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The next crisis of credibility? AI and the media

“AI is a tool, not a threat. It can augment human capabilities, not replace them. Embrace the change and reskill to stay ahead in the job market. Together, humans and AI can achieve greater things.”

Wise words.

And spoken by who? None other than ChatGPT.

It’s the fastest-growing web app ever released, and part of today’s boom of generative artificial intelligence software.

So, what’s the big fuss about? How is AI software changing the media game, and what should brands know to be able to keep up?

In this article, we explore all these areas of the weird and wonderful world of AI software. Buckle up.

Putting AI to work

The rising competition in the media industry calls for a competitive edge. AI’s role in increasing efficiency and driving revenue is expected to overhaul the industry in the coming years as more AI algorithms are being implemented.

Here are some of the ways AI is changing the media industry:

  1. Automated news writing: AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data and write news articles, which can save time and reduce costs for media outlets.
  2. Personalised content: AI algorithms can use data analytics to understand a user’s preferences and recommend personalized content, such as articles, videos, and podcasts.
  3. Content creation: AI can be used to generate news articles, sports reports, and financial updates, among other forms of content. This could significantly reduce the need for human journalists and reporters, making news production faster and more cost-effective. AI can be used to create new types of media, such as virtual reality experiences or interactive storytelling.
  4. Audience engagement: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide personalized customer service and improve user engagement.
  5. Data analysis: Media companies can use AI algorithms to analyse user data, such as social media interactions, to gain insights into audience behaviour and preferences.
  6. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): ChatGPT can be used to generate copy that includes keywords that search engines look for when ranking pages.
  7. Virtual and augmented reality: AI-powered virtual and augmented reality experiences could transform the way users consume media content, providing immersive and interactive experiences that were previously impossible.
  8. Generating summaries of large texts and documents: AI can sum up long pieces of text. This comes in handy when you need to quickly scan new reports, studies and other documents.
  9. Advertising: AI can help media companies target their advertising to specific audiences, predict consumer behaviour, and optimize ad placement and pricing.
  10. Combatting misinformation: AI can help media companies to combat the spread of misinformation by identifying and flagging false or misleading content, and preventing it from spreading.
  11. Market research: It can quickly generate a list of key players in any industry as well as their most important products and services.
  12. Generating questions and answers: AI can help spur ideas when you’re working on a topic and looking for new angles.

The ChatGPT revolution

ChatGPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI. It is able to generate human-like text based on the input it receives, making it a powerful tool for a wide range of applications. Companies can now use the technology to create copy for advertising, marketing emails, social media posts, long-form content marketing pieces, and website copy.

It also has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce and consume written media. Newsrooms around the world are worried about the frighteningly proficient chatbot, which is in the business of, well, mimicking their writing. The ability to generate human-like written text has prompted suggestions that the technology could replace journalists – and white-collar jobs more broadly.

However, at its current stage, the chatbot lacks the nuance, critical-thinking skills or ethical decision-making ability that are essential for successful journalism.

Its current knowledge base ends in 2021, rendering some queries and searches useless.

ChatGPT can also give entirely wrong answers and present misinformation as fact, writing “plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers”, the company concedes.

In other words – it has some way to go, even though it’s rapidly catching up.

Looking ahead

AI’s capacities are not static but expand exponentially as technology advances. Recently, the complexity of AI models has been doubling every few months. Therefore generative AI systems have capabilities that remain inconceivable even to their inventors.

But ChatGPT and the other AIs of the future will only be as good as their software and what they’ve been told. The only thing AIs “know” is what somebody’s told them. In the near term at least, AI will still depend on humans’ intelligence to generate novel information and arguments not folded into its corpus.

As Ross Levinsohn, Arena Group’s CEO, has stated:

“It’s not going to replace the art of creating content. It’s giving the content creators, whether they’re writers or social creators, real efficiency and real access to the archives we have.”

The first steps towards daily use will likely involve combining Chat GPT functionality with everyday applications, such as helping us write and analyze documents in Word, convey our talking points and strategies via PowerPoint, or decide the best approach to building models in Excel. AI’s ability to optimise everyday applications will radically change how we work in the coming decade.

While AI is also able to create content, it may take longer for it to become sophisticated enough to apply to brand development. It currently lacks the ability to add a brand’s voice and tone. Brands should thereby pay a great deal of attention if they use AI for creating content. It could very easily come back to bite you.

In short, AI is only as smart as the people behind it.

It’s poised to play an increasingly important role in the media industry, helping to create more personalized and engaging content, improve the accuracy and reliability of news reporting, and streamline the content creation process. However, it also raises important ethical questions about the impact of automation on employment and the role of AI in shaping public opinion.

Stay tuned.

 

By: Louise Alestam

 

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