Opinion | How journalism should face the unchecked threats of generative AI

We need more copy editors, 'truth beats' and newsroom guidelines to combat artificial intelligence hallucinations


Fact accuracy has been under assault for more than 20 years. It began when corporate owners reaped huge profits without reinvesting in newsrooms. The internet redefined audience and reconfigured advertising, reducing newsroom staff by 26% between 2008-20. Then Donald J. Trump emerged with his big/little lies and a cult-like MAGA following whose adherents dubbed journalists as enemies of the people.

Now artificial intelligence may eradicate truth in our time. Not because of plagiarism. Not because of deepfakes. Not because of fewer writing jobs.

Journalism may succumb to AI hallucinations, outright fabrications and illogical deductions, cast as effortlessly and believably as possible.

This is why newsrooms should temper their use of chatbots, hire more copy editors, emphasize fact-checking, establish “truth beats” and create or update guidelines about machine applications.

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