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Northwestern University

The Impact of AI on Journalism and Media Content Generation

An example of artificial intelligence (AI) impact work is Nicholas Diakopoulos’s research within the School of Communication related to journalism and media content generation. Much as robots have transformed entire swaths of the manufacturing economy, artificial intelligence and automation are now changing information work, letting humans offload cognitive labor to computers. In journalism, for instance, data mining systems alert reporters to potential news stories, while newsbots offer new ways for audiences to explore information. Automated writing systems generate financial, sports, and elections coverage.

A common question as these intelligent technologies infiltrate various industries is how work and labor will be affected. In this case, who—or what—will do journalism in this AI-enhanced and automated world, and how will they do it?

The evidence assembled in Diakopoulos’s new book “Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media” suggests that the future of AI-enabled journalism will still have plenty of people around. However, the jobs, roles and tasks of those people will evolve and look a bit different. Human work will be hybridized—blended together with algorithms—to suit AI’s capabilities and accommodate its limitations.

Learn more about Northwestern's study of the impact and implications of AI

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