This week, the AP along with other news organizations developed standards on how to use AI tools in the newsroom. Part of these new standards will see that AI isn’t used to create publishable content and images for these news services.
In the report, with these new guidelines, the AP is also encouraging staff to familiarize themselves with AI and AI-powered tools. With this move, the associated press is one of the first major news organizations to take a step in terms of determining how AI will be allowed to operate within its newsrooms.
These guidelines will also come with a new chapter in the AP Stylebook that journalist can use to help them with AI and AI terminology. Amanda Barrett, Vice President of news Standards and Inclusion at the AP said, “Our goal is to give people a good way to understand how we can do a little experimentation but also be safe.”
Generative AI and its effect on news services have been major talk since the release of ChatGPT. Already, many online news outlets are finding it difficult to manage themselves in the current digital climate. This is causing many journalists to feel apprehensive about AI, as some are compelled to feel fear of being replaced by the technology.
This was clearly seen when G/O Media announced tests toward AI-generated content. Many within the media group’s publications were outraged at the prospect of AI entering their offices, and concerned at being replaced by it. Similarly, publisher Gannett stated it would introduce generative AI into its systems. But they also went on to caution staff that the technology would automate them away.
Within the guideline, The Associated Press said that any material produced by AI should be vetted with great care. In essence, treating the content like any other material they would get from a news source. But when it comes to video or photo content created by AI, the guideline stressed that they shouldn’t be used.
These guidelines aren’t all that surprising. Though it seems that these news agencies want to harness the potential of generative AI, they are well informed of the risks for hallucinations and false information that can be produced.
These pieces of false information have made some interesting claims. Everything from citing non-existent court cases, to claiming a mayor was involved in a crime. AI clearly has potential, but should be used with caution.
And it seems that guidelines issued by the Associated Press is trying to walk this tightrope as carefully as possible.