a long run for AI-generated content to become a trustworthy source due to a lack of authenticity and a reputation for inaccurate responses. To sum up, traditional media outlets should keep the use of AI-generative content minimal as of now to avoid threatening their integrity and further worsening their readership.