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Using AI in the newsroom.

50% of newsrooms use artificial intelligence but only 20% have rules

Almost half (49%) of newsrooms are using tools like ChatGPT but only 20% have management guidelines on when and how to use GenAI tools, according to a survey of 100 media companies around the world made by publisher organisation WAN-IFRA and Schickler Consulting. 70% said they expect Generative AI tools to be helpful

One of the first newsrooms to use AI is US news agency Associated Press that since many years have used AI to write short financial news stories on companies financial reports. The agency has said the automated production allowed it to increase the number of news reports but also to limit mistakes.

The fastest growth in AI spending will come from the Media industry with a five-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 30.2%, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) recently forecasted.  

Overall, the attitude about Generative AI in the industry is overwhelmingly positive, WAN-IFRA reports. 70% of survey participants said they expect Generative AI tools to be helpful for their journalists and newsrooms. 

“Only 2% said they see no value in the short term, while another 10% are not sure. 18% think the technology needs more development to be really helpful.”

The primary use case is the tools’ capability to digest and condense information, for example for summaries and bullet points, the survey shows.. “Other key tasks that journalists are using the technology for include simplified research / search, text correction and improving workflows.”

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“Going forward, the common use cases are likely to evolve however, as more and more newsrooms look for ways to make broader use of the technology and integrate it further in their operations. Our respondents highlighted personalisation, translation and a higher level of workflow / efficiency improvements as specific examples or areas of where they expect GenAI to be more helpful in the future”, WAN-IFRA reports.

49% said that their journalists have the freedom to use the technology as they see fit. Additional 29% said that they are not using GenAI. 

Only 20%  said that they have guidelines from management on when and how to use GenAI tools. 3% said that the use of the technology is not allowed at their publications. 

“As newsrooms grapple with the many complex questions related to GenAI, it seems safe to assume that more and more publishers will establish specific AI policies on how to use the technology (or perhaps forbid its use entirely)”, WAN-IFRA says in a summary of the survey. 

Inaccuracy of information / quality of content is the number one concern among publishers when it comes to AI generated content. 85% of survey respondents highlighted this as a specific issue they have relating to GenAI.

“Another concern on publishers’ minds is issues related to plagiarism / copyright infringement, followed by data protection and privacy issues.” 

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