Sunday, March 3, 2024

UP prof tells campus journos to be cautious in use of AI in reporting

KALIBO, Aklan — A mass communication expert from the University of the Philippines has urged campus journalists to be vigilant in the use of artificial intelligence (AI), saying it should only be used as a tool and compliment to journalism.

Dr. Rachel Khan, a professor of journalism at the UP College of Mass Communication in Diliman, said AI has its advantages and disadvantages but it will still take years before AI will replace journalists — if it happens at all.

Khan served as a speaker on the topic “AI: Boon or Bane” last Nov. 14 in a forum organized by the Philippine Press Institute, the International Media Support, and the Aklan Media-Citizen Council.

The seminar, which was attended by campus journalists from different colleges and university in the region, was held at the Marzon Hotel here.

In her presentation, Khan said among the benefits of AI systems used by news organizations include being able to churn out big data, detect financial trends, and other statistics.

“Combined with a Natural Language Generator computer application, the AI platform is able to generate actual news stories from the data it analyzed,” she said.

According to her, there are some of the ways in which AI is currently being used in journalism around the world:

  • To automate news production
  • For journalistic investigation
  • To leverage the content in the archives
  • To understand audiences’ wants and needs.
  • To optimize engagement and subscriptions

On the flip side, she said the AI shortcomings include:

  • Lack of critical thinking
  • Limited context understanding
  • Bias in training data
  • Inability to verify information and
  • Difficulty in handling nuances and tone

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