Google Tests AI That Can Write News

Google is testing an artificial intelligence technology that is capable of writing news and has pitched it to major news outlets.
Marie Aquino
July 20, 2023

There are a lot of reactions when it comes to generative AI – from people being amazed of its capabilities, people being happy that it enables to help them with some tasks, some being worried about its progress and what it holds for the future, and some worried that it might take over their jobs.

Looks like those in journalism, especially those in news, should have something to be concerned about as it has been reported that Google is testing an AI that is capable of writing news.

In fact, according to the New York Times, the artificial intelligence technology is being pitched to news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal’s owner – News Corp.

The tool is known internally in Google as “Genesis”. It is able to consume information such as the details of current events and generate news content from it. This is according to people who are familiar with the matter and who choose to speak about the product on the condition of anonymity.

According to one of the sources, Google believed it could serve as kind of a personal assistant for journalist, helping them in automating some tasks in order to free up time for other tasks. The company saw it as a responsible technology that could help steer the publishing industry away from the pitfalls of generative A.I.

Google’s pitch on Genesis has some executives unsettled as it seems to take for granted the effort that it takes to produce accurate and artful news stories.

In a statement, Google’s spokeswoman Jenn Crider stated that “in partnership with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, we’re in the earliest stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide A.I.-enabled tools to help their journalists with their work…quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their articles” and instead, they could provide options for headlines and other writing styles.

There has been a lot of concern with regards to the use of generative AI in creating content. Some in the academia have created rules and guidelines on the use of AI for papers and dissertations. News organizations are at a loss as to whether the technology should be used or not. With the introduction of Genesis, it could only serve to stir the pot further and cause more worry to those in the industry.

Read more about the news industry’s reaction to the technology on this NYT article.