The promise vs. fear of AI

Medill’s Jeremy Gilbert envisions a future where tech leads to better journalism without destroying it


Overseeing the Knight Lab at Northwestern University, Jeremy Gilbert has been exploring the intersection of technology and news media, a topic that has become urgent amid the rocket-like rise of artificial intelligence.

Gilbert has worked with AI since 2009, when he and fellow Northwestern professors and their students created StatsMonkey, a tool to tell automatic baseball stories. During a subsequent stint at the Washington Post, Gilbert devised Heliograf to cover sports, politics and more. Now back at Northwestern as the Knight Chair in Digital Media Strategy at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Gilbert is working with the next generation of AI technologies to tell stories in new and novel ways based on user needs.

In this conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity (and transcribed using AI but corrected via human ears), Gilbert makes the case for AI’s transformative potential while cautioning against lurking dangers.

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