The outbreak of COVID- 19 has made jobless a lot of workers, now Artificial Intelligence has started taking over people’s jobs. Several industries have already been affected in several sectors by the intrusion of artificial intelligence, and journalism turns out not to be an exception. Microsoft has recently fired dozens of journalists, who were responsible for arranging and editing news stories to be replaced with automatic systems.
At a time when Indian news media companies are sacking employees due to COVID related economic downfall, the possibility of robots is now a major threat to our job security. Artificial Intelligence is still in its early stages, but it will be interesting to see how it will change the fourth pillar of democracy, in the era of web journalism and shouting debates on Prime Time TV news. Will hysterical anchors in newsrooms be replaced by robots who’ll talk with some sanity?
AI as a Blessing for Journalists in Several Parts of The World
In several parts of the world, AI is used, this is news is not completely new. It is used for finding stories mining data, analysis, transcribing interviews, fact-checking, and spotting plagiarism in articles. French news agencies use AI to detect doctored photos and have even teamed up with Facebook. Canadian news agency uses an AI system to speed up translations. And now, Microsoft claims its move to bring in AI was part of its business evaluation. It would indeed be a blessing for reporters and journalists who can then focus on long-form journalism, human analysis of stories, and investigative journalism.
AI can be more productively used. The automated system can do the work of looking for the right picture in which a normal being takes 30 minutes. It can do tasks like simple fact-checking, identifying fake news. AI systems are well capable of identifying the real source of news content from artificially generated ones. AI can easily arrange news on a website as per the user’s interest or browsing history. Even searching for specific reports will become easier.
In China and Russia, they hired robots present news on television. Some Russian viewers complained that the robot, which could just only move his facial features and neck, was creepy. On the other hand, other people said it was the future of news. While some viewers’ accused it of peddling political agenda. In the distant future, there is a remote possibility that Navika Kumar, Sudhir Chaudhary, and Rubika Liyaquat might be replaced by Robotic counterparts. But humans can never be replaced by metal bodies when it comes to reporting ground.
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If we take the picture of Barkha Dutt hugging a 70-year-old woman stranded alone in Mumbai, standing outside the railway station, or the many other reporters who go out to help stranded workers in whichever way they can. Can a robot bring the same feeling can the same compassion and humanity be brought, which is an essential part of being a reporter. This is the reason why journalism needs to be human-centric always.
Even on television, the robots will not be able to bring the same vibe as anchors like Arnab Goswami or Ameesh Devgan does. That punch will not be felt when a robot will cut off a panelist to deliver a monologue the same way Arnab does, “THE NATION WANTS TO KNOW” will not have the same power in a robot unless the algorithm feeds him the ‘Arnab-like’ voice.
AI can help journalists but can never replace them. They can help in gathering news helping the media house but can never take over journalism as a whole.