AI journalism: don’t bother. Doublespeak won’t prop up a dead profession.

There is a bloated article on AI journalism.

Maybe algorithms will revive this mess is its hypothesis.

This passage was interesting:

Artificial intelligence is rewiring the news and information ecosystem in novel and unexpected ways, just as past technologies such as the printing press or the telegraph reshaped the media landscape. New technologies open up new avenues for both creativity and manipulation.

No, it won’t.

The problem is that journalism is not something that can be computerized: the profession was decimated by technology. The use of technology is a passive exercise.

And to have good journalism, requires an active mindset. Apps are based on slacker mindsets. Pushing personal responsibility on to an algorithm is also a slacker notion.

We already had that in journalism: reporters aping press releases and acting as stenographers for corporate and government interests (just listening to the “Round Table Discussion” on Newstalk 1010 this morning reminds me of that: dead pathological litigant Barry Sherman is getting nothing but positive coverage by the panel and the station, but they are not too happy that the foreign press are not fawning over someone who has proven to be vicious and used the courts over 1200 times, outright dismissing anything that isn’t supporting their narratives of the bully).

And that inherent passivity killed journalism. You are not going to reanimate it with AI.

It is not as if there isn’t a place for AI: I am not a detractor, but AI will do absolutely nothing to repair the weaknesses that felled journalism.

Journalism requires real elements of idealism, altruism, and emotionality: you cannot coldly report on things because you will miss the obvious. What you need to do is balance the emotionality with the empiricism.

If I taught journalism, I would ban all forms of technology first.

I would remove chairs, desks, and lights.

I would have students sitting on a cold floor in the dark.

And by the time I was through with them, they would be able to be crack researchers with — and without technology.

Androids are useless without the Neanderthals.

But journalists keep running away from the elements they need to do their jobs and are attracted to the ones that destroyed them.

And no algorithm can fix that.

One thought on “AI journalism: don’t bother. Doublespeak won’t prop up a dead profession.

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